While most job opportunities are located within the government, there are available food auditor positions at universities and food manufacturing companies. Those interested in pursuing a career as a food auditor should obtain a bachelor's degree in food science, biology or a related field.
Food auditors enforce government regulations regarding food safety and health. They typically need a bachelor's degree for employment. Many types of degree programs in the biological and agricultural sciences might prepare an aspiring food auditor for this career.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in food science, food technology, biology or agricultural science|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||5% (for agricultural and food science technicians)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$36,480 (for agricultural and food science technicians)|
Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Food Auditing Job Options
Food auditors ensure that food processing sites and restaurants are adhering to the government's safety and health regulations. They must travel frequently, visiting locations to inspect the production facilities. Auditors are employed by the government but can also find work with food manufacturing companies or in universities.
Auditors enforce government regulations and policies. They also issue recalls if they encounter violations of food health codes. Many food auditors work for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and for their subdivisions dedicated to food safety and inspection. There are also jobs available through state governments as public health officials. Auditors can find positions with food processing companies. Distributors employ in-house auditors to avoid heavy fines, and universities also offer work for food auditors on campus or in the larger community.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that jobs for all agricultural and food science technicians, including some food safety inspectors, would increase at a rate of 5%, slower than average, when compared with all other careers from 2014-2024. About 20,260 people were working as agricultural and food science technicians in 2015. Their wages averaged $39,000. In May 2015, the BLS also reported that the mean annual income for agricultural inspectors, who also have some similarities to food auditors, was $43,810.
Food Auditing Requirements
Both the government and private companies expect applicants to hold at least a Bachelor of Science degree in a field related to food safety, such a food science, food technology, agricultural science or biology. Universities want food auditors to hold advanced degrees to work in research settings.
Food auditors need to complete a 4-year program and obtain a Bachelor of Science degree. Food science programs might include courses such as human nutrition, food analysis, food chemistry, meat science and a food microbiology laboratory course.
Licensure and Certification
Food auditors do not have to be licensed to work; a degree in food safety is typically enough. Some schools and private organizations offer certification in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, a food safety management system.
To become a food auditor, you should first pursue a bachelor's degree in food science or a related field. Certification is not required to work and job opportunities are expected to increase by 5% over the next decade.