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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 Shrinking in Popularity

#183 Most Popular Major
2.2k Degrees Awarded
-1.8% 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 2,222 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.8% reduction in food science tech degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -2,262.

The United States has 67 different schools where you can get a degree in food science technology. This year's Best Colleges for Food Science Technology ranking compares 34 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom food science tech rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting 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.

Food Science Tech Degree Program Entry Requirements

food science technology degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional food science tech certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Food Science Technology Degree Types

There are various different levels of food science tech degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in food science technology to something that takes less time like a associate's. Depending on the food science technology degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

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. People currently working in careers related to food science tech tend obtained the following education levels.

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 degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in food science technology careers have.


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

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Food Science Tech Graduate

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%

Food Science Tech Degree Salary Potential

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 216 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.

Majors Similar to Food Science Tech

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536

View All Food Science Tech Related Majors >


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