Food Technologist

What will I be doing?
Food technologists develop new, and improve existing, food products and set standards for producing, packaging and marketing food. Food technologists may perform the following tasks:

  • Make sure that hygienic conditions, storage and procedures are maintained during the processing and packaging of food
  • Test raw ingredients and processed food for nutritional value and microbiological quality, and check foods for colour, taste and flavour
  • Develop new products and devise techniques needed to produce these foods
  • Compare products to other brands and participate in surveys which provide information to management about new products
  • Develop quality control procedures for the manufacture of products in plants or factories
  • Analyze results and experimental data
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of other technicians.

What training do I need?
Food technologists need post-secondary education in a related field such as chemical technology, chemistry, biochemistry or microbiology. Four year degree programs and up-to-two year transfer programs in biochemistry, chemistry and microbiology are offered by colleges, university colleges, and universities located throughout Canada.

Two year diploma of technology programs are offered by institutes of technology and colleges.

What kind of salary and working conditions can I expect?
Depending on your level of experience, and your provincial standards, Food Technologists can typically earn up to $89,000 (est.) per year.

Food science technologists work in laboratories and processing plants. In some working environments, they may be required to work shifts. Part-time positions are also available.

What are my career options?
Most new graduates start as technicians, often in junior positions. Experienced food science technologists can move into:

  • Supervisory or administrative positions in quality assurance, inspection or regulation
  • Production management trainee positions leading to plant supervisory positions
  • Marketing and sales
  • New product development, and process research and development
  • Regulatory positions with federal and provincial government agencies