Food technology covers a wide field including food preparation, nutritional sciences, and food packaging. Careers in food technology typically fall into one of these major groups. In addition, some careers are focused on food safety, which includes health inspections of facilities involved in all aspects of food processing, beginning with the growing of foods, all the way through the process until the food is ready for consumption. Careers in food technology, especially relating to food preparation, are considered an area of employment that is steadily growing.
Some careers in food technology start at the very beginning of food manufacturing, and are generally related to agriculture. Salaries for farm workers and harvesters are typically considered the low end of the spectrum, with farm management and agriculture specialists being at the high end. Other food technology careers that focus on agriculture include agricultural engineering, which applies biological science to the growth and harvesting of crops and animals. In addition, careers in developing farm equipment and veterinary medicine are often high-paying food technology careers.
Careers in the field of food nutrition are generally thought of as integral to food technology. Nutritionists study the impact that different foods have on health. They are often responsible for menu planning at both public and government-sponsored food programs. In addition, many health spas and fitness programs hire nutritionists to develop dietary programs.
Food processing and packaging is another field that offers many different types of careers in food technology. Some employment opportunities in this field include food production workers, bakers, and commercial cooks. Food production workers usually work on an assembly line, performing one specific task repeatedly. Pay scale for this type of job is sometimes related to how much the worker can produce in a given timeframe, because speed is typically considered essential. Bakers and cooks who work in large commercial processing plants work with foods in very large quantities, and must be willing to learn to operate commercial cooking appliances.
Food service is usually considered one of the lowest paying careers in food technology. This is especially true in the fast-food industry. Restaurant work, however, can sometimes be quite lucrative, and this is particularly true for wait staff. Some restaurants offer such high earning potential from tipping that prospective employees often bid on the job openings.