Agricultural Inspectors

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

ABOUT AGRICULTURAL INSPECTOR CAREERS
Video transcript

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 process, 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
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
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
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
MAIN ACTIVITIES
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.
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.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.