Food Technologists


Food Technologists


Food technologists, sometimes known as food scientists and food and flavor chemists, study the physical, chemical, and biological composition of food. They develop methods for safely processing, preserving, and packaging food and search for ways to improve its flavor and nutritional value. They also conduct tests to ensure that products, from fresh produce to packaged meals, meet industry and government standards. Approximately 14,900 food technologists are employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Internship or related experience with chemistry and food science



Information Management


Personality Traits

Hands On


Median annual earnings of food scientists and technologists were $65,300 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The highest paid workers earned more than $118,630, and the lowest paid earned less than $39,510. Earnings of food technologists also vary by the industry in which they are employed. Those working in scientific research and development had mean annual earnings of $81,...

Work Environment

Most food technologists work in clean, well lit, temperature-controlled offices, laboratories, or classrooms. According to the Institute of Food Technologist's 2015 Employment & Salary Survey Report, 36 percent of respondents worked 41 to 45 hours a week, and 17 percent worked 50 or more hours a week. Technologists in production and quality control who work in processing plants may...


Employment for food technologists is expected to grow by 6 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, or about as fast as the average for all careers. The employment outlook varies by industry. For example, job opportunities for food technologists who work in consulting and scientific consulting are expected to grow by 21.5 percent, while employment in manufacturing is exp...