Career and Education Opportunities for Food Science Technicians in El Paso, Texas
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for food science technicians in the El Paso, Texas area. There are currently 3,510 working food science technicians in Texas; this should grow 19% to about 4,170 working food science technicians in the state 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%. In general, food science technicians 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 $14 hourly or $31,120 yearly on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $33,990 annually on average. Food science technicians earn less than people working in the category of Life Science Technical generally in Texas and less than people in the Life Science Technical category nationally. Food science technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: juice tester, quality technician, and butter fat tester.
The El Paso area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of El Paso 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. You can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 El Paso 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.
- 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.
- 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
New Mexico State University-Main Campus - Las Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University-Main Campus, 2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001. New Mexico State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,198 students and an admission rate of 61%. New Mexico State University-Main Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Animal Sciences which graduated zero, five, and one students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: El Paso, Texas
El Paso is situated in El Paso County, Texas. It has a population of over 613,190, which has grown by 8.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in El Paso, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in El Paso are priced at $150,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 2,521 new homes were built in El Paso, down from 2,666 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in El Paso are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 18.3% of El Paso residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.2%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in El Paso is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of El Paso residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Holiness Church, El Divino Redentor United Methodist Church and El Paso Catholic Church are some of the churches located in El Paso. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
El Paso is home to the Wyler Aerial Tramway and the Old Fort Bliss as well as Travis White Park and Feather Lake Wildlife Refuge. Shopping centers in the area include Las Palmas Shopping Center, NorthPark Shopping Center and Cielo Vista Shopping Center. Visitors to El Paso can choose from Holiday Inn El Paso, Best Western Airport Inn and Allstate Motel for temporary stays in the area.