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Specialist for food technology

Here's what it's all about.

Food technology specialists use automated machines and systems to produce, for example, nutrients, edible oils, delicatessen products or soft drinks from a wide variety of raw materials. They are involved in all stages of processing, from the receipt of raw materials to the finished packaged product. First, they receive and inspect raw materials and semi-finished products. Then they forward them to the warehouse or to processing. They ensure that the necessary ingredients are provided, prepare them and set up machines and equipment. According to specified recipes, they put ingredients into the equipment and start production. They monitor all processes, including the packaging of the finished products. In the event of deviations or malfunctions, they intervene immediately. They also regularly check the quality of their products.

Typical industries in which a 3-year apprenticeship can be completed are:

  • Companies in the bottling industry, e.g. beverages, edible oil, etc.
  • Establishments of industrial production of all types of food
  • Meat, fish, fruit and vegetable processing plants
  • Industrial large bakeries or dairies 

Legally, no specific previous education is required. The companies mainly hire trainees with intermediate educational qualifications.

Food technology specialists primarily work in production halls, storage or cold rooms, or laboratories.

What does it depend on?

  • Diligence (e.g., in adhering to formulations.
  • Ability to make decisions and react quickly (e.g. rapid intervention in the event of malfunctions in production facilities)
  • Sense of responsibility (e.g. in complying with food regulations)
  • Technical understanding (e.g. when maintaining machines and equipment)


In-depth knowledge of subjects such as mathematics, chemistry and biology are good prerequisites for successful training: Prospective food technology specialists should be proficient in basic arithmetic and in decimal, fraction, percentage and rule-of-three calculations, since they have to calculate volume and mixing ratios.

A good knowledge of chemistry can be useful when processing the various raw materials and additives. Knowledge of biology is helpful - e.g. in determining which foods can be processed or preserved by which methods. Prior knowledge of or interest in plants and technology is beneficial for setting up, monitoring, cleaning, and maintaining production equipment. Further training offers the opportunity to advance professionally and to reach management positions (e.g. by passing the examination as industrial foreman specializing in food or further training as technician specializing in food technology with a focus on processing technology). A course of study opens up further professional and career opportunities (e.g. through a bachelor's degree in food technology).