Are you about to finish your studies or are you already looking for a job? Are you thinking about starting the PJ or your PhD? We collected extensive information to give you an overview and to help get you started in the next chapter of your life.


What is the usual starting salary of a food chemist? And how much is it influenced by degree, sector or location? Many graduates face these questions at the beginning of their career. The customary salary surveys are often not helpful, as the qualifications you have after studying food chemistry are quite different from other chemistry study programmes. In order to solve this problem, we have already conducted two surveys ourselves with exceptionally large participation. After the first survey was conducted in 2014, we were able to present an updated and even more detailed data set in 2020, incorporating suggestions for improvement.


Job market of the GDCh

An online job market, which is updated on a daily basis, can be found on the website of GDCh Here, jobs for food chemists, chemists, bio chemists and other life-science professions are offered.

As an active member of AG JLC, you also have access to our established information network. We regularly receive job offers or requests for communication in our internal forum. Members of AG JLC at your university who have taken part in a national meeting have access to the forum. Why don’t you come to one of our meetings at your university?


Your study programme, which is usually completed with the first Staatsexamen, is followed by the practical year at a state lab or a comparable institution. During this year, you focus on learning the principles for the legal control of food, cosmetics and consumer goods. It is completed with the second Staatsexamen.

The main course of study at the university and the final examination are followed by a twelve-month practical training in a chemical and food laboratory. During this year, you deepen, develop and apply the skills obtained during the study programme, as well as broaden your knowledge.

The training focuses on organisation, execution and quality assurance of food analyses, the legal assessment of food as well as conducting official food controls including controls of institutions. You work in the various departments focussing on certain food groups for a few weeks each; that way, you learn the relevant working methods and how to draw up expert reports for the legal assessment of the results. Tobacco products, cosmetics, consumer goods and water are all considered to an appropriate extent. In many cases, accompanying lectures are also offered.

The year finishes with the second Staatsexamen, which qualifies you for a job. In the exam, you have to prove that you possess comprehensive knowledge in the field of monitoring consumer goods and food control and that you are able to carry out the necessary analyses and assessments as well as initiate appropriate measures. According to the current regulations, the exam consists of an oral subject about “food law and enforcement of food control” and three practical subjects about the analysis and assessment of a foodstuff, a consumer good and a sample of drinking, industrial or waste water.

The standard regulations of the third exam component call for three oral exams on the following subjects:
• food and consumer goods law
• organisation and function of food and consumer goods control
• quality assurance in laboratories and establishments

There is an additional practical exam with three tasks and three one-day supervisory tasks about food regulatory assessments, each from a different section of the training.

If you have any questions regarding the practical year, please fill in the contact form to get in touch with the person who is responsible for your university.

Guidelines for interns of TdL

Practical year PJ in Food Chemistry

After completing university, which typically ends with the First State Examination / Master's degree, there is the opportunity to complete a practical year of professional training at the investigation offices of the federal states. The focus here is on the legal assessment of food, cosmetics, tobacco products, and consumer goods. The organization, implementation, and quality assurance of the investigations, as well as the requirements for work in accredited laboratories, are also focal points of the training, as is the implementation of official food monitoring, including inspections of producing companies.

Finally, the Second State Examination follows, which entitles one to use the protected professional title "state-certified food chemist". The degree is necessary for working as an expert in the investigation office, as well as in some cases, to work as a counter-expert in service laboratories. The expertise gained in food law, together with the title, is also valued in the industry.

Since education is a matter of the federal states, the procedure, organization, exams, etc. sometimes differ considerably. For example, an industrial internship is carried out in some states. To help you keep an overview, the AG JLC has created the PJ guide. This document is regularly updated. You can also find the most important information about the PJ on our flyer for reference (see below). BLC and LChG have also created a detailed guide to the PJ, which can be downloaded here.

For all questions regarding the PJ, you can always contact We are happy to help and, if necessary, establish contact with local contact persons. In 2020, the AG JLC conducted a survey on the PJ among current and former food chemists in the internship. The evaluation of this survey is also available for download below.


You want to know if doing your PhD is the right choice for you?

You would like to do your PhD, but you need more information?

Then you should read this Flyer and this guide about doing a PhD in the field of food chemistry!

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