Food Science Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Food Products and Processing Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Records or compiles test results or prepares graphs, charts, or reports.
  • Conducts standardized tests on food, beverages, additives, or preservatives to ensure compliance with standards and regulations regarding factors such as color, texture, or nutrients.
  • Maintains records of testing results or other documents as required by state or other governing agencies.
  • Tastes or smells foods or beverages to ensure that flavors meet specifications or to select samples with specific characteristics.
  • Monitors and controls temperature of products.
  • Computes moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients, formulas, or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures.
  • Performs regular maintenance of laboratory equipment by inspecting, calibrating, cleaning, or sterilizing.
  • Analyzes test results to classify products or compare results with standard tables.
  • Provides assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.
  • Trains newly hired laboratory personnel.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Biotechnician -- Works with biologists studying living organisms and helps maintain, set up and operate laboratory equipment; makes observations, calculating and recording results; and analyzes organic substances, such as blood, food and drugs.
  • Brew Master -- Responsible for duties that are related to beer making, which include making one of a kind beer recipe, preparing beer mixtures, keeping an eye on fermenting process, and controlling the quality of the products.
  • Dairy Technologist -- Applies principles of bacteriology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and economics to develop new and improved methods in production, preservation, and utilization of milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products.
  • Fermentologist -- Specializes in wine making.
  • Bottle House Quality Control Technician --
  • Cheese Tester --
  • Confectionery Technologist --
  • Food Quality Technician --