[showmyads]Food Science uses the fields of engineering, chemistry, microbiology, physical sciences, and applies it to the study of food. Topics like what are the most efficient ways to process foods, how can we improve food in various ways (packaging, processing etc.), and what causes foods to deteriorate, are daily concerns for those in this industry.
Working in the field of research is where many individuals in the food science industry reside as they pursue the answers to various questions on how to improve what the world consumers. No topic or concern regarding food is overlooked as food scientists strive to find the most efficient, productive and healthiest ways to process, preserve and package foods.
By studying the various sciences already mentioned at a post-secondary level or beyond, those in the food science industry have a vast knowledge in providing society with the best possible product on their dinner tables and strive to constantly improve those foods we all eat.
[showmyads]The hourly wage for someone in the food science industry has quite a big range depending on level of experience and where one is employed. In general, the median hourly wage is $29 per hour, with the lowest 10% earning around $16 per hour and the highest 10% pulling in over $50 per hour.
Based on those typical hourly earning numbers, a professional in the food science field can expect to earn a yearly salary of $58,070 as that is the median across the country. There is plenty of room for advancement in this industry, and to break it down by the bottom and top 10%’s again we find that those at the low end earn around $34K per year while salaries can reach over $106.5K for those in the top 10% of their field.
Education, Training and Certification
For those individuals looking to enter the food science industry at least one post-secondary degree is required. To begin with, successful food scientists must start with a bachelor’s degree in food or agricultural science. This is the first step in becoming involved in the food science field and often times employers in the food processing, food manufacturing or farming fields will hire individuals with a B.A. in either of those subjects.
But like many professions out there, the more education one has, there are more opportunities available in expanding food science industries.
Obtaining a Master’s degree in Food Science opens many more doors for prospective food scientists. By completing a Master’s in Food Science, successful candidates will have tremendous knowledge in the areas of food microbiology, food chemistry, and food preservation. These are only a few areas of expertise someone with a Master’s in Food Science will be knowledgeable in, but they are also some of the more important topics concerning the profession.
Finally, for those looking to be employed at a university or college in this industry, a PhD is typically required. Food research methods are a big part of what someone in food science dedicates their working hours to, and obtaining a PhD enables the individual to understand how to acquire and apply their findings.
Where Food Scientists work – Industries
I have already touched on the idea that those with a Master’s or PhD in Food Science can find employment at colleges or universities, but there are also plenty of opportunities in a large number of other industries.
There are nearly 14,000 food scientists employed in the United States today and they can be found in industries like grain and oilseed milling, scientific food research and development, management of food-related enterprises, or animal, dairy, or other food manufacturing.
Where Food Scientists work – Location
Generally those with a degree in Food Science can find positions available all across the United States, but there are some specific states that do present more opportunities than others. The top five states in terms of most people employed in food science are, in order; California (2,000+ jobs), Minnesota (1,300+), Texas (1,000+), Wisconsin (750+), and Georgia (650+). There are a few other states that have more than 500 food scientists working within their borders and they include Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee.