Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 19-1012 Food Scientists and Technologists
Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.
Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
OJT: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Tasks: Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value. Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development. Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences. Develop new food items for production, based on consumer feedback. Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications. Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards. Search for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites. Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience. Demonstrate products to clients. Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards. Stay up-to-date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature. Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing. Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
License: License not required.
Outlook: No Change
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $14.11   Entry $29,342.00
Mean $25.74   Mean $53,525.00
Experience $31.55 Experience $65,621.00

The data is based on the May 2017 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2018.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
Related Occupations: Postsecondary Institutions With Programs:
Biochemical Engineers
Biomedical Engineers
Electronics Engineering Technologists
Environmental Engineers
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
Materials Scientists
Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
No postsecondary schools reported programs.
Occupational Videos
19-1012.00 Food Scientists and Technologists