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SCC Introduces New Food Science Course

May 20, 2022

Student outdoors with a laptop, smiling and looking offscreen

Sacramento City College is pleased to announce that we are now offering a new Food Science course! Food science is an exciting field that uses chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and engineering to solve food issues locally and throughout the world.

The new course, NUTRI 335 Food Science will be taught, in person, at the SCC Davis Center and will include several tours of the Food Science facilities at UC Davis including the Robert Mondavi Food and Wine Institute. NUTRI 335 is part of a Food Science degree which is now being developed at SCC. The introductory course is equivalent to FST 1 at UC Davis. A student who completes the course, along with the science and math requirements for a Food Science major will be ready to transfer to UCD as a Junior where they can then choose a specialization, such as beer-brewing.

The Food Science Associate’s Degree is expected to be available in 2022.

No other community college in the North Sacramento region offers a Food Science program. Yet this is a field that, based on analyses of the local labor market, has a continuing and growing need for skilled labor.

Careers

Food Science has numerous possible career pathways including: 

  • Food Product or Ingredient Development Scientist
  • Sensory Scientist
  • Food or Product Taster
  • Food Microbiologist or Food Safety Expert
  • Food Chemist
  • Food Process and Packaging Design Engineer
  • Quality Control Supervisor
  • Food Plant Production Supervisor or Manager
  • Ingredient, Product, or Equipment Sales Representative/Manager

All of these occupations can utilize an associate's degree to either set students up for transfer or to go directly into a Food Science field.  

Salaries

For students interested in pursuing these career paths, According to a 2019 survey done by the Institute of Food Technologists, with less than one year of experience, food scientists can earn 50-60K per year.

Entry-level wages in the Greater Sacramento area
Position Title Entry-Level Education Entry-Level Wages
Food Scientists and Technologists Bachelor’s Degree $26.10/hr
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Associate’s Degree $17.91/hr

$95,000 is a median salary for Food Science careers in California according to the Institute of Food Technologists in 2019

Food Science Median Salaries
Role Median Salary

Quality Assurance/Quality Control 

$61,200

Sensory Evaluation Specialist

$78,500

Food Scientist/Technologist

$78,525

Nutritionist

$95,000

Technical Sales Representative

$105,000

From 2019 study by the Institute of Food Technologists’ Employment and Salary Survey

Pursue a Food Science Associate’s Degree 

If you want to pursue an associate’s degree in Food Science, SCC’s program provides an overview of the chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and engineering used within the field of food science. Applying this knowledge will better equip students to work within the adapting Food Science community.  If your goal is to transfer, several local universities including University of California Davis and Cal Poly offer Food Science programs. Make sure to connect with the SCC Transfer Center or your counselor to set up your education plan for transfer. 

How do I get started?

  • Apply to Sacramento City College
  • Join us in an introductory Food Science class (many of our introductory classes can count toward your GE requirements - talk to a counselor for guidance)
  • Let us know you are interested in learning more about the program!

Related Links

Career Education
Career Education (CE) programs specialize in skilled trades, applied arts and sciences, and modern technologies, and are designed to advance job skills and marketability.

Nutrition and Food Science
Sacramento City College’s Family and Consumer Science Department offers a rigorous nutrition degree program that is broad enough to prepare the student for further study in a variety of nutrition areas including: nutrition science research, food science and technology, dietetics, industry and many other exciting nutrition-related fields.