Typical Jobs and Qualifications in the Food Production Industry

Chef FlambeingCalifornia’s agriculture production has rebounded significantly after the recent droughts. The last three years have seen double-digit dives in cash receipts including the $9 billion lost in 2016 as reported by Rabobank.

As America’s top agricultural state, the value of the state is immense in the nation’s food and beverage industry. So, any resurgence is critically important. The most affected in the industry are the workers. But with the current improvement, there is an expected rise in food production career opportunities here in Modesto.

This place is popular for its almonds, walnuts and dairy products, the outlook is as bright. But what careers are available out there and what qualifications you must have to be a part of Modesto’s food production industry?

Countless positions

Typically, the food production industry covers the sector where food is grown and harvested, including research and development support (e.g. farms, facilities, private and government agencies), and the sector where the food is prepared and served (e.g. restaurants, cafeterias, supermarkets).

The key jobs in the manufacturing side are the farmers, farm support workers, agriculturists, plant breeders, plant pathologists, conservationists, mechanical engineers, and agricultural economists.

In Modesto, an agricultural assistant, transportation specialists or agronomist should be very common positions in local listings. For the services sector, cooks, food service managers, waiters/waitresses, and food suppliers are the usual positions available.

Modesto’s farm-to-table program has led to a billion-dollar agricultural industry, so jobs at restaurants and other food service stores should always be available all year round.

Diverse qualifications

Education and experience can be diverse since the food production industry is also a place for engineers, business, or non-agricultural science degree holders.

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While the more food and agriculture degrees require specialist qualifications from agronomy to horticulture to agricultural engineering and farm management, many of those that prepare and serve food commonly need an extra certification.

They can get it from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the American Culinary Federation or even the state’s department of health.

Some service-oriented jobs only need at least a high school diploma or related experience in the food service sector. Happy hunting!