Food Scientist Salary
Job Description for Food Scientist
Food scientists perform a variety of tasks related to the production, testing and consumption of food. They may work in quality assurance within a production facility, testing for levels of various nutrients and the presence or absence of microbes (which are essential to proper nutritional labeling and food safety). Food scientists may perform routine checks of the product throughout the production process to verify the finished product is prepared correctly. Some food scientists may even develop new techniques to improve and streamline the production process or create new, improved packaging uniquely suited to the product. An agricultural food scientist works with farmers on a variety of tasks, including soil analysis, and provides advice about crop growth.Read More...
Food scientists generally work full time during regular business hours, and travel may be required depending on the scientists' employer and specialty. They frequently travel to various production facilities to ensure all applicable safety and labeling standards are being met by their organization. These scientists' environment may vary; for example, agricultural food scientists may spend much of their day outdoors working with farmers; other types of food scientists may spend nearly all of their time indoors in laboratory and production settings, working with food producers, lab assistants and other scientists.
Food scientist positions typically require at least a bachelor's degree in food science, agricultural science or a related field. A period of training lasting from a few weeks to a year (depending on the complexity of their tasks) is usually provided to new hires by a senior food scientist. Many university-affiliated employers prefer to hire food scientists with a master's degree or higher, and voluntary certifications may be preferred as well.
Food Scientist Tasks
- Design, execute, and interpret scientific experiments to develop and optimize products.
- Understand plant equipment and processes to appropriately create solutions.
- Research, identify, and implement new practices to reduce costs and improve quality.
- Document specifications for materials, production, and finished products.
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Popular Skills for Food Scientist
Survey results show that Food Scientists use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Product Development, Project Management, Food Process Engineering, and Windows Operating System General Use are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people who know Microsoft Office also know Microsoft Excel.
Pay by Experience Level for Food Scientist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Food Scientists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $54K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $66K. On average, Food Scientists make $75K following one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $76K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Food Scientists, working in the bustling city of Cincinnati has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Food Scientists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+31 percent), Boston (+27 percent), San Francisco (+24 percent), and Minneapolis (+14 percent). Food Scientists in New York make 20 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Columbus and Los Angeles (18 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).
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Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.