Also known as Food and Drug Research Scientist, Food Chemist, Food Engineer, Food Scientist, Food Technologist, Formulator, Product Development Scientist, Research Chef, Research Food Technologist, Research Scientist
Also known as Food and Drug Research Scientist, Food Chemist, Food Engineer
Food Scientists use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.
Food Scientists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:
The above responsibilities are specific to Food Scientists. More generally, Food Scientists are involved in several broader types of activities:
The median salary for a Food Scientist is $73,450, and the average salary is $80,190. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Food Scientist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.
Many Food Scientists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Food Scientists earn less than $41,240 per year, 25% earn less than $54,300, 75% earn less than $99,870, and 90% earn less than $130,430.
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Food Scientists is expected to change by 7.3%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Food Scientists every year.
Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.
Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Food Scientist are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Conventional interests.
Food Scientists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Also, Food Scientists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Lastly, Food Scientists typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Compared to most people, those working as a Food Scientist tend to value Achievement, Support, and Recognition.
Most importantly, Food Scientists strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Second, Food Scientists strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.
Lastly, Food Scientists moderately value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.
Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.
In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Food Scientists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, integrity, and attention to detail.
Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Food Scientists, ranked by importance:
Many Food Scientists will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Food Scientists usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Food Scientists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as food production, biology, or chemistry knowledge.
The list below shows several areas in which most Food Scientists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.
Food Scientists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.
For example, Food Scientists need abilities such as oral comprehension, problem sensitivity, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Food Scientists, ranked by their relative importance.
Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.
Food Scientists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Food Scientists, ranked by their relative importance.
The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
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