How to become a Food Technician

Food technicians check production processes and product quality, and undertake maintenance and basic repair of equipment. They also assist food technologists with developing food products and establishing standards for production and packaging.

Personal requirements of a Food Technician

  • Aptitude for mathematics and science
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Enjoy scientific activities
  • Good observation skills
  • Show initiative
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Good organisation skills
  • Strong attention to detail

Education & Training for a Food Technician

To become a food technician you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in food technology or food science and nutrition. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry and mathematics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Food Technician

Food technicians:

  • monitor food production processes
  • carry out routine testing of food ingredients, packaging and food products to ensure that safety, quality, health and legal standards are met
  • perform physical, chemical and microbiological tests, and report on content, nutritional value, flavour, aroma and appearance
  • collect information from surveys and observations
  • record test results and prepare graphs and reports
  • assist food technologists with research and development, production technology and quality control
  • mix, blend or cultivate ingredients to make reagents (agents to be used in chemical testing) or to manufacture food or beverage products
  • develop, operate, maintain and repair equipment for use in food production, research and testing
  • inspect, analyse and recommend ways of improving quality and efficiency of production
  • check handling, processing and storage of raw materials
  • check and maintain cleanliness and sanitation of laboratory equipment
  • measure, test or weigh bottles, cans or other containers to ensure they meet specifications.

Employment Opportunities for a Food Technician

Initially, food technicians may perform routine quality assurance tasks such as laboratory testing. With experience, and sometimes further training, it is possible to advance to supervisory or senior technical positions such as quality control leader, quality compliance coordinator, quality assurance inspector, laboratory technician or quality improvement leader. Job prospects are dependent on food production and access to export markets.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,013

Future growth:

Strong

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 2.8%

NSW NSW 23%

NT NT 1.5%

QLD QLD 22.5%

SA SA 4.9%

TAS TAS 2.6%

VIC VIC 17.8%

WA WA 25%

Hours worked:

38.6

Unemployment:

Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 61.1%

Female 38.9%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 2.2%

20-24 - 11.2%

25-34 - 25.1%

35-44 - 24.7%

45-54 - 23.5%

55-59 - 7.3%

60-64 - 2.3%

65 and Over - 3.8%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Related careers