The profession of food science technicians involves research and development to help improve the qualities of food and beverage products. The job happens to be a highly responsible one. These professionals work in close contact with scientists and conduct various kinds of tests on food and agricultural products. Whatever research and tests on food products are performed, food technicians need to comply with the rules and guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration. The field of food and science technology also includes professionals like biological technicians, chemical technicians, environmental science and technicians. The food technician, therefore, would be working in close touch with these professionals, according to the requirement. These professionals do not only perform food and agricultural products test, but they also analyze the end result and maintain a record of these tests. In addition, food and science technology professionals also look after the requirements of the laboratory like ordering supplies, maintenance of inventory and sterilization of laboratory equipment.
Science technician professionals may be required to work in different weather conditions. Mostly, food technicians perform their work in laboratories. Agricultural technicians and environmental science technology professionals spend most of their time working in remote locations. With the advent of advanced technology, food and science technicians need to be quite well versed with the operation of laboratory equipment. Besides traditional and electronic equipment, the field of food and science technology also involves extensive use of computers for the research and development work.
Education & Training of Science Technicians
A 2-year associate’s degree in applied science or other science related technology is what most of the employers look for while hiring science technicians. However, the requirements of employers vary depending on the industry there hire professionals for. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biology can also land you jobs as science technicians. Apart from having a degree in science related technology, candidates also need to possess some on-the-job training, an essential criteria to get most of the jobs in the field of food and science technology. These trainings are given either at the school or from the employer where you join to make your career as food and science technicians. There are a number of graduate degree programs and associate degree programs available for candidates to become food and science technicians.
Laboratory based courses, summer jobs in laboratories and internships are essentially required to kick start your career. Science technician should possess excellent communication skills both in terms of speaking and writing, as they would need to produce their research findings in both the forms. Computer skills, an eye for detail and good analytical skills are the other requirements for the job.
Employment & Earning of Food Science Technicians
Careers opportunities are abundant for graduates in applied science technology, along with laboratory based training. The median hourly earning of food science technicians is around $15.26. More job opportunities will be created in the food processing industry. With the advancement in experience, these technicians will be promoted to supervisory or other managerial positions. Mean annual salary for food science technicians in US is $42,270.