Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists study the chemical and physical properties of substances, develop and monitor chemical processes and production, develop new and improve existing food products, and plan and coordinate the production of wine and spirits.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Around three quarters of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Wine Makers may not need a formal qualification if they have at least 5 years of relevant experience.

Tasks

  • conducting experiments and tests to identify the chemical composition and reactive properties of natural substances and processed materials
  • analysing and conducting research to develop theories, techniques and processes, and testing the reliability of outcomes under different conditions
  • developing practical applications of experimental and research findings
  • testing food products for flavour, colour, taste, texture and nutritional content
  • advising on preserving, processing, packaging, storing and delivering foods
  • developing quality control procedures and safety standards for the manufacture of food products
  • examining grape samples to assess ripeness, sugar and acid content, and determining suitability for processing
  • coordinating winemaking processes, directing workers in testing and crushing grapes, fermenting juices, and fortifying, clarifying, maturing and finishing wines
  • blending wines according to formulae and knowledge of winemaking techniques

Job Titles

  • Chemist
  • Food Technologist or Scientist
  • Wine Maker, or Oenologist
  • Chemist

    Studies the chemical and physical properties of substances, and develops and monitors chemical processes and production.

    Specialisations: Analytical Chemist, Industrial Chemist

  • Food Technologist or Scientist

    Develops new and improves existing food products, and sets standards for producing, packaging and marketing food.

  • Wine Maker, or Oenologist

    Plans, supervises and coordinates the production of wine or spirits from selected varieties of grapes.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,669 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    7800
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    59.5%
  • Female Share

    40.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    83.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 7800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.0 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,669 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200510700
20069600
200711300
20088400
200910700
20109400
20119800
201212100
20138200
20149600
20157800
20207500

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsChemists, and Food and Wine ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings16691230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryChemists, and Food and Wine ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time8368.4
Part-time1731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)3940

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing50
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services15.5
Retail Trade8.6
Health Care and Social Assistance6.7
Other Industries19.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateChemists, and Food and Wine ScientistsAll Jobs Average
NSW27.631.8
VIC2725.5
QLD15.919.8
SA9.76.8
WA15.311.2
TAS22
NT0.51.1
ACT21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketChemists, and Food and Wine ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.4-5.45.4
20-249.7-9.99.9
25-3432.2-23.423.4
35-4422.8-21.721.7
45-5417.5-21.121.1
55-598.9-8.78.7
60-644.8-5.95.9
65 and Over2.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryChemists, and Food and Wine ScientistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males59.5Males53.6
Females40.5Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required.
Around three quarters of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Wine Makers may not need a formal qualification if they have at least 5 years of relevant experience.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    91% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Chemistry

    90% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  3. Food Production

    84% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  4. Biology

    81% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  5. English Language

    77% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network Food Scientists and Technologists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    87% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  2. Checking Compliance with Standards

    86% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  3. Getting Information

    85% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    85% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Analyzing Data or Information

    84% Important

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

Occupational Information Network Food Scientists and Technologists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

go to top