What does an agricultural inspector do?
Agricultural inspectors are employed by state and federal government agencies to make sure people and organizations are abiding by the laws and regulations that govern the quality, health, and safety of agricultural products, fish and logging operations, and processing equipment and facilities. They make sure all products, equipment, and processing sites are legal and they enforce the required health and safety regulations. They monitor agricultural products being transported within the country and those entering the country. They also check the shipment quality of products before they leave the country. Agricultural inspectors prevent prohibited agricultural items from entering the country such as items that could cause serious harm to people, crops, livestock, and the environment.
What kind of training does an agricultural inspector need?
Agricultural inspections typically need at least a bachelor degree in agricultural science or other closely related field. Relevant work experience and some college coursework in biology or agricultural science may be sufficient for some positions. Prospective agricultural inspectors typically complete courses in biology, microbiology, chemistry, agriculture, plant science, animal science, and mathematics. Prospective agricultural inspectors must also complete training to gain a solid understanding of the specific procedures, regulations, and laws that govern the agricultural industry. Many employers provide on the job training to new agricultural inspectors. Agricultural inspectors that are employed by state or federal government agencies must also pass background checks.
What are the prospects for a career as an agricultural inspector?
Employment of agricultural inspectors is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increasing need for thorough inspections will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for agricultural inspectors with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace agricultural inspectors that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.
How much do agricultural inspectors make?
As of December 2009, the middle 50% of agricultural inspectors earn annual salaries between $32,115 and $48,592. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $57,308 (2).
A career as an agricultural inspector is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in agricultural science and performing a variety of inspection tasks. Agricultural inspectors must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures regarding the inspection of agricultural products. They must have excellent math skills, good problem solving skills, and good conflict resolution abilities. A high level of responsibility, detail orientation, and defensiveness are also essential characteristics. Agricultural inspectors must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively work independently as well was part of a team.