Food Science Technicians

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About the Job

Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.

It is also Called

  • Yeast Culture Developer
  • Test Baker
  • Technician
  • Technical Services Analyst
  • Taste Tester
  • Sensory Scientist
  • Research Technician
  • Quality Technician
  • Quality Control Technician (QC Technician)
  • Quality Control
View All

What They Do

  • Order supplies needed to maintain inventories in laboratories or in storage facilities of food or beverage processing plants.
  • Examine chemical or biological samples to identify cell structures or to locate bacteria or extraneous material, using a microscope.
  • Prepare or incubate slides with cell cultures.
  • Mix, blend, or cultivate ingredients to make reagents or to manufacture food or beverage products.
  • Measure, test, or weigh bottles, cans, or other containers to ensure that hardness, strength, or dimensions meet specifications.
  • Train newly hired laboratory personnel.
  • Provide assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.
  • Analyze test results to classify products or compare results with standard tables.
  • Perform regular maintenance of laboratory equipment by inspecting, calibrating, cleaning, or sterilizing.
  • Compute moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients, formulas, or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $42,430 with most people making between $24,280 and $63,270

Outlook

1.86%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,300 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,100 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 80 openings due to growth and about 140 replacement openings for approximately 220 total annual openings.