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2021 Food Science Technology Degree Guide

Are you interested in coming up with new foods and flavors? Have you ever wondered why some foods are healthy while others aren't? You may be interested in a career in Food Science Technology.

Food Scientists know everything about food from growing and packaging to manufacturing, distributing, and eventually eating. Food Science Technology majors take classes in biology, chemistry, human physiology, and nutrition to understand agricultural products processing, food additives, food preparation and packaging, storage and shipment. Students also learn how food relates to human health and safety issues surrounding types of fertilizers and other chemicals.

While students have the option to major in Food Science in general, there is the option to specialize on the production process by studying Food Technology and Processing.

Food Science Technology Degrees Remain Stable

#183 Most Popular Major
2.1k Degrees Awarded
0.0% Increase in Graduates

Food Science Technology was the 183rd most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 2,100 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 0.0% from the prior year's total of 2,099 food science tech degrees awarded.

Approximately 67 colleges in the U.S. offer a food science technology degree of some kind. Explore this or one of our many other custom food science tech rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Food Science Technology

Successful food scientists are detail oriented and enjoy collecting and analyzing data. Some of their tasks may include testing food for nutrition and safety or engineering a new crop, so precision is important. Analytical and critical thinking will allow for advancement in this field. Strong science skills, especially in biology and chemistry, are also necessary.

Unlike many careers in agriculture, a career in Food Science Technology will typically have an average 40-hour workweek. Most graduates find work in laboratories, research offices, and in processing plants, which have typical work hours.

Although it is not necessary, an internship in Food Science Technology would be helpful. This will give you the opportunity to work with an established food scientist and experience gathering and analyzing data. It also allows the opportunity to experience the field and decide if this is the right career path.

Getting Accepted Into a Food Science Technology Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic food science technology program qualifications, to serve in some food science tech careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Food Science Technology Degree Types

There are many different food science tech degree levels. Food Science Technology programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest food science tech degree you can get. Different food science technology degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to food science tech, with approximately 29.4% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for food science tech workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 30.6%
Master’s Degree 20.4%
Doctoral Degree 14.4%
High School Diploma 9.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.8%

About 77.3% of workers in careers related to food science tech obtain at least bachelor's degrees. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in food science technology have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the food science tech career you are seeking.

Food Science Tech Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$42.4k Average Starting Salary
6% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Typically, Food Science majors work in research labs or in processing plants. Many students find themselves working for colleges, universities, and professional schools in their labs. Since this is a wide major, there are many career options available to graduates. You will be equipped with extensive knowledge on the chemical makeup of food and how it relates to human nutrition. This opens the possibility of working for both the public and private sector, testing, creating and processing various types of foods.

Growth Projected for Food Science Tech Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your food science tech degree? Food Science Technology careers are expected to grow 6.5% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to food science technology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians 29,200 6.2%
Food Scientists and Technologists 18,000 5.9%
Agricultural Sciences Professors 13,600 7.9%

How Much Money Do People With a Food Science Tech Degree Make?

Recently graduated food science technology students earned an average of $42,382 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $25,100 to as high as $79,400. As you might expect, salaries for food science tech graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Food Science Tech Careers

Salaries for food science technology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers food science tech grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Food Scientists and Technologists $72,570
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians $44,170

Getting Your Food Science Technology Degree

With over 173 different food science tech degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased food science tech school rankings to help you with this.

Food Science Technology is one of 13 different types of Agriculture & Agriculture Operations programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 7,646
Animal Science 7,614
General Agriculture 3,456
Plant Sciences 3,064
Agricultural Production 2,452

View All Food Science Tech Related Majors >


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