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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.

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

  • 2211.1: Chemical Technologists

2006 NOC-S

  • C111: Chemical Technologists and Technicians

2011 NOC

  • 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians

2016 NOC

  • 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians

2021 NOC

  • 22100: Chemical technologists and technicians

2023 OaSIS

  • 22100.01: Chemical technologists
Duties
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Food science technologists work in 1 of 4 areas:

  • Applied research and development involves 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 entails 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 plant workers develop production specifications, schedule and evaluate processing operations, and evaluate storage operations. They may work in supervisory or management positions.
  • Regulatory agencies inspect 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 22, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

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

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Chemical Technologists

2006 NOC: 2211.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 22, 2023

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Chemical technologists and technicians

2016 NOC: 2211

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 52 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 18, 2021 and May 21, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Attention to detail
Construction Specialization: Organized
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Tasks: Compile records and interpret experimental or analytical results
Tasks: MS Office
Tasks: Assist in set up and conduction of chemical experiments
Tasks: Assist in developing and conducting sampling and analysis
Other benefits: Free parking available
Tasks: Compile records for analytical studies
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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

Post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer degree programs in biochemistry, chemistry, and microbiology. They also offer transfer programs and related 2-year diploma programs.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Agrology Technologist

Agrology technologists provide services and advice related to environmental and agricultural sciences. They apply their knowledge and skills in resource management, food production, food safety and environmental health.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Agrology Profession Act (PDF) and Agrology Profession Regulation (PDF), registration with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) is mandatory if you meet identified educational and competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Only registered members may call themselves a Registered Technologist in Agrology, or Agrology Technologist in Training.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Agrology Technologist.

Certified Engineering Technologist

Certified engineering technologists (CET) use industry-recognized codes, standards, procedures, and practices to solve problems within their technological areas of expertise. Depending on their duties, they may need supervision by a Professional Engineer, Professional Geoscientist, or Professional Technologist (Engineering / Geoscience).

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and ASET Regulation [pdf], you must register with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the protected title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Certified Engineering Technologist.

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practice independently according to established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering and geoscience. They have the authority to sign off and stamp work within a prescribed scope of practice.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and Professional Technologists Regulation [pdf], you must register with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) to:

  • Practise engineering or geoscience within a prescribed scope of practice
  • Use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience)
  • Use the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.)

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Food science technologists work for food and beverage processing and manufacturing companies as well as private consulting firms. These may be 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:

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians occupational group, 80.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 2.4% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 73 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 22, 2023

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Chemical technologists and technicians

2016 NOC: 2211
Average Wage
$42.15
Per Hour
Average Salary
$81,510.00
Per Year
Average Hours
37.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2211 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.50 $50.24 $34.14 $35.90
Overall $20.52 $63.59 $42.15 $41.28
Top $21.08 $86.31 $46.60 $43.73

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
19%
19%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
5%
5%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
0%
0%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) website: www.albertaagrologists.ca

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

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 22, 2023. 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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