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Career profile Agricultural Inspector

Also known as Brand Inspector; Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI); Deputy Brand Inspector; Food Inspector; Food Sanitarian; Grain Inspector; Inspector; Inspector, Food Safety and Inspection Service (Inspector, FSIS); Seed and Fertilizer Specialist; Shipping Point Inspector

Agricultural Inspector

Also known as Brand Inspector; Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI); Deputy Brand Inspector; Food Inspector; Food Sanitarian; Grain Inspector; Inspector; Inspector, Food Safety and Inspection Service (Inspector, FSIS); Seed and Fertilizer Specialist; Shipping Point Inspector

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$29,430 - $72,310 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Set standards for the production of meat or poultry products or for food ingredients, additives, or compounds used to prepare or package products.
  • Inspect food products and processing procedures to determine whether products are safe to eat.
  • Inspect agricultural commodities or related operations, as well as fish or logging operations, for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety.
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What does an Agricultural Inspector do?

Agricultural Inspectors inspect agricultural commodities, processing equipment, and facilities, and fish and logging operations, to ensure compliance with regulations and laws governing health, quality, and safety.

What kind of tasks does an Agricultural Inspector perform regularly?

Agricultural Inspectors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Agricultural Inspectors. More generally, Agricultural Inspectors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
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.

What is an Agricultural Inspector salary?

The median salary for an Agricultural Inspector is $46,700, and the average salary is $48,620. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Agricultural Inspector salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Agricultural Inspectors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Agricultural Inspectors earn less than $29,430 per year, 25% earn less than $34,920, 75% earn less than $58,380, and 90% earn less than $72,310.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Agricultural Inspectors is expected to change by 9.6%, and there should be roughly 2,900 open positions for Agricultural Inspectors every year.

Median annual salary
$46,700
Typical salary range
$29,430 - $72,310
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
9.6%

What personality traits are common among Agricultural Inspectors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Agricultural Inspector are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Agricultural Inspectors typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Agricultural Inspectors typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Agricultural Inspectors typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Agricultural Inspector tend to value Achievement, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Agricultural Inspectors moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Agricultural Inspectors moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Agricultural Inspectors moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Agricultural Inspectors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Agricultural Inspectors, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Agricultural Inspectors need?

Working as an Agricultural Inspector usually requires a high school diploma.

Agricultural Inspectors need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Agricultural Inspectors

  • 5.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 25.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.6% completed some college coursework
  • 8.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 30.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Agricultural Inspectors

Agricultural Inspectors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administration and management, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Agricultural Inspectors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Agricultural Inspectors

Agricultural Inspectors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Agricultural Inspectors need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Agricultural Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

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 that there is a problem.
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.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Agricultural Inspectors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Agricultural Inspectors frequently use skills like quality control analysis, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Agricultural Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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