Earning an undergraduate degree in food science lets you go right to work after college, but completing a Master's in Food Science can help you find a better job that comes with a higher salary. Food science is essentially the study of food and how it impacts people in different ways. Some students find that they love the idea of working with the community at large, but other students prefer working for companies in the private sector. If you want to study this topic in graduate school, now is a good time to find out what jobs are available to you after graduation.
One type of job open to you after graduation is in product development. Every food item you see on the shelves of a grocery store didn't land there overnight. Manufacturers spend years developing new food products and testing those products. As a food science graduate, you'll work behind the scenes to identify the type of foods that the general public wants and how to create those foods. Product developers often create new recipes and test those recipes, and they may also work with the company to develop the packaging of those foods.
If you are detail oriented and have good time management skills, you might seek work as a safety inspector. Safety inspectors typically work in manufacturing plants that make products for human or animal consumption. You are responsible for ensuring that everything that comes from the factory follows all safety regulations and is safe for the product's target audience. Safety inspectors are also responsible for ensuring that the employees working in the factory follow safety standards as well. An outbreak of salmonella caused by a factory's product can ruin the reputation of the manufacturer.
Public Health Educator
Do you prefer being around others and working in the public eye? With your Master's in Food Science, you might find work as a public health educator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a public health educator is over $41,000 a year. The BLS also estimates that this field will grow by a faster than average in the coming years. Public health educators are responsible for helping the public understand the importance of different foods and how those foods can help them stay healthy. You might work for the government or for a small community health center in your city.
Quality assurance jobs are somewhat similar to safety inspector jobs. The key difference is that those working in quality assurance are responsible for ensuring that every product meets the minimum standards of the company. Instead of focusing on the safety and health of those who consume the product, you focus on making sure that each product that leaves the factory is exactly the same as the products sent out earlier. You might perform tests to check the quality of ingredients, sample foods that come off the line or ensure that the ratio of ingredients follows the recipe set by the manufacturer.
Food science is an emerging field of study that focuses on the science behind food. With a Master's in Food Science, you have the option of working in a wide range of settings and for different employers in product development, quality assurance, safety inspection or public health.