What Factors Affect a Food Scientist's Salary?

YaShekia King

Food scientists are individuals who study better ways to package and deliver food items by applying concepts from subjects such as microbiology and chemistry. A food scientist’s salary is based on his or her level of education and years of field experience. His or her pay also depends on the type of area in which he or she lives, as well as whether he or she has been certified in this industry.

A food scientist's pay is based off of their schooling and experience.
A food scientist's pay is based off of their schooling and experience.

An individual’s amount of completed education has an impact on his or her salary in this field. For instance, most positions in this line of work require a person to have a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some people pursue two-year master’s degrees or four- to five-year doctoral degrees so that they are eligible for university research opportunities. A person who earns an advanced degree at the graduate school level can demand a higher food scientist’s salary because he or she has completed more research and studied methods for preserving and storing food in an in-depth fashion. Employers are essentially willing to compensate him or her at a higher level due to his or her greater amount of knowledge.

The amount of time that a person has spent in this line of work directly impacts his or her income as well. An employee who has worked less than one year in this industry can expect to earn a food scientist’s salary that is about three times less than that of a veteran who has been in the field for 20 years or more. More experience in the industry usually results in higher pay because an individual can become an expert in his or her line of work and thoroughly master his or her responsibilities after several years. This allows a company to be more efficient and profitable than it would be if trying to train a novice.

A food scientist’s salary is additionally based on the location in which he or she lives. An employer such as a laboratory, college, or manufacturing company in a larger city tends to have more customers that require its services. As a result, an employer in an urban area generally brings in more money and thus can pay a bigger salary to an individual in the field than a smaller establishment in a rural area can.

Although being certified is not a requirement in this industry, it does help a person to become employed and receive more pay. Certification comes from field societies and requires that a professional take and pass an exam. The individual also must agree to follow an ethical code in the industry and complete continuing education requirements. A person can expect his or her food scientist’s salary to be higher if he or she earns this type of credential because the designation shows future employers that he or she truly is qualified to work in a role in this vocational area.

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