Mary Ellen Kuhn

Compensation appears to have plateaued, but most food scientists find much satisfaction in their jobs, according to the 2011 IFT Membership Employment & Salary Survey.The median salary for U.S.-based members of the Institute of Food Technologists has leveled off over the past two years, according to the 2011 IFT Membership Employment & Salary Survey conducted this past fall. For 2011, the median salary for survey respondents was $87,000, a slight drop of 0.8% compared with the 2009 IFT member median of $87,700. (See Table 1 for an overview of 2011 survey data compared with 2009 data and Table 2 for more details on 2011 median salaries and bonuses.)

Table 1. Key salary survey statistics—2009 and 2011.With t…

Table 2. Median values of salary, cash bonus, and stocks by gender, all degrees, years of experience, and types of business combined.

Figure 1. How has the economic environment affected the employment situation in your workplace?


Figure 2. Comparing IFT member median salary by gender—1993 to 2011. *The 2001 survey was a starting salary survey and therefore overall median salary data for 2001 is not available.


Figure 3. How would you rate your level of job satisfaction? *Total equals more than 100% due to rounding

Figure 4. What factor contributes most to your job satisfaction?

Figure 5. How stressful is your job?

Table 3. Stress and salary: A look at how median salaries correlate with self-reported job stress level.

Figure 6. What is the biggest challenge you face on the job?

Figure 7. How many hours a week do you work?


Table 4. Overview of benefits reported by salary survey respondents.








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