Food Science Technicians

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ABOUT FOOD SCIENCE TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Advances in food and agriculture science are designed to bring healthier conditions and better production value for crops and farm animals and result in new or better food on our tables. Agricultural and food science technicians help scientists in these fields to conduct research, run lab tests, and keep records. Their specific duties differ: Agricultural technicians study ways to increase the productivity of crops and animals. They operate laboratory equipment and collect crop or animal samples to test them for disease or to confirm scientific experiments. They also perform agricultural labor with added recordkeeping duties. Food science technicians investigate new processing techniques. They inspect foodstuffs, chemicals, and additives, compile and analyze test results, and prepare presentations to share research findings. Agricultural and food science technicians work in laboratories, processing plants, farms and ranches, greenhouses, and offices. Workers may be exposed to loud noise, extreme temperatures, and odors from chemicals or animals. They are often physically active throughout the day. Agricultural and food science technicians typically work standard full-time schedules. Some positions require travel. Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate's degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field. However, requirements may vary from a high school diploma and related work experience to a bachelor's degree.

SNAPSHOT
Work with food scientists or technologists to perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products. Includes technicians who assist in research and development of production technology, quality control, packaging, processing, and use of foods.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Train newly hired laboratory personnel.

Measure, test, or weigh bottles, cans, or other containers to ensure that hardness, strength, or dimensions meet specifications.

Perform regular maintenance of laboratory equipment by inspecting, calibrating, cleaning, or sterilizing.

Provide assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.

Compute moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients, formulas, or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures.

Mix, blend, or cultivate ingredients to make reagents or to manufacture food or beverage products.

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.

Analyze test results to classify products or compare results with standard tables.

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.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.