Top-Paying Jobs in the Food and Beverage Industry

April 6, 2020 in Career and Job Search Tips



When the time comes to look for a new food and beverage industry job, don’t just think about what you know and your current job title. Think about where you want to be and how much you want to make. Here we share the Top-Paying Jobs in the Food and Beverage Industry.

Pay attention to the sectors of the food and beverage industry that are experiencing growth and adding new products. If you are interested in getting some work experience there, paint a picture for the new employer about how you can transfer who (retail, food service, industrial) and what (team leadership, budget, commercialization) you know to the skills that are in demand in those sectors.  Kinsa Group has been seeing demand in the US for a number of beverage industry sub-sectors, but also new products in fresh foods and meat substitutes continue to grow, just to name a few.

That said, there’s no reason to go into a job interview for a food or beverage industry position that looks great on paper without knowing what your personal salary needs are and whether those expectations are within an acceptable level for the category.

Which jobs pay the best?

For 2020, Kinsa Group has conducted an in-depth analysis of salary ranges for food and beverage industry job titles—those with just a few years in the industry to C-suite executives and company leaders. The 2020 Food and Beverage Industry Salary Guide is based on Kinsa Recruiter interviews with over 3,000 candidates across the US in multiple disciplines over the last two years.  It will help you understand what you may be able to expect when applying for a job or talking with a recruiter about specific job openings.

Want the full 2020 Salary Guide?  Download it now for access to food and beverage salary ranges and medians from Sales and C-Suite titles to Operations and Supply Chain, and many roles in between.

Food Science and Product Innovation

Want to build on a love of science and technology and stay on the cutting edge of food product development?

Kinsa Group found that Director and Vice Presidents of R&D and Product Innovation make six-figure base salaries that can grow to >$200,000, and the medians are in the mid-to-upper $100,000’s.

Among Kinsa Group’s interview sample, entry-level Food Technologists have a salary range of $45,000 to $85,000 per year, with a median salary of $63,000. While a more experienced Food Scientist stands to make between $60,000 and $130,000 annually, with a median salary at $70,000 for Scientists and $102,000 for Sr. Scientists.

Sales and Business Development Leadership

As always, strong Sales and Business Development professionals are critical to the success of a company that wants to grow and expand its reach and revenue.  It is a given that employers are looking for candidates that will represent their brand well, communicate effectively in the marketplace, and deliver results on a regular basis.  Skills like communication, networking, negotiation, and software usage for reporting, forecasting, and activity tracking are all critical.

When you demonstrate these skills in your product niche, Kinsa Group found that Managers, Directors, and VPs are all making six-figure base salary income.  Additional bonuses and commission can make a sales role very lucrative for the successful.

Regional Sales Managers ranged from $70,000 to $160,000 with a median base salary of $110,000 among those Kinsa interviewed.  National Account Sales leaders were slightly higher at $80,000 to $195,000, and a median of $130,000.  Kinsa found that the majority of Sales positions remain remote/home office based, allowing the professional to travel to customers in their region from a closer distance.

Food Service Management

In 2020 Kinsa Group added Foodservice and Restaurant management positions to the Salary Guide.  The Restaurant Managers interviewed reported a median salary of $65,000 per year but some make as much as $95,000 depending on the location and style of the restaurant.

A similar low end of the salary range is true for General Managers, and Director of Foodservice Operations roles, at about $55,000, but the high end of the range grew to $150,000 and even $180,000 depending on the size and location of the food service operation.

The top earners in the restaurant and foodservice category are Vice Presidents for Foodservice Operations, with a median salary of $190,000.

Accounting and Finance Positions

Food and Beverage employers don’t always seek out food industry-specific talent when hiring for an accounting or finance position, but more and more employers are finding this industry background helpful for well-rounded knowledge as a strategic partner on the executive team, or for getting “up to speed” more quickly in a mid-management level position.

Kinsa Group’s survey found that Accountants for food and beverage companies had a salary between $55,000 and $130,000, depending on their experience and management level.

A more specialized Financial Analyst, reading the markets and determining trends to track and adapt to, can expect to bring home between $90,000 and $150,000 annually, with a median income of about $115,000.

With all the demands of the job, a Chief Financial Officer can earn from $135,000 to $350,000, with a median income of $220,000.

Don’t see your Discipline highlighted here?

Don’t worry, Kinsa Group’s complete Food and Beverage Industry Salary Guide for 2020 should have you covered.  In addition to additional detail regarding these disciplines above, Kinsa provides compensation ranges for titles in C-Suite Executive, Engineering, Marketing, Operations, Production, Quality, Food Safety, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

Time to Get Started

Know your skills, your strengths, and your goals before you start to consider a new job in the food and beverage industry. Then check out Kinsa Group’s listing of currently open jobs to learn which industry leaders are looking for someone just like you.

Kinsa Group has been a food industry partner for 35 years and has a long list of food and beverage industry positions, from professional to executive level, with highlighted jobs in the spotlight each week.  If you haven’t recently, contact Kinsa Group today to start on the path toward your future.

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