|Also Known As|
|Food Science Technicians||Food Techs|
Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and the basic concepts of food processing. Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food.
Food science techs work independently or provide technical support in laboratory analysis, food product development, processing, food microbiology, research or quality assurance, or regulatory positions. They usually work in a laboratory, conducting food experiments, cleaning up, and helping food scientists.
Food science techs may work in one of four areas:
They may have duties such as:
Food science techs should have good organizational skills. They should be curious and be creative when solving problems. They should enjoy using instruments and equipment with precision and enjoy analyzing data and running sampling and analysis programs. They should also have good interpersonal skills and work well as part of a team.
Food science techs work for the following types of organizations:
These organizations are involved in:
Most of the jobs in the food processing industry are in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
Food science techs work in laboratories and processing plants. In some working environments, they may be required to work shifts.
Food techs generally work a standard 35 to 40 hours per week. However in some jobs, evening and weekend shifts may be required in order to meet deadlines.
Food science techs need post-secondary education in a related field such as chemical technology, chemistry, biochemistry or microbiology. There are many post-secondary programs specific to food science in Canada.
The Canadian Institute for Food Technology provides the following information about food science programs:
For a list of food science programs in Canada, see http://cifst.ca/default.asp?ID=992
Many employers require HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training and/or certification. HACCP is a food safety system that is a scientific approach to controlling microbiological, chemical, or physical hazards geared toward preventing contamination. It is followed worldwide to support the needs of a standardized food safety and quality system in a global economy. This training and certification can be done at many schools and private training organizations.
There are also short courses available on various topics within food science that may help in learning specializations to prepare for work in the field. For one example, see the public training available at the Guelph Food Technology Centre, an independent technology centre specializing in food, at http://www.gftc.ca/training-education/open-enrolment-courses. Topics include food safety and quality, research and development, food microbiology, and food safety training.
Employers may test language ability because it is important for workers to understand instructions and share information to complete tasks properly and work safely.
Food science techs use communication skills on the job in many ways:
To see examples of how other Essential Skills are used by food science techs and other types of chemical techs in the workplace go to Explore Careers by Essential Skills on the Working in Canada website.
The ability to speak and write in multiple languages can be an advantage in Canada’s multicultural environment.
Wages are affected by the workers’ level of education, work experience, and job responsibilities, plus the job location, work conditions, and whether the workforce is unionized or not. The figures provided below reflect a national average for low, median (mid-point), and high wages (before taxes).
|$15 per hour||$24 per hour||$39 per hour|
|$31,200 per year||$49,920 per year||$81,120 per year|
For wage information in specific regions or cities in Canada, see Working in Canada’s Explore Careers by Wages.
Jobs are available after studying at the diploma level, undergraduate (degree) level, and post-graduate levels in this field, so there is good opportunity for continued learning and career advancement.
Most new graduates start as technicians, often in junior positions. Experienced food science technologists can move into:
Because of the global issues with food and food production, there are opportunities with international food agencies such as the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), or PLENTY Canada.
For general career information and job search ideas, refer to the Introductory Page.
More details about Food Science Technology are available at: