Inside Food Technician Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Food Technologist: "* Working with military and government experts in their fields. * Travel to government agencies and military installations to meet and talk with soldiers, ask their opinion of the rations they eat and what they like and dislike about them. * Working with industry experts in food research and development who manufacture the food products for the military. * Sensory evaluation education and training to conduct in-house research and field studies with soldiers on rations. * Attending food technology and related conferences; presenting briefings and posters sessions." (2009)

Laboratory Technician: "The best parts of my job are the new things I'm learning and exploring a field that has always interested me. I find "CSI" and "Quincy"-type shows on TV fascinating. I have a great and very patient boss who is always ready to answer questions and share his knowledge and laboratory techniques with me. This field was very new to me so things were a bit slow in the beginning. But I've discovered that even as a 'mature' (51-year old) worker I can still be pretty sharp. The mind really is a use-it-or-lose-it sort of thing and I plan to keep it exercised as long as I can! I was encouraged to go back to college and am wading through all sorts of classes that will make me a better employee, maybe give me some job stability and an associate's degree too. As for negatives, I don't have any yet. I've been there 3 1/2 years and still like going to work." (2009)

Career Background

Food Technician

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Career Video

Career Tips

"Courses You Should Take...
Attend a college that has a food technology or food science major and research facility. Dietetics and food and nutrition are also related areas of study. Take as many food courses as possible. I would also recommend taking math and statistics, business, marketing, communication and writing as these will help you every day. Be sure you computer skills and knowledge are up-to-date. Take an internship with or without pay. It'll help you decide if you like the field you've chosen. Attend job fairs or career days at your college placement office and talk to representatives from many companies, industries. Attend conferences held by professional organizations in your field. Check the college bulletin board. Ask your professors; go to lectures/sessions, exhibits." (Food Technologist; 2009)

"Requirements For A Lab Job...
If the sciences interest you, you gravitate towards forensic-type TV shows or books, like attention to detail and are good at working independently as well as a part of a team, a lab job might be right for you. There are many dimensions to a job like this. Computer skills, math, attention to detail as well as cool equipment and lab coats are parts of a job that could contribute, potentially, to the discovery of a new 'miracle' drug, or keep our food and water safe. Try an internship (these are often unpaid) to get a feel for what a particular lab does. Then formulate a plan that involves the science, math and computer skills you will need. Going to school and working part-time is very doable and can help tailor your education as well as the final path you decide on." (Laboratory Technician; 2009)