Looking for the best jobs for people who love food?
We curated a list of the most unique and appetizing career paths for food lovers, created specifically for culinary enthusiasts looking to turn their passion for food into a fruitful career.
What Makes a Good Job for Foodies?
Aside from having some aspect of food handling, we made sure our list of jobs adhered to most (if not all) of our ideal job characteristics.
More specifically, we looked for jobs that:
- Require a refined palate
- Involves good knowledge of different cuisines
- Involves evaluating and communicating the quality of food
- Foster and even encourage flavor experimentation
- Involve sharing culinary insights
Best Jobs for Foodies
Let’s get straight into our top job ideas for foodies:
1. Food Critic
- Average salary: $49,515 per year
Working as a food critic or culinary critic involves experiencing and assessing a variety of food and dining services.
The role encompasses exploring new eateries, sampling their offerings, and constructing in-depth reviews about the flavor, presentation, and overall service. The opportunity to taste different cuisines and stay abreast of food trends is a key aspect of the job.
This one looks for excellent writing abilities, a discerning palate, and comprehensive knowledge of diverse cuisines and culinary techniques. Having a background in journalism will also be a bonus.
2. Food Scientist
- Average salary: $64,700 per year
Food scientists, sometimes known as food technologists, delve into the scientific depths of food and its properties.
The role involves investigating and enhancing food items for factors like safety, nutritional value, and ease of consumption. This could mean pioneering new preservation methods, devising innovative processing techniques, or even inventing fresh food products.
This position often requires a degree in food science or a similar field, coupled with a knack for problem-solving and keen analytical skills.
- Average salary: $42,066 per year (varies greatly)
A flavorist, or flavor chemist, is a professional who creates new flavors and reproduces existing ones for food and beverage products.
In this role, there’s plenty of experimentation and sensory evaluation to invent delightful flavors and replicate existing ones for various food and drink products. For instance, this could involve “cooking up” a fresh strawberry taste for sweets or augmenting the flavor of a low-fat item.
A background in chemistry or food science is typically necessary, along with a heightened sense of taste and smell, and the capacity to manipulate intricate chemical compounds.
- Average rate: $18 per hour
- Average salary: $37,069 per year
A chocolatier is an expert in creating confectionery from chocolate. They’re often thought of as the chocolate version of a winemaker.
They master the art of developing novel recipes, tempering chocolate to perfect consistency, and creating visually stunning, delicious treats. They should be deeply aware of the quality of their ingredients, particularly the chocolate.
A culinary background is usually necessary, specifically in pastry or dessert creation, coupled with a profound appreciation and understanding of chocolates subtle complexities.
5. Beer Brewer
- Average salary: $47,503 per year
A beer brewer is responsible for producing beer in a brewery (duh!). This can range from large commercial operations to smaller craft breweries.
They manage the brewing process from start to finish, including selecting ingredients, brewing, fermenting, and overseeing quality control. Understanding the science behind brewing and having a passion for beer is a massive advantage.
Brewers often have formal education in fields like chemistry or microbiology and professional brewing training.
6. Food Stylist
- Average salary: $48,222 per year (varies greatly)
Food stylists, sometimes also called food designers, are artists who prepare food for photography, video, or film.
The role centers around making meals appear enticing and fresh on camera, which can range from artfully arranging dishes to employing techniques that make the food seem freshly prepared.
Typically, food stylists are seasoned in both culinary arts and photography, with a sharp eye for aesthetics and a meticulous attention to detail.
7. Food Safety Auditor
- Average rate: $76 per hour
- Average salary: $79,347 per year
A food safety auditor is responsible for ensuring food production processes meet health and safety standards.
They inspect and assess food handling and manufacturing processes, identify potential hazards, and recommend improvements. A good attention to detail and understanding of food safety regulations is valued here.
Most food safety auditors have a degree in food science or a related field and experience in the food industry.
8. Personal Chef
- Average rate: $32 per hour
- Average salary: $85,921 per year
A personal chef is hired to prepare meals for individuals or families, often in the client’s home.
Responsibilities include meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. They must cater to the client’s dietary needs and preferences while creating varied, delicious, and often even nutrious meals.
This role typically requires professional cooking experience and training, excellent knowledge of various cuisines, and good interpersonal skills to interact with clients and understand their dietary needs.
- Average rate: $19.24 per hour
- Average salary: $62,458 per year
A sommelier, or wine steward, specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.
Their duties include suggesting wines that pair well with meals, managing wine inventories, and sometimes even traveling to vineyards to sample wines. A deep understanding of wine and good communication skills are crucial.
Many sommeliers gain knowledge through a mix of formal education in hospitality or a related field and experience in the food and beverage industry.
10. Spice Trader
- Average salary: $84,740 per year
A spice trader sources, purchases, and sells spices from around the world.
The job involves travel, negotiation with suppliers, quality inspection, and understanding global market trends for spices. An interest in different cultures and culinary traditions can be helpful.
While formal qualifications are not strictly necessary, experience in the food industry, particularly with international trade, will be beneficial when applying.
11. Coffee Cupper
- Average rate: $18 per hour
- Average salary: $39,109 per year
A coffee cupper, often called a coffee taster, plays a key role in ensuring the quality and flavor of coffee beans.
Duties include tasting and grading different varieties of coffee beans, providing feedback to coffee producers, and understanding market trends for coffee. Strong sensory skills and an in-depth understanding of coffee are pretty much non-negotiable on this one.
While there are no specific educational requirements, experience in the food and beverage industry and a refined palate can be advantageous.
12. Food Photographer
- Average salary: $47,128 per year
A food photographer creates appealing images of food for cookbooks, magazines, advertisements, and menus.
They work closely with food stylists to create visually compelling images, often using lighting and composition techniques. Strong photographic skills and a creative eye are necessary for this role.
While a degree in photography can be beneficial, practical experience and a strong portfolio are often more important.
- Average salary: $52,641 per year
A nutritionist advises individuals on dietary matters relating to health, well-being, and optimal nutrition.
Their duties involve creating personalized nutrition plans, providing dietary counseling, and staying up-to-date with the latest nutritional science research.
This role typically requires a degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field (but not always). Some states also require nutritionists to be licensed. Employers look for strong knowledge in nutrition science and good communication skills.
There Are Careers for Foodies!
Whether it’s the artistic charm of Food Styling or the adventure of Spice Trading, our menu of job ideas is sure to whet your appetite.
Did any role get your taste buds tingling? Do tell us your favorites in the comments.