Career summary

Details for Food Science Technicians


Description

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

Tasks

  • Record or compile test results or prepare graphs, charts, or reports.
  • Conduct standardized tests on food, beverages, additives, or preservatives to ensure compliance with standards and regulations regarding factors such as color, texture, or nutrients.
  • Maintain records of testing results or other documents as required by state or other governing agencies.
  • Taste or smell foods or beverages to ensure that flavors meet specifications or to select samples with specific characteristics.
  • Monitor and control temperature of products.
  • Compute moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients, formulas, or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures.
  • Perform regular maintenance of laboratory equipment by inspecting, calibrating, cleaning, or sterilizing.
  • Analyze test results to classify products or compare results with standard tables.
  • Provide assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.
  • Train newly hired laboratory personnel.
  • Measure, test, or weigh bottles, cans, or other containers to ensure that hardness, strength, or dimensions meet specifications.
  • Mix, blend, or cultivate ingredients to make reagents or to manufacture food or beverage products.
  • Prepare or incubate slides with cell cultures.
  • Examine chemical or biological samples to identify cell structures or to locate bacteria or extraneous material, using a microscope.
  • Order supplies needed to maintain inventories in laboratories or in storage facilities of food or beverage processing plants.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Related careers

  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Microbiologists
  • Soil and Plant Scientists