How to Become a Food Technologist

If you want to become a food technologist you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for it:


"Those who become food technologists have a scientific mind, are mechanically inclined and are interested in food production and preparation. They are individuals who pay close attention to details, and are able to follow strict hygienic protocols without cutting corners. They also tend to have a strong educational background in science, usually in a field such as food science, food studies, or food technology."


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a food technologist. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Food Technologist

Most employers require you to have a degree in food technology, or a related area such as food science or food studies in order to become a food technologist. If you have a degree in a distantly related or an unrelated subject, you can increase your chances of employment by taking a graduate course in a subject such as food safety, food technology or food quality management.





General Job Description

Food technologists are responsible for developing the manufacturing process and recipes for new food and drink products. They work with existing and newly discovered or created ingredients to invent new recipes and food concepts.


They may also modify existing foods to create such things as fat-free products and ready-made meals. Food technologists are also involved in conducting experiments on new food products, and producing samples of those products. When developing and designing the processes and machinery for making products, they must be concerned with making products which have a consistent flavour, colour and texture.



Typical Job Duties

• Modify existing processes in favor of newer, more efficient ones

• Monitor and evaluate in-house quality control procedures, as well as within the supplier’s factory

• Research consumer tendencies and demand in order to generate new ideas for products

• Select raw materials and other ingredients from suppliers

• Liaise with other departments, such as marketing, sales, and procurement

• Confer with food inspection and other hygienic agencies and regulatory bodies



Who Employs Food Technologists?

Food technologists are hired by food and beverage processing and manufacturing companies, and private consulting firms, involved in food production activities such as:


• Meat and poultry slaughter and processing

• Dairy processing

• Cereal grains and their products including flour, cereal, pasta and snack foods

• Bakery and confectionery goods production

• Vegetable oil refining and product manufacturing

• Soft drink manufacturing

• Brewing, winemaking and distilling

• Vegetable processing

• Sugar manufacturing

• Specialty foods manufacturing





Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Food Technologist

To be successful in a career as a food technologist, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will help you perform your job with enthusiasm and competence, and will help you endure the ups and downs of this career.


• The ability to work in a team setting with other food science professionals

• Enjoy using instruments and equipment to perform tasks requiring precision

• Able to direct and supervise the work of others

• Enjoy analyzing data and conducting sampling and analysis programs

• An aptitude for science and mathematics

• An interest in food production and preparation

• The ability to work with strict hygiene rules

• Good communication skills, to explain ideas to other scientists and factory staff

• A confident approach to enforcing regulations and reporting problems



Food Technologist Salary

The salary level of food technologists can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, the specific responsibilities of their job, where they work, and many others.


Food Technologist Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary level of workers in the "Food Scientists and Technologists" occupational group is $71,990 per year.


Salary - Canada: According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the "Chemical Technologists and Technicians" occupational group  (which includes food technologists) earn an average of between $21.65 to $44.24 an hour. According to the Province of British Columbia, those working in the "Biological technologists and technicians" (which is the most closely related occupational group) earn an annual provincial median salary of $59,738. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (July 23, 2019).



Working Conditions Common to This Profession

Hours of Work: Food technologists often work normal weekday working hours, although some food production facilities operate around the clock and shift work may be necessary in order to reflect those hours.


Work Setting: Food technologists spend a great deal of their time in production facilities in order to monitor production processes and machinery operations, which could include travelling to warehouses, distribution centres and suppliers’ factories.



Food Technologist Jobs - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "food technologist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Similar Occupational Guides

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to "food technologist", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Chemical Engineer

Food and Drug Inspector

Food Chemist

Food Safety Auditor




Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a food technologist.


Occupations in Alberta: Food Science Technologist.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 26, 2019.

Occupational Employment and Wages:Food Scientists & Technologists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 26, 2019.

Job Profile:Food Technologist.” AGCAS editors (July, 2018) Prospects website. Retrieved November 26, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Food Technologist

The scholarships in our system that are relevant for becoming a food technologist are all of those that can be found on our Chemistry Scholarships and Nutrition Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this line of work. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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