Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 14,100 people employed as agricultural inspectors in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $45,140.
Entry level employees earn approximately $29,990 per year and senior employees earn approximately $69,450
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Monitor the operations and sanitary conditions of slaughtering or meat processing plants.
- Take emergency actions, such as closing production facilities, if product safety is compromised.
- Verify that transportation and handling procedures meet regulatory requirements.
- Inspect the cleanliness and practices of establishment employees.
- Examine, weigh, and measure commodities, such as poultry, eggs, meat, or seafood to certify qualities, grades, and weights.
- Inspect or test horticultural products or livestock to detect harmful diseases, chemical residues, or infestations and to determine the quality of products or animals.
- Inspect food products and processing procedures to determine whether products are safe to eat.
- Interpret and enforce government acts and regulations and explain required standards to agricultural workers.
- Set standards for the production of meat or poultry products or for food ingredients, additives, or compounds used to prepare or package products.
- Inspect agricultural commodities or related operations, as well as fish or logging operations, for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety.
- Label and seal graded products and issue official grading certificates.
- Monitor the grading performed by company employees to verify conformance to standards.
- Set labeling standards and approve labels for meat or poultry products.
- Write reports of findings and recommendations and advise farmers, growers, or processors of corrective action to be taken.
- Direct or monitor the quarantine and treatment or destruction of plants or plant products.
- Collect samples from animals, plants, or products and route them to laboratories for microbiological assessment, ingredient verification, or other testing.
- Review and monitor foreign product inspection systems in countries of origin to ensure equivalence to the U.S. system.
- Inquire about pesticides or chemicals to which animals may have been exposed.
- Provide consultative services in areas such as equipment or product evaluation, plant construction or layout, or food safety systems.
- Testify in legal proceedings.
- Compare product recipes with government-approved formulas or recipes to determine acceptability.
- Advise farmers or growers of development programs or new equipment or techniques to aid in quality production.