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Food Scientists and Technologists

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.   (O'Net 19-1012.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Associate Professor, Compliance Coordinator, Confectionery Laboratory Manager, Dairy Bacteriologist, Enologist, Food and Drug Research Scientist   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
  • Related Occupations
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    Career Video
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    Additional videos and more information available at
     


    Wages
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 21.70   $ 25.64   $ 32.74   $ 42.53   $ 52.49   $ 37.70  
    Yearly $45,140   $53,320   $68,100   $88,460   $109,180   $78,410  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 21.51   $ 26.43   $ 35.15   $ 44.28   $ 51.62   $ 35.59  
    Yearly $44,750   $54,980   $73,100   $92,110   $107,370   $74,030  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 26.74   $ 29.93   $ 34.61   $ 41.20   $ 48.33   $ 35.99  
    Yearly $55,630   $62,240   $71,990   $85,690   $100,530   $74,860  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 148 172 1.5% 7
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Food manufacturing 45.0%
    Scientific research and development services 13.5%
    Management of companies and enterprises 10.4%
    Educational services; state, local, and private 6.8%
    Self-employed workers, all industries 4.9%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
     
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards.
     
  • Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
     
  • Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
     
  • Stay up-to-date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
     
  • Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
     
  • Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
     
  • Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
     
  • Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
     
  • Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Knowledge
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
     
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
     
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Skills
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Abilities
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Work Activities
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Interests
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Investigative - 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.
     
  • Realistic - 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.
     
  • Conventional - 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.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Food Scientists and Technologists
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    No state licenses listed for this occupation.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  •  
  • Experience: A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists  updated June 2010
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Food Scientists and Technologists
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES.
     
    • Culinary Science/Culinology. (NEW)
     
    • Food Science.
     
    • Food Technology and Processing.
     
    • International Agriculture.
     
    • Viticulture and Enology. (NEW)
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Food Scientists and Technologists
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Food Scientists and Technologists.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Food Scientists and Technologists :
  • Agricultural and Food Scientists
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Food Scientists and Technologists
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Food Scientists and Technologists 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor