Employment Opportunities

Typical Careers of Graduates

Food Science and Technology Students that complete this concentration generally obtain employment in either research and development or quality assurance. They are employed in the industry as:

  • directors of food product development
  • heads of sensory evaluation divisions
  • senior food scientists
  • managers of quality assurance
  • supervisors in test kitchens
  • directors of consumer services
  • technical representatives.

It is also common for students to further their education by continuing in a doctoral program.

Human Nutritional Science students are focused on dietetics and nutrition with completion of the concentration they are employed in:

  • public health planning programs designed to prevent disease and promote health (i.e., public health clinics, home health agencies and health maintenance organizations);

  • food management in health care facilities, airlines, prisons, colleges, and schools;

  • medical facilities (hospitals, nursing care or assisted living facilities, outpatient care centers, or offices of physicians) where they provide specialized medical nutrition therapy and nutritional counseling (more than half of all jobs are in this area);

  • work under contract in wellness programs, sports teams, and supermarkets or be self employed in their own private consulting practice or

  • private or public educational services.

One in five are employed in local, state or national governmental agencies i.e., county health departments, Veterans Administration. Increased public interest in nutrition has led to divergent job opportunities in advertising and marketing for equipment, pharmaceutical or food manufacturers.

Salary Information

Salaries are very competitive with other professional careers. To obtain the latest information on salary projections, refer to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is updated periodically.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of food scientists and dietitians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through 2014. Employment will be stimulated by a heightened public focus on diet, health, changes in food safety, and bio-security.

Food Scientists:  Biotechnological research will continue to offer possibilities for the development of new food products and food packaging. Opportunities are good for those with a master's degree, particularly for graduates seeking applied research positions in a laboratory. Employment of food scientists is relatively stable during periods of economic recession and layoffs are less likely because food demand fluctuates very little with economic activity.

Dietitians:  A growing and aging population increases the demand for dietitians especially those with a master's degree. Nutritional assessment on an individual bases as well as in larger facilities such as schools, prisons and hospitals will boost the demand for these specialists. Expanded Medicare coverage increases a need for nutrition therapy for renal and diabetic patients.