An idea to work towards a certain career path can come from anywhere. For Mary, it was the taste of a certain ingredient used frequently in baking.

“I remember disliking the metallic taste of baking soda in baking and decided that I could change that,” she remembered. “I haven’t cracked that yet.”

While making the taste of baking soda more agreeable is still an unachieved goal, Mary has worked with foods from ice cream to dips and cheese.

While still at secondary school, Mary said she had a passion to develop new food products.

To get started on the right path, Mary studied for two years to gain an Applied Science Diploma before being eligible to gain an Applied Bachelor of Science in Food Science.

“There are non-applied degrees available, but the more practical elements of the Applied degree come in handy later on,” said Mary.

She has also worked with people who don’t hold a university qualification, but who have worked for a time in food production and built up enough experience to become quality controllers.

Mary said she thrives on the intense environment in the manufacturing industry, and a love of food certainly helps.

“There’s never a dull moment.”

Average pay

  • Food technologists usually earn $40k–$65k per year.
  • Senior food technologists may earn $65k–$85k per year.

(Source: Careers New Zealand)


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