Enologists are employed in settings ranging from small wineries to large manufacturing plants and multinational corporations. Some enologists may do research or quality assurance work. Since many vineyards and wineries are located in California, jobs are more abundant there.
The usual method of entry is to be hired by a winery after completing an undergraduate or graduate degree in enology, fermentation, or food science. Summer or part-time work sometimes may lead to a permanent job, and an apprenticeship program at a winery will also provide the necessary training.
Advancement depends on performance, experience, and education. Enologists at small wineries may become managers at larger facilities. Those at larger facilities may move on to direct a number of wineries as part of a nationwide organization. A small number of enologists may start their own wineries. Because of the relatively small number of wineries in the country and the fact that enologists have high-level management positions from the start, advancement opportunities are somewhat limited.
Practice making your own wine. Enter your wine in the American Wine Society’s Amateur Wine Competition (http://americanwinesociety.org/competitions).
Read publications such as Wine Business Insider and Wine Business Monthly (which can both be found at http://www.winebusiness.com) to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: http://www.winebusiness.com/classifieds and http://www.asev.org/job-board.
Join professional associations such as the American Society for Enology and Viticulture to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.
Conduct information interviews with enologists and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.