Food Scientist/Food Technologist
You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in a subject like food science, food studies or food technology. Employers may also accept other subjects like chemistry or nutrition.
Another way in is to start out as a lab technician and study towards qualifications while you work.
- Analytical skills
- The ability to explain ideas to other scientists and production staff
As a food scientist, you'll:
- find ways to save time and money in food making
- provide accurate nutritional information for food labelling
- investigate ways to keep food fresh, safe and attractive
- test the safety and quality of food
As a food technologist, you'll:
- conduct experiments and produce sample products
- blend new ingredients to invent and modify recipes
- design production processes and machinery
You'll need to follow industry regulations.
Working Hours, Patterns and Environment
You'll usually work 9am to 5pm. You may have to work shifts to cover production runs.
You'll work in laboratories and research departments or on production lines in food factories, monitoring operations and quality control. You may need to travel to warehouses, distribution centres and suppliers' factories.
You could work for a range of organisations involved in researching and developing new products, including:
- government and university research establishments
- food manufacturers and supermarkets
- local authorities
You could improve your career prospects by getting Registered Scientist (RSci) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) status through the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
With experience you could become a project leader or manage a department like research and development or quality control. You could also move into fields like chemical engineering, agricultural research, toxicology or nutrition science.