Positive Outlook for Food Scientists —Results from the 2015 IFT Employment Salary Survey

February 17, 2016

CHICAGO – The median salary for food science professionals was flat in 2015, however, according to the 2015 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Employment and Salary Survey, that doesn’t mean the outlook for food scientists isn’t positive. Findings from IFT’s recent survey revealed that while earnings have been slow to rebound post-recession, recruiters are indicating demand is strong for professionals with solid skill sets and job satisfaction is high.

The 2015 IFT Employment and Salary Survey examines income, benefits, job satisfaction and stress factors among IFT members who are employed in all types of food science and technology professions. This year’s survey cited a median salary of $90,000 earned by U.S. IFT members last year — exactly the same median salary reported by the biennial IFT survey two years ago. Although the compensation climate has been tepid, job satisfaction and a robust job market show great promise for the industry. Eighty four percent of respondents noted they would definitely or probably choose their profession again.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • The vast majority said they were either highly satisfied (38 percent) or somewhat satisfied (48 percent) with their jobs.
  • For the 72 percent of respondents who received a pay raise within the past 12 months, the median increase was 3.4 percent; 65 percent of respondents reported receiving a bonus.
  • Intellectual stimulation topped the list of factors that contribute to job satisfaction (39 percent) followed by salary and benefits (25 percent).
  • Work-life balance ranks number one on the list of job challenges (41 percent) with management support coming in second (17 percent).
  • The median workweek for respondents was 45 hours; 17 percent of respondents report working more than 50 hours weekly.
  • Healthcare coverage is the benefit that is most important to employees.
  • Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents said their jobs demand new competencies, with new technologies at the head of the list.

Read the full results of the IFT Employment and Salary Survey here. Read an additional article that delves into how women in food science feel about their careers here.

About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.