Food technologists are responsible for the research and development of new food and drink products. They also work to improve the quality of existing products, processes, packaging, storage, and safety of foodstuffs.
If you’re a hands-on person with plenty of patience and persistence, you’re knowledgeable about food, and love science – this career could be right up your alley.
- Good project and time management skills
- Make quick decisions
- Strong problem solving skills
- Great communication skills – verbal and written
- Attention to detail
- Able to work well under pressure
- Ensure safe and hygienic conditions are maintained during processing, storage and packaging of food
- Check raw ingredients and processed food for nutritional value, safety and quality
- Undertake basic and applied research into aspects of food processing, food preservation, food quality, food deterioration, packaging, storage and delivery
- Check foods for colour, texture and taste
- Demonstrate products to clients, compare and report with other products on the market
- Develop new products and food standards, quality control procedures, and devise the techniques needed to produce these foods and maintain quality during storage
- Analyse results and experimental data
- Supervise and coordinate the transportation of foodstuffs, work of technicians, cleaning and maintenance of food processing machinery
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Low – around 22% of Food Technologists work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Food Technologists’ salary (average) $73,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries greatly vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Stable (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will be doing most of your work indoors.
Food Technologists are most in demand in these locations:
This is a small occupation, with around 1,200 people working as Food Technologists in Australia in 2021 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). A majority of Food Technologists are employed in Victoria and New South Wales. Most Food Technologists work in the Manufacturing, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries.
How to become a Food Technologist in Australia
You will usually need a degree in a relevant field, such as science or health, to work as a Food Technologist.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths. Biology and Chemistry could also be helpful.
Step 2 – Complete a relevant undergraduate degree. This could be things like food science, nutrition, health, dietetics, and more.
Step 3 – You might also like to consider other relevant qualifications, such as First Aid and safe food handling courses.
Step 4 – Start working as a Food Technologist.
Step 5 – Consider specialising in a particular area, such as fermentation, microbiology, product design, or more.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What options are there for career progression?
There are lots of areas you might like to specialise in once you have lots of experience. These include food microbiology, fermentation, genetic modification, product design, and more.
Do I need to go to university to become a Food Technologist?
Yes, you will usually need a university-level qualification in order to work as a Food Technologist in Australia.
Where do Food Technologists work?
Food Technologists can work in research laboratories, manufacturing plants and factories, for government bodies or private companies.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Food Technologist?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Food Technologist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Get lots of hands-on experience with food; cook meals at home, take cooking classes or learn how to make your own fermented drinks, or study food technology subjects at school.
- See if you can find work experience in health or science. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
- Talk to a Food Technologist to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in Food Technology.