CHICAGO — After a small dip in 2011, salaries for food scientists have bounced back. U.S. members of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) earned a median salary of $90,000 last year, according to the 2013 IFT Employment and Salary Survey. The total was up 3.4 percent ($87,700), from the 2011 survey which included the time frame just after the recession of 2007-2009.
Responses to the wide-ranging survey suggest that the economic climate is taking less of a toll on food science and careers than it did two years ago—42 percent of survey respondents stated that the economy has had no impact on employment within their organization.
This survey is conducted every two years and is sent to IFT members in the United States. Nearly 4,000 members responded to the survey, which is a 25 percent response.
Highlights from the survey include:
- For the first time in the history of the IFT survey, women respondents represent a slight majority (52 percent). Among those under age 30, women account for 65 percent of respondents.
- A total of 87 percent of survey respondents are either highly (39 percent) or somewhat (48 percent) satisfied with their jobs.
- Among survey respondents, the average work week is 45 hours; 19 percent of respondents reported working in excess of 50 hours weekly.
- Intellectual stimulation is the number one contributing factor to job satisfaction by a very wide margin, chosen by just over half (51 percent) of respondents.
- For the first time, the survey included international respondents. Median food science salaries around the globe (converted to U.S. currency) ranged from $16,600 in the Philippines to $102,689 in Australia.
In addition, the survey included salaries for those individuals with a Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential. IFT debuted the CFS credential in 2013 to recognize the applied scientific knowledge and skills of food scientists, and the Employment and Salary Survey suggests that it is indeed a beneficial designation. According to survey data, CFS recipients earn a median salary of $101,000 vs a median of $81,048 for those who do not have CFS certification. CFS certification is obtained by passing an exam that tests food scientists on a central body of knowledge that defines the core professional competencies of a food scientist.
To read the full results of the IFT Employment and Salary Survey, visit http://bit.ly/1lDJRdm
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.