Food scientist Food technologist
Food scientists and food technologists develop food and drink products, making sure they are safe to consume.
1. Entry requirements
You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in a subject like food science, food studies or food technology. Employers may also accept other subjects like chemistry or nutrition.
Another way in is to start out as a lab technician and study towards qualifications while you work.
2. Skills required
- analytical skills
- the ability to explain ideas to other scientists and production staff
3. What you'll do
As a food scientist, you'll:
- provide accurate nutritional information for food labelling
- investigate ways to keep food fresh, safe and attractive
- find ways to save time and money in food making
- test the safety and quality of food
As a food technologist, you'll:
- blend new ingredients to invent and modify recipes
- conduct experiments and produce sample products
- design production processes and machinery
You'll need to follow industry regulations.
Starter: £20,000 to £25,000
Experienced: £25,000 to 30,000
Highly Experienced: £30,000 to £45,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 9am to 5pm. You may have to work shifts to cover production runs.
You'll work in laboratories and research departments or on production lines, monitoring operations and quality control. You may need to travel to warehouses, distribution centres and suppliers' factories.
6. Career path and progression
You could work for a range of organisations involved in researching and developing new products, including:
- food manufacturers and supermarkets
- government and university research establishments
- local authorities
You could improve your career prospects by getting Registered Scientist (RSci) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) status through the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
With experience you could become a project leader or manage a department like research and development or quality control. You could also move into fields like chemical engineering, agricultural research, toxicology or nutrition science.
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Last updated: 11 April 2017