“East reportis a step in the right direction, providing a roadmap to success that can benefit both veteran professionals and novices in academia, industry, government and consultancy as we connect the global food system. and we come together to promote and advance food science.” Christie Tarantino-Dean, CEO of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), in a press release.
Founded in 1939, IFT has been conducting the compensation survey since 1966. New this year is the IFT professional career surveyto address topics such as job satisfaction, challenges in the workplace, and career trends in general. Both surveys were distributed to nearly 29,000 IFT members and allied companies, drawing approximately 3,000 respondents each.
In 2022, median salaries for food science professionals increased to $110,000 in the ‘candidate’ market
According to the 2022 report, median salaries for food science professionals increased to $110,000, up nearly 16% from $95,000 in 2019. The IFT attributes this to “the biggest jump in 20 years”to a mixture of factors, mainly nested in the demand generated by the “Great Resignation” as a result of the pandemic.
“It is a market of candidates, there is no doubt about that”,said Moira McGrath, president of the food science contracting firm OPUS International, quoted by IFT. “I think the food industry has stepped up and their wages have gone up. They know what they have to pay to get the right candidate.”
According to survey data, top executives remain at the top of the earnings scale with up to $217,000 in reported median annual salaries. Flavor experts led the most technical job categories with $141,000, followed by product managers with $135,000. Microbiologists, sensory evaluation specialists, food scientists, chemists, university professors, and researchers were among those in the lower range of $60,000 to $91,500.
Diversity increases but inequalities remain
Despite overall pay growth and the diversification of the professionals surveyed, pay gaps based on gender and race persist, according to the survey.
While women accounted for 54% of respondents this year, up 34% from 40 years ago and down 5% from 2019, they reported wages that were 21% lower compared to the male median and 44% lower. in cash bonuses. However, women surveyed between the ages of 19 and 24 reported earning 5.2% more than their male counterparts.
“We have seen that food science has made tremendous progress in areas like diversification, but as our respondents shared, there is still a lot of work to be done in areas like gender pay equity.” Tarantino-Dean added “The survey shows that employees want career development, as well as fair and just compensation.”
Meanwhile, the median salary of African-American respondents was 10% lower than that of Caucasians, and 15% of non-whites reported lack of progress as the most common challenge. The report noted that Latino respondents nearly doubled from the previous 2019 survey and that non-white professionals now make up a third of respondents.
Shifting Priorities: The Changing Job Landscape
Another key takeaway from the survey results is the shift in employee preference toward remote work options and decreased willingness to commute for work. The IFT cites survey data from the ADP Research Institute showing that 64% of the workforce would consider looking for a new job if returning to the office full-time, position flexibility, or a hybrid approach were required as a new condition. Non-negotiable employment.
While the majority of respondents expressed overall job satisfaction, identified pain points included “lack of supportive management, career development barriers, work/life balance challenges, unsatisfactory salary/benefits, and job stress level.”
One in four respondents said they had looked to change jobs in the last 24 months.
“Interestingly, 28% of men and women ranked workload and work-life balance as the most important challenge.”noted the report.