Food Processing Overview

Students who major in Food Processing work to ensure that crops and animal products are healthy and safe for consumption.

In this field, you will take classes on nutrition, health and safety standards, food processing and packaging to learn how to improve the quantity and quality of crops. You will spend time studying math, chemistry, business, agricultural economics, and computer science concepts and how they relate to agricultural production. By the time you finish your degree, you will be able to conduct research and help improve farmers' outputs.

Required Skills

Food Processing is a great career for anyone who enjoys science and performing experiments. Since the products harvested from farms are being used to feed the general population, it is important that the food is continually tested for nutrition and packaged safely. If you choose to focus on crops, you will work on ways to improve processing, packing, and distributing food. Focusing on animals will allow you to find the best ways to preserve products during distribution and advice farmers on the best way increase production.

A career in Agricultural and Food Products Processing requires analytical and critical-thinking skills. You must be able to analyze data with precision and reach conclusions with good judgment and accuracy. This career also requires a strong background in sciences, specifically nutrition, agronomy and crop science, and food science. Depending on the type of food you wish to study, you may be required to have a background in applied chemistry, animal science, and biology.

The best way to gain experience in this field is through an internship. You will work with experienced scientists to learn how to properly conduct experiments, gather data, and analyze your findings.


Graduates who study Food Processing often find jobs as agricultural technicians inspecting food and crops to ensure they comply with safety standards. Other career possibilities include food science technicians, soil and plant scientists, and animal scientists. Typically, food scientists and technologists, as well as soil and plant scientists, earn a bachelor's degree, while most animal scientists earn a Ph.D. Careers in this field are growing at an average rate giving graduates average job prospects upon graduation.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Food Processing might open up.

Agricultural Inspectors
Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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