Career Definition of a Food Labeling Specialist
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn't approve all food labels. However, the FDA does guide and provide oversight for food manufacturers and food labeling specialists. These specialists are responsible for reviewing, correcting and approving labels on food products of various companies. They also design and develop the labels which indicate various parameters concerning food products, like the name of the product, weight information, ingredients' concentration or percentages, nutritional information and, if applicable, allergen warnings. It is also a part of their duties to ensure that all the details on labels are accurate and are in accordance with government regulations.
Food labeling specialists need to stay abreast of all regulatory changes in their domain, and they must maintain related documents required by the company. These practices help them in ensuring that a company's products comply with the required standards.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||High attention to detail, analytical skills, interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively in a team, organizational and monitoring skills.|
|Median Hourly Wage (2019)**||$24.36 (labeling specialist)|
|Job Outlook, 2016-26*||6% (food scientists and technologists)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
Food labeling specialists typically require a bachelor's degree in related fields like food chemistry, food analysis, biology, animal or crop science and others. Since the work of a food labeling specialist deals with food and agriculture domain, an education in food science or nutrition would be ideal. Additional courses that teach industry guidelines of the FDA or USDA and prior experience in regulatory practices are bound to help a person seeking this position.
The work of a food labeling specialist involves careful monitoring of information on the labels, which is why attention to detail is a must-have trait for professionals in this role. A little misrepresentation could cost a company a great deal, and there is no room for error. Analytical skills also come in handy as food labeling specialists need to observe and correct numerical data daily. There are other useful qualities sought in candidates, like good communication and interpersonal skills which enable a professional in working as a part of a dedicated team.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) predicts that the occupational group of food scientists and technologists, like food labeling specialists, will grow by 6% between 2016 and 2026. The growth rate is just as fast as the average and it should result in 1,000 new jobs within the decade. Payscale.com suggests that the median hourly wage for a labeling specialist, not necessarily in food, was $24.36 in 2019.
Food labeling specialists are professionals with skills that may fit with many similar roles and positions. Read about some of them by clicking on the links below.