Institute of Food Technologists

Career Outlook

Food scientist careers are projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations, ranging from general to highly specialized fields such as food microbiology, food engineering, or product development.

What Kind of Income Can You Make in Science of Food Fields?

Food scientists typically earn salaries competitive with other science and engineering degrees. Most have successfully found a job or earned admission to graduate school months after graduation. According to IFT’s 2017 Employment & Salary Survey Report, the median salary for professionals working in the science of food is $92,000. Food science graduates entering the field received a median salary starting at $50,000.


Careers Represented by Association

Food Quality & Microbiology  Food microbiologists play a critical role in making sure food is safe to consume. They have expertise in a variety of scientific disciplines.

Food Engineering  Food engineers design and develop systems for processing, storing, packaging, and handling food.

Product Development  Developers, working as part of a team, continually strive to create high quality, nutritious products that taste good and are affordable for consumers.

Food Chemistry  Food chemists develop and improve foods and beverages; analyze methods of cooking, canning, freezing, and packaging; and study the effects of processing on food.

Sensory Science  Sensory scientists work to understand the characteristics of foods and how consumers perceive them. They ensure the foods we eat are appealing in addition to being safe and nutritious.

Food Marketing & Sales – Food marketing and sales professionals communicate through technical presentations, trade shows, print and virtual media, and face-to-face meetings with product developers.


Brief Overview


Feeding Tomorrow is the foundation of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Each day, we work to raise both the awareness of and interest in the science of food as a desirable career path. By attracting, retaining, and celebrating the best and brightest minds of the profession, we will ensure the world has the ability to feed a growing and diverse population.

IFT has been a forum for passionate science of food professionals and technologists to collaborate, learn, and contribute, all with the goal of inspiring and transforming collective scientific knowledge into innovative solutions for the benefit of all people around the world. As a scientific community grounded in purpose, IFT feeds the minds that feed the world.

Student Scholarships

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    Typical Education

    Food science professionals receive undergraduate (B.S.) or graduate (M.S., Ph.D.) degrees in food science, food technology, or food engineering, but the field is evolving and becoming increasingly flexible to other science disciplines.



    Educational Opportunities

    Feeding Tomorrow Scholarships assist students pursuing degrees in a variety of disciplines in the science of food at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. These scholarships allow students to focus more on their education and less on their financial burdens, and also inspire them to give back.

    In order to assist with the costs associated with attending IFT Annual Event and Food Expo, Feeding Tomorrow awards a number of Travel Scholarships to students each year.

    Do you want to Learn About Food Science? Do you wonder what the world would be like without food science? Interested in what the day in the life of a food scientist might look like? Or just in need of some new fun experiments?

    Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) will help you become a more successful student by enhancing your future as a food science professional. Take advantage of IFT Student Association (IFTSA) and Chapter opportunities to set yourself apart through competitions, networking, and leadership opportunities.

    Upcoming Events

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