Career and Education Opportunities for Food Science Technicians in Durham, North Carolina
There are many career and education opportunities for food science technicians in the Durham, North Carolina area. There are currently 790 jobs for food science technicians in North Carolina and this is projected to grow by 22% to 960 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for food science technicians are expected to grow by about 8.8%. Food science technicians generally perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
The income of a food science technician is about $16 per hour or $33,610 per year on average in North Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,990 annually on average. Earnings for food science technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Life Science Technical in North Carolina and not quite as good as general Life Science Technical category earnings nationally. People working as food science technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: hazard analysis and critical control point technician , feed mill lab technician, and confectionery technologist.
The Durham area is home to twenty-six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree as a food science technician. The most common level of education for food science technicians is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a food science technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Science Technician
In general, food science technicians perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
Food science technicians record and compile test results, and ready graphs, charts, and reports. Finally, food science technicians analyze test results to classify products, or compare results with standard tables.
Every day, food science technicians are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to write clearly and communicate well. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for food science technicians to compute moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures. They are often called upon to taste or smell foods or beverages to insure that flavors meet specifications, or to decide on samples with specific characteristics. They also furnish assistance to food scientists and technologists in research and development and quality control. They are sometimes expected to conduct standardized tests on food and preservatives to insure adherence to standards and regulations regarding factors such as color and nutrients. Somewhat less frequently, food science technicians are also expected to mix or cultivate ingredients to make reagents or to manufacture food or beverage products.
Food science technicians sometimes are asked to examine chemical and biological samples to pinpoint cell structures and to identify bacteria, or extraneous material, using a microscope. and measure and weigh bottles, cans, and other containers to insure hardness and dimensions that meet specifications. And finally, they sometimes have to analyze test results to classify products, or compare results with standard tables.
Like many other jobs, food science technicians must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Durham include:
- Agricultural Technician. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.
- Biological Sciences Technician. Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
- Chemical Laboratory Technician. Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for purposes, such as research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.
- Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
- Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
- Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
- Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
- Forestry and Wildlife Manager. Compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats, and help provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.
- Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
- Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Food Science Technician Training
North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27695-7001. North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a large university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,871 students and an admission rate of 60%. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has 4 areas of study related to Food Science Technician. They are:
- Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
- Crop Production, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
- Animal Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-four, thirteen, and one students respectively in 2008.
- Food Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, nine, and four students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina
Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.