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Food Science Technologist

Food science technologists work independently or provide technical support in laboratory analysis, food product development, processing, quality assurance, or regulatory positions.

  • Avg. Salary $60,911.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.56
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 1,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Laboratory Technician / Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Chemical Technologists (2211.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Chemical Technologists and Technicians (C111) 
  • 2011 NOC: Chemical technologists and technicians (2211) 
  • 2016 NOC: Chemical technologists and technicians (2211) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

42%
42%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Food Science Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Chemical Technologists
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus, to operate chemical and petrochemical pilot plants, and to conduct air and water quality testing and assessments

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing data to develop and conduct programs of sampling and analysis to maintain quality standards of raw materials, chemical intermediates and products

METHODICAL

Interest in supervising to oversee environmental monitoring and protection activities and compliance with standards; in assisting in the development of chemical engineering processes, standards, procedures and health and safety measures; in assisting in studies of chemical engineering procurement, construction, inspection and maintenance; and in preparing solutions of gas and liquid, reagents and sample formulations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists work in 1 of 4 areas:

  • Applied research and development - assisting in the development of new processing methods and new or improved foods to meet customer requests for healthier and safer products. In general, food science technologists test products to ensure they meet government and industry standards and satisfy consumer needs. For example, they may test shelf life.
  • Quality control or assurance - checking raw ingredients for freshness, maturity or stability for processing and verifying safety, quality and nutritional value of finished products. They also may develop scientifically based quality assurance programs, inspect processing line operations or develop and improve packaging and storage methods.
  • Processing plants - developing production specifications, scheduling and evaluating processing operations and evaluating storage operations. They may be employed in supervisory or management positions.
  • Regulatory agencies - inspecting food processing operations. For related information, see the Agricultural Commodity Inspector occupational profile.

To ensure food safety, food science technologists monitor hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) programs and take corrective action when necessary.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists work in laboratories and processing plants. They may find themselves working in refrigerated rooms, depending on the product. In some workplaces, they may be required to work shifts.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists need:

  • Organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work well as part of a team
  • Written communication skills for reporting on food processes
  • Intellectual curiosity

They should enjoy:

  • Using instruments and equipment to perform precision tasks
  • Analyzing data
  • Conducting sampling and analysis programs
  • Supervising the work of others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists need post-secondary education in food science or a related field such as chemical technology, chemistry, biochemistry, or microbiology.

Degree programs in biochemistry, chemistry, and microbiology as well as transfer programs and related 2-year diploma programs are offered by post-secondary schools throughout Alberta.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists work for food- and beverage-processing and manufacturing companies as well as private consulting firms involved in:

  • Meat and poultry slaughter and processing
  • Dairy processing
  • Production of cereal grains and their products including flour, cereal, pasta, and snack foods
  • Bakery and confectionery goods manufacturing
  • Vegetable oil refining and product manufacturing
  • Soft drink manufacturing
  • Brewing, winemaking, and distilling
  • Vegetable processing
  • Sugar manufacturing
  • Specialty foods manufacturing

Most new graduates start as technicians, often in junior positions. Experienced food science technologists can move into:

Food science technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2211: Chemical Technologists and Technicians. In Alberta, 83% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Food science technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians.

Chemical technologists and technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $39.00 $25.11 $23.00
Overall $17.50 $52.76 $30.56 $27.88
Top $19.60 $52.76 $33.42 $32.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

42%
42%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

16%
16%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) website: www.aset.ab.ca

Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) website: www.cifst.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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