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Food Safety Careers

Start an In-Demand Career

The CDC estimates that every year, one in six Americans will suffer from a foodborne illness. Since the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2014, there is a great need for trained, competent employees in the food industry to protect the world from foodborne illnesses.

Food safety professionals apply chemistry, microbiology and engineering principles to food processing technology. Benefits of a career in food safety include:

  • Job Security: There will always be a need for qualified employees in the area of food safety because we will always need safe food.
  • Career Mobility and Variety: You can work virtually anywhere along the production chain—from working for an ingredient company or a meat processor to working for the government.
  • A Comfortable Living: The reported median salary for food scientists is just under $60,000 per year. The projected employment of Agricultural and Food Scientists is expected to increase 10%!

Career Options

Agricultural and Food Scientists

Ensure productivity and safety of food processing and agricultural production. Work in research universities, the private sector, or the federal government. Most agricultural and food scientists work full-time in offices, laboratories, and/or in the field.

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Measure and analyze the quality of food and agricultural products, under the supervision of scientists. They work in offices, laboratories, and in processing plants.

Food Processing Operators

Depending on their specific position, they set up, operate, and tend cooking equipment that mixes, blends, cooks or otherwise processes ingredients. Most food processing operators work full-time and positions include food batch makers, equipment operators, and tenders.


Study the growth, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. Microbiologists work in laboratories and offices where they conduct scientific experiments and analyze the results. Most microbiologists work full-time and keep regular hours.

Chemists and Material Scientists

Study the molecular interactions of food ingredients. Their research has a wide range of applications, including food safety. These professionals mostly work full-time and keep regular hours.


Investigate the causes of disease and other public health problems to prevent them from spreading or creating another outbreak.  Epidemiologists report findings to public policy officials and to the general public and work in health departments, offices, universities and laboratories. Some do fieldwork, conduct interviews ,and collect samples for analyses. Epidemiologists must use safety precautions to minimize their exposure when fieldwork requires interacting with sick patients.

Get Started

Enroll in a Food Science program: