Consumer scientists study why people use or buy products and services, and give advice to retailers and manufacturers.
Salary range: £19,000 to £50,000
How to become a consumer scientist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You’ll usually need a degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject like:
- consumer studies
- food and consumer product management
- food science or technology
Some employers may ask for a postgraduate qualification in behavioural psychology or consumer behaviour.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to apply directly if you’ve got relevant experience in a related industry, for instance food manufacturing or market research analysis.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of English language
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- customer service skills
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- persistence and determination
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- researching and writing reports
- testing recipes
- recruiting and training panels or focus groups
- conducting interviews with consumers
- researching the tastes, needs and preferences of consumers
- giving advice to manufacturers and retailers on improving items and services
- developing tests to make sure products meet quality standards and legal requirements
- representing consumers’ rights
- advising hotels, restaurants, schools, residential care homes or hospitals on catering
- advising on products ranging from household goods to public places
- producing information on cookery, family health and new products
- talking with the media
- advising on healthy living in schools, colleges and universities
- working for bodies like the Food Standards Agency or Trading Standards
You could work in a laboratory, at a university or in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience you could progress into a management post.
With training you could use your experience to move into a career in teaching.