Agricultural Inspectors

Also known as:  Cattle Examiner, Cattle Inspector, Grain Sampler, Meat and Poultry Inspector, Milk Tester, Wheat Inspector

ABOUT AGRICULTURAL INSPECTOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
America's farms and ranches feed the world. The wood from our forests is also in great demand. Agricultural inspectors help to make sure that everything grown for commercial purposes meets government standards for quality and safety.

Inspectors are involved in all aspects of the production pr ...
ocess, often examining samples along the way. They also inspect the equipment used in the production, checking to see that it's clean and in proper working condition. This can be a very physical job with a lot of walking. Sometimes inspectors need to bend or even crawl to reach difficult-to-see places. In addition to being in the field, this job entails office work.

Inspectors are called upon to review lab test results and write reports. While some large companies hire their own inspectors to monitor the production process, most agricultural inspectors work for county and state governments, or for the federal government through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A bachelor's degree is needed for some positions. Inspectors are often licensed, which requires passing an exam. Agricultural inspectors provide the public with an invaluable service. Because of their work, we can have confidence in the quality of the food we eat and the products we use.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Inspect agricultural commodities, processing equipment, and facilities, and fish and logging operations, to ensure compliance with regulations and laws governing health, quality, and safety.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS
Write reports of findings and recommendations and advise farmers, growers, or processors of corrective action to be taken.
Interpret and enforce government acts and regulations and explain required standards to agricultural workers.
Collect samples from animals, plants, or products and route them to laboratories for microbiological assessment, ingredient verification, or other testing.
Verify that transportation and handling procedures meet regulatory requirements.
Inspect agricultural commodities or related operations, as well as fish or logging operations, for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Far Vision The ability to see details at a distance.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
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