If you could do anything for a job, what would it be? A professional video game player? An expert sunbather? How about someone who tastes cheese for a living?
That last option is actually available right now at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The salary is $15 per hour, and you don’t need any particular “cheese-tasting” qualifications, either. According to the job listing, they are seeking someone who is “passionate about all types of foods, but especially cheese, pizza and other dairy products.”
“Once hired, we will train you to become part of a group of expert tasters capable of verbally describing their sensory experience on the basis of appearance, texture, taste and aroma attributes for research and product development purposes,” the job description reads.
You do have to show up to work, though — this isn’t about nibbling pizza on your couch. (Please, this is serious work!) The job is on-site at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Center for Dairy Research, and if you are hired, you will be responsible for trying out up to 24 cheese samples and 12 pizzas a week (not to mention other cheese-related food products). Your hours will vary, but you will need to be available for 3-hour consecutive periods and up to three sessions per week. Apply by June 21.
Just like any job, there will be performance evaluations, including a “bi-annual taste acuity rescreening and subsequent retraining when necessary to ensure consistent performance in attribute evaluation.” So, “taste acuity” is important here. Do you think you’ve got what it takes, pizza lover?
UW-MADISON IS HIRING PROFESSIONAL CHEESE EATERS pic.twitter.com/zodRq3AuLA
— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) June 7, 2023
Now that you know this job exists, are you wondering what other tastebud-pleasing positions are available? The fact is, there are tasters needed for all kinds of yummy foods.
According to Indeed, an ice cream taster is an “in-demand profession,” with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that the hiring of food scientists will increase by 6% between 2019 and 2029. That’s faster than the average for all occupations. What, you may ask, is the average yearly salary for tasting ice cream? It’s $68,970. It may be time for a career change.