You may be wondering what career path to take if you have studied food science, agriculture or a business-related degree. Well, one option that you should consider is that of going down the managerial route and working as a technical manager in the food industry. When it comes to food jobs, this is one role that will keep you on your toes while combining your management experience with any food science or food-related studies. A job as a food technical manager could be just the right choice for you. So, let's look at this job in more detail.
So, is a job as a food technical manager right for you? Below we explore the exciting role of the food technical manager, what tasks you may need to undertake, what your team will expect from you, the qualifications you will need for this type of role and the future career opportunities related to this position.
What is meant by 'food technical manager'? An overview
So what exactly is a food technical manager? What does it involve? In essence, this type of role means that you will be the person who is in charge of the technical side of the food manufacturing company or business. You will be responsible for food safety and food quality control and the legal requirements of the food business. Furthermore, you will manage the technical department, as well as helping to develop and oversee the team who is working in quality assurance. Ultimately, this job role covers all aspects of food legislation, food safety, labelling and quality control. It is a demanding yet rewarding career choice.
What tasks are involved?
So, what type of nitty-gritty tasks are involved? As this job role revolves around quality assurance and hygiene management, you should expect to do some of the following duties on a day to day basis.
The quality management systems that are currently in place should be constantly reviewed and followed at all times. This is your responsibility as a technical manager.
You will work closely with staff to ensure that they are up to date on the very latest legislation and health and safety requirements, ensuring they are able to do their job properly and safely.
You will need to manage all aspects of food hygiene, quality control and laboratory practices. A huge part of your role will also involve liaising with both suppliers and customers.
What will a company expect from you in this role?
When you are appointed this type of role, you will have probably already worked in the food industry and a managerial position for a number of years, and will most likely have a food-based or nutritional degree. Your employer will also expect you to be knowledgeable and experienced in all of the legal aspects related to the food industry.
They will expect you to stay focused, to make quick and informed choices, while also being able to explain your decision-making process. You should have all the relevant facts and figures to hand to explain your thinking. Coupled with this is the fact that you will need to have exceptional organisational skills. It's also important that a huge part of your managerial role will be to lead your team through the decision-making process.
The reality of working as a food technical manager
You shouldn't underestimate how challenging or incredibly demanding this role is. The hours are usually long and travel is commonplace, as you need to meet with both established and new suppliers on a regular basis, as well as your customers. But what this ultimately means is that every day will be different and that your role can be incredibly varied. You just need to be skilled and well-practised at working under pressure.
The qualifications needed for this role
So, what qualifications do you need to be able to work as a food technical manager? This type of job is degree entry-level and, in many cases, it is also aimed at postgraduates. Most people who work in this industry have an undergraduate degree in a food-related subject. Subsequent areas of study have usually been in business studies or quality management subjects. But do remember that qualifications alone are not usually enough to gain this type of position. You must also have the relevant experience to go alongside your qualifications.
Can you do further training in this role?
If you have your heart set on working as a food technical manager and are wondering if any further study or courses are involved or available to you to enhance your career options, then the good news is that there are many readily available courses and pathways. One popular course is Food Regulatory Affairs at Masters level. The Chartered Quality Institute also offers many courses and accreditations to those who are working in the industry, which can help with promotion prospects. So, it is well worth becoming a member.
It is worth noting that your role as food technical manager will vary greatly depending upon where you work, who you work for and the size of the company. It is not a one-job-fits-all situation, so be prepared to do your research and make sure that the company is right for you. If the business is small, you may be more hands-on, whereas a larger and more established company may mean that your role is more strategy based. Ask questions and get a feel for the company before you apply for the role.
If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.
Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk
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