Food Technologist Jobs
Food technologist jobs… did you know?
Similar jobs: Food scientist
When crisp companies hold competitions asking you to design your own flavour, what flavour would YOU design to excite the taste buds and sell to as many people as possible?
This is just one example of the questions food technologist ask themselves. Food technologists and food scientists make tomorrow’s food safe and delicious today. You could be making sure food labels are giving honest nutrition information, or blending new ingredients to invent or tweak recipes. You could also look into better, safer, cooler, cheaper, safer packaging that keeps food fresh (even when it’s come from the other side of the world).
The world of food technology is endlessly fascinating to you, and you’ll believe there’s always a way to improve on the original.
Industry: Catering and Hospitality
Food technologist job trends
How much money can you make as food technologist?
£20,000 – £45,000 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £20,000 and £45,000 a year as a food technologist or food scientist in the UK.
What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?
School, college and training
Qualifications at school and beyond will help you pick up the knowledge you need to do this job.
If you have at least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 (A* to C) including maths, English and science, that will help you get A-levels (or the equivalent).
From there, you can apply for a foundation degree, degree or HND in a subject like food science, food studies or food technology. That extra post-school study will be very useful if you want a tasty food career that fills you up instead of leaving you hungry for more. Sometimes employers will be just as happy to see you’ve got further education qualifications in less closely related subjects like nutrition.
It’s worth keeping in mind that employers will often expect you to have studied to degree level if you want to get a job in food technology.
Food technology apprenticeships are out there – just search online for ‘food technology apprenticeship’ and see what happens. For example, one large employer (Arla) offers dairy technologist apprenticeships. Get stuck in and you’ll be working towards a foundation degree in dairy technology, paid for by the employer.
Career progression and further qualifications
Being a food technologist or scientist gives you a lot of room to spread your wings. So many people need someone to research and develop new foodstuffs and ingredient combos, including:
- Food manufacturers
- Local authorities
- Research hubs (e.g. universities and government)
You could add an extra chili kick to your career by becoming a Registered Scientist or Chartered Scientist with the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
What experience do you need for food technologist jobs?
If you do a food science degree, you’ll often have opportunities to take on placements with employers. Be sure to snap up those delicious crumbs of opportunity!
One day you could be working in labs or research hubs or even on production lines, so any lab technician work you can add to your CV will be a big help.
It may also help your career mission if you learn to drive. That’s because some food technologist jobs may need you to travel to warehouses, factories and distribution centres.
What skills do you need for food technologist jobs?
Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for food technologist jobs include::
- Great communication skills – it’s important to explain your ideas to other scientists and production people in a clear (and sometimes imaginative) way.
- Problem solving skills – Some of your work will involve research into new ways of doing things, analysis of experiments you’ve carried out, and – yes – solving problems. That’s what makes exploring the unknown fun.
- Teamwork and self-management skills – you’ll often work as part of a team, or network with other departments to make new ideas a reality. At the same time, you’ll be able to carry out your own work without always being told by someone what to do..
- Self-belief – this job is often all about the confidence to try something new. At the same time, learning from mistakes is a big part of self-belief. And carrying out experiments is all about learning from mistakes. Nine times out of ten those experiments won’t work the way you expected, until the tenth time when the magic happens!
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
What do food technologists do?
The work of food technologists and food scientists is slightly different, but in some companies they can overlap.
Your typical job as a food technologist:
Your typical job as a food scientist:
- Give accurate nutrition information for food labels
- Explore ways to keep food fresh, safe to eat and looking good
- Research ways to save time and money in food production
- Check food for good quality, nutritional values and safety.
Your first steps into food technologist jobs
Jobs like these are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:
- Food technologist
- Food product development
- Food scientist
- Laboratory food sample technician
- R&D (research and development) food technologist
- NPD (nutrition and diet) technologist
All these types of job can be a good match for your skills.