The main role of consumer scientists is to serve as a link between consumers and manufacturers. Consumer scientists are responsible for conducting researches on tastes and the requirements of consumers. On the basis of the result of these researches, consumer scientists counsel manufactures on how to improve the quality and design of consumer products and increase the popularity of the brand. To become a consumer scientist, you need to be well informed of where to start, how to get trained and what career prospects await you in this field.
Consumer scientists have to play a crucial role in the understanding the consumer behavior and provide useful insights to manufacturers. For example, those working in the food industry may use the consumer behavior to know their preferences and design new dishes to attract consumers in large numbers. Apart from conducting researches on consumer behavior, these scientists may also be involved in a variety of other tasks.
Consumer scientists also work for the marketing division and conduct market research to provide their valuable insights to marketing professionals. They help marketing professionals perform essential tasks like packaging, advertising, product campaigning etc. Quality assurance is another key area that consumer scientists work in. Their responsibility is to ensure that all products meet the quality standards and legal requirements are fulfilled appropriately.
Other key areas where consumer scientists have an important role to play include consumer advice, catering, public relations and providing advice on healthy living. The job responsibilities of consumer scientists may vary a little from one industry or organization to the other. Researching, writing reports and conducting experiments will always be the major responsibilities for these professionals.
Educational Qualification & Training
To become a consumer scientist and have a successful career, candidates should possess a degree in marketing or consumer science. Students must make sure that they get enrolled in an accredited degree program. Courses that students need to take include subjects like public relations, marketing, advertising, writing, business management and economics. Writing courses will be very helpful, as consumer scientists will need to write reports on a regular basis. A typical training program in consumer science will include consumer studies, food science and technology, consumer product management, food and consumer management, psychology, marketing etc.
Besides possessing a degree in consumer science or marketing, candidates also need to possess some essential skills to make the most of their careers. These include good verbal and written and communication skills, excellent research skills, people skills, presentation skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, decision making ability, problem solving skills and IT skills among others.
There is no dearth of opportunities for candidates who have a relevant degree and working experience. Jobs can be landed in industries like food manufacture, retail, public relations and marketing agencies, education, journalism, catering, research bodies and advisory organizations among others.
The salary of a consumer scientist may vary depending on the type of the employer or industry and years of working experience. In the initial phase of your career, you can earn an annual salary ranging between £17,000 and £22,500 a year. Management positions can fetch a higher annual salary of up to £50,000 or beyond.