Dairy Scientist

Develop better, safer dairy products through research and experimentation.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Dairy Scientists do?

Got milk? A Dairy Scientist does. More than a mere Milkmaid, you know all there is to know about the production of this frothy goodness, from the moment the milk leaves the cow to the second it hits the store shelves.

Splitting your time between the dairy farm and research facilities, you put the principles of chemistry, physics, engineering, and bacteriology to work developing new ways to improve traditional practices at dairies. Your main responsibility as a Dairy Scientist is to conduct experiments to determine the effect of certain factors on milk and other dairy products.

For example, you may theorize that adding a specific protein to milk makes it resistant to bacteria growth. To test your theory, you add the protein to a sample of milk, and then compare the bacteria growth of your sample to that of untreated milk. You collect the data over a set timeframe to determine whether bacteria growth was affected at all.

Some Dairy Scientists specialize in a specific dairy product, such as ice cream, cheese, or yogurt, while others specialize in certain areas of dairy production, such as storage, sanitation, or the milk production of cows.

Typically employed by research facilities, milk producers, wholesalers, and equipment designers, you have the opportunity to choose your work environment based on the industry. If you want to spend more time outside with the animals, for example, working for a milk producer might be better than working for an equipment design firm.

No matter what option you choose for your career, though, you can be sure you’ll never look at that glass of milk or scoop of ice cream the same way again. You know it’s safe because you helped make it safe!

Should I be a Dairy Scientist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • How to become a Dairy Scientist

    Most Dairy Scientists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaadz9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2825%25%29|master%27s+%2822%25%29|doctorate+%2853%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,53
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