Agricultural Inspector

What is an Agricultural Inspector?

Agricultural inspectors help to keep our food safe by visiting and inspecting farms, slaughterhouses and food storage facilities. If you want to work in a new place every day and are passionate about food and safety, this could be a good job for you.

You will need good problem-solving and observational skills, as well as fair judgment. You also need good communication and IT skills, as you will be working with people and doing paperwork.

To apply for work as an agricultural inspector, you usually need some A levels, frequently in maths, English and science, as well as two years of relevant work experience.

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What does an Agricultural Inspector do?

Agricultural inspectors:

  • Visit farms to make sure that growing food is safe for consumption
  • Measure the use of fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals used to grow crops
  • Check the quality of meat and the hygiene of how it’s stored, and make sure that animals raised for slaughter are healthy
  • Report violations of agricultural law and write detailed reports, sometimes closing down the offending business
  • Collect samples to send off to the labs for testing
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What skills are important?

  • Nature and agriculture

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  • Realistic

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  • Dependability

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  • Integrity

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  • Attention to detail

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How much could I earn?

Average salary


Example: Inspectors of standards and regulations, 2013

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How to become an Agricultural Inspector

Entry requirements for new agricultural inspectors vary depending on the company, but most employers look for:

  • A good level of education, usually A levels or equivalent
  • Previous study of maths, English, science and/or IT subjects
  • Previous work experience – usually about two years

Most employers hire new inspectors and put them straight into training, which usually lasts about two years. In this way you will learn all the necessary skills for the job, as well as gaining experience.

Once your training is complete, you could work towards a degree or certificate, such as an NVQ Level 4 in Occupational Health and Safety.

It’s important for agricultural inspectors to stay up to date with their work and the relevant laws, so reading up online, going to seminars or doing short courses throughout your career is important.

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