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Hungry? 10 Jobs That Let You Sample Food

Most of us sample plenty of food during our work weeks — leftover pasta from working lunches, mousse cakes from baby showers, and fistfuls of miniature candy bars from a co-worker’s candy jar. While some of us are content with eating bags and bags of chips, these 10 jobs allow food lovers to get their gourmet fix at work without ever heading to a vending machine.


The job: If you think being a sommelier is just about knowing wine, think again. Sommeliers are wine gurus, but their specialty is choosing wines to compliment patrons’ entrees.

The requirements: It varies. Experience as a server and taking wine classes at a college or professional organization can provide a solid foundation. To become a master sommelier, the highest professional distinction in the industry — candidates must pass three levels of examinations from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

The pay: Ranges from $24,000 to $76,978, with an average reported salary of $44,845, according to Payscale Canada.

Event Planner

The job: Event planners put together meetings, conferences, parties and other events. This means selecting the venue, activities and, of course, the food.

The requirements: Most event planners have a bachelor’s degree, and the Convention Industry Council offers a voluntary certification.

The pay: *Average annual salary: $45,323


The job: Chefs plan, prepare and cook food for restaurants and other institutions. They also supervise the rest of the kitchen staff.

The requirements: Many chefs also attend postsecondary training programs offered by two- and four-year colleges, and follow this up with an internship

The pay: *Average annual salary: $35,351

Food Scientist

The job: Food scientists use their science background to develop new ways of processing and packaging food. Some analyze nutritional content of foods; others develop new flavors and preservatives.

The requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree, with coursework in food chemistry and engineering.

The pay: Ranges from $42,000 to $80,454, with an average reported salary of $61,271, according to Payscale Canada.


The job: Caterers work with their clients’ tastes to create menus and prepare and serve food for special events like conferences and weddings.

The requirements: Many caterers got their start as chefs or cooks. In addition to their cooking skills, many caterers are self-employed, so good communication skills and business savvy are crucial.

The pay: Average annual salary for catering managers is about $42,367, according to Payscale Canada.

Restaurant Critic

The job: Restaurant critics dine at restaurants, sample their food, and observe the service and atmosphere to write reviews for a publication.

The requirements: Excellent writing skills are a must, and many employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communication.

The pay: *Average annual salary for journalist: $60,985


The job: Dieticians teach patients proper eating habits and recommend dietary adjustments, such as cutting out excess salt or avoiding processed foods.

The requirements: The first step is to earn a Bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from a university program that has been accredited by the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice. The Second step is to complete supervised practical training such as an internship.

The pay: *Average annual salary: $66,206


The job: Waiters and waitresses — also known as servers — take customers’ orders, bring food to the tables and prepare checks. They also must be experts in the restaurant’s menu, because they will inevitably be asked, “What do you recommend?”

The requirements: Many employers require a high school diploma, and upscale restaurants usually prefer candidates with serving experience.

The pay: *Average annual salary $26,811

Product Promoter

The job: Product promoters offer customers free samples of food or drinks in grocery stores to try and entice sales.

The requirements: Many employers have no educational requirements and provide on-the-job training. Other employers require at least a high school diploma.

The pay: Average annual salary: $24,960

*Job descriptions and average hourly earnings taken from EMSI Data Analyst Canada, a CareerBuilder company.


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