Food Safety Careers

We need YOU!

The CDC estimates that every year, 1 in 6 Americans will suffer from a foodborne illness. In a food safety career, you would be able to work towards protecting the world from foodborne illnesses. Since the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2014, there is a great need for trained, competent employees in the food industry. We need YOU to step up and protect our nation. With a degree in Food Science you can help keep your friends, family, and nation safe by preventing foodborne illness outbreaks.

Cartoon of Uncle Sam saying, "We need you in food safety careers."
  • Do you want to make an impact?
  • Do you want to help people?
  • Do you want to do something that touches the life of every human being?
Picture of a man working in a food safety lab working a food safety career.

Do you have what it takes?

The food industry needs passionate, driven individuals who are dedicated to keeping a safe food source. Do you have in interest in health, math, food, science, regulation, or serving the public? These are all areas that are integrated into a career in food safety. If this sounds like you, then earning a degree in Food Science is the next step to a career in Food Safety.

  • Are you passionate?
  • Are you driven?
  • Are you dedicated?

What are jobs in food safety like?

  • Applied Science. Food safety professionals apply chemistry, microbiology, and engineering principles to food processing technology.
  • Career Mobility. You can work virtually anywhere along the production chain- from working for an ingredient company or a meat processor to working for the government. There are so many different job titles to choose from!
  • Job Security. There will always be a need for qualified employees in the area of food safety because we will always need safe food.
  • A Comfortable Living. The reported median salary for food scientists is just under $60,000 per year. The projected employment of Agricultural and Food Scientists is expected to increase 10%!
Agricultural and Food Scientists. 

Ensure productivity and safety of food processing and agricultural production. They mostly work in research universities, the private sector, or the federal government. They work in offices, laboratories, and in the field. Most agricultural and food scientists work full time.

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Agricultural and food science technicians measure and analyze the quality of food and agricultural products, under the supervision of scientists. They work in offices, laboratories, and in processing plants.

Food Processing Operators

Depending on their specific position, they set up, operate, and tend cooking equipment that mixes, blends, cooks, or otherwise processes ingredients in manufacturing food products. They work in food processing facilities. Facilities are usually loud and may be hot or cold, depending on the goods being produced. Most food processing operators work full-time. This category includes food batch makers, equipment operators and tenders.


Study the growth, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. Microbiologists work in laboratories and offices where they conduct scientific experiments and analyze the results. Most microbiologists work full time and keep regular hours.

Chemists and Material Scientists

Study the molecular interactions of food ingredients. Their research has a wide range of applications, including food safety. These professionals tend mostly work full time and keep regular hours.


Investigate the causes of disease and other public health problems to prevent them from spreading or creating another outbreak. They report their findings to public policy officials and to the general public and work in health departments, offices, universities, and laboratories. Some do fieldwork to conduct interviews and collect samples for analyses. Epidemiologists must use safety precautions to minimize their exposure when fieldwork requires interacting with sick patients.

How to get started

Enroll in a Food Science bachelor's degree program!

You can find a career almost anywhere around the country or even the world. North Carolina is home to the headquarters for many companies including: Krispy Kreme, Mt. Olive Pickle Company, and Lowes Foods.
Get Qualified
You’ll be able to earn a degree in 4 years or less! And at NC State you can earn a Food Safety Manager Certificate while you complete your regular coursework.
There are many scholarship opportunities within the food science field for eager students.

Click here to learn more about scholarships

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