Jobs that Involve Food

From the hospitality industry to the agricultural science field to customer service, there are many options for individuals who want to pursue a career that involves food.

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Career Options that Involve Food

There are several career options that involve working with food, and they can be found in a variety of different fields. Some of these options involve creating and making the food, while others involve serving food to customers and patrons. For individuals who have an interest in science, there are also a couple of career options within the agricultural and food science field. No matter where your interests and strengths lie, there is likely a job within the food industry that would be a good fit for you.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Chef $43,180 9%
Food Service Manager $50,820 5%
Waiter/Waitress $19,990 3%
Food Scientist/Technologist $63,950 3%
Farmer $66,360 -2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Baking and Pastry Arts
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Career Information for Jobs that Involve Food

Chef

Chefs typically work in restaurants and are responsible for overseeing all food preparation. Often, chefs also have a big say in creating the menu, which may change on a seasonal or even weekly basis. Depending on the size of a restaurant, they will likely have a number of other chefs and preparation cooks to manage and direct. Chefs may or may not be the owner of a restaurant. Those who are owners generally have more managerial duties, like managing the budget and hiring servers. To become a chef, there are a couple of options. You may work your way up in the restaurant industry or you could attend a culinary arts program.

Food Service Manager

As a food service manager, you are in charge of making sure restaurants and other dining establishments run smoothly. You may be responsible for hiring new staff members, getting customer feedback, and handling any complaints. You may also be charged with handling the various business aspects of running a restaurant. This could include making sure food orders go out on time, managing the budget, and ensuring that the restaurant is meeting financial goals. To become a food service manager, you need a high school diploma and several years of experience working in the restaurant industry.

Waiter/Waitress

Waiters and waitresses work in restaurants and dining establishments. They are in charge of providing service to customers. This includes greeting customers when they walk in, providing them with menus, and then taking their orders. As a server, you should be familiar with the menu in case customers have any questions or want recommendations. After taking orders, you serve the food and continue providing additional service throughout the meal. Depending on the type of restaurant, you may be required to follow additional rules if the establishment is very formal or more casual. Servers usually don't need any formal education to enter this career, and training takes place on the job.

Food Scientist/Technologist

With a background in science and an interest in food, you may want to consider a job as a food scientist or technologist. These professionals use their knowledge of chemistry and biology to analyze different types of food and agricultural products. They make sure that foods are processed safely and that they are fit for human consumption. Food scientists and technologists work as problem-solvers as well. They may help develop new ways of processing and preserving food. To become a food scientist or technologist, you must obtain a bachelor's degree, though having a master's degree may help you land more advanced jobs.

Farmer

Farmers and agricultural workers are responsible for growing crops and raising livestock. They are involved in every process of food production from the very beginning. This includes deciding what crops to plant, making sure soil is fertile, caring for crops or livestock as they grow, and harvesting them. To do so, they must be able to operate farm machinery and equipment, as large farms are impossible to run without them. Farmers may also work in the world of business, as they may need to act as a sales person to make a profit on their crops and livestock. They also need to understand the market in order to determine what prices they can expect. To become a farmer, you generally should have a high school diploma. Because getting into the farming industry can be very expensive and complex, there are some government education programs designed to make the process easier.

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