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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: 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) 
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

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
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Chemical technologists and technicians
NOC code: 2211

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 16 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 18, 2021 and May 17, 2022.

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.
Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests and analyses
Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests and analyses
Assist in set up and conduction of chemical experiments
Assist in developing and conducting sampling and analysis
Assist in developing and conducting sampling and analysis
Assist in set up and conduction of chemical experiments
Area of Specialization: Analytical chemistry
Prepare solution of gas or liquid, reagents, and sample formulations
Analytical Techniques: Sampling
Compile records and interpret experimental or analytical results
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • 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.

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.


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 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

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.

In Alberta, the 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

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
$30.56
Per Hour
Average Salary
$60,911.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 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.

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.


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.

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
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

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

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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