Food Technologist

Devise new ways of processing and packaging food.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $106,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Food Technologists do?

A Food Technologist makes food safer, healthier, and more readily available for us to eat. As a Food Technologist, you deal with all food types, from packaged noodles to fresh pork to lettuce. That’s quite a range of products, so Food Technologists usually specialize in one area, such as packaging or nutrition.

You work hand in hand with Food Scientists, who gather information and perform research on different foods. With their results, you work to develop new techniques for processing, packaging, storing, shipping, or preserving. Flash freezing chicken breasts and dehydrating fruit are a few examples of techniques developed by Food Technologists.

Your goals are to find ways to process foods at the peak of freshness, package them in safe ways, and deliver them to the grocery stores loaded with nutrients. To achieve this, you evaluate packaging and delivery systems. Will meat be exposed to air? Should the strawberry containers have holes? Does the refrigeration system maintain optimum temperature during transport?

The answers to these questions help you develop more effective systems with the help of Food Scientists. You work in the lab, performing research and experiments. If you discover that unsweetened baking chocolate loses its ability to melt properly after one year, you work with government agencies to correct expiration dates on the product.

In the lab, in the field, or on the production line, you use your scientific understanding of food, combine it with your knowledge of industry and government specifications, and make food safer for the rest of us.

Should I be a Food Technologist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Research Food Technologist, Seafood Technology Specialist

    How to become a Food Technologist

    Most Food Technologists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9qg&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2873%25%29|master%27s+%2819%25%29|doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,73
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