Agricultural Inspectors

Description

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

Tasks

  • Inspect agricultural commodities or related operations, as well as fish or logging operations, for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety.
  • Inspect or test horticultural products or livestock to detect harmful diseases, chemical residues, or infestations and to determine the quality of products or animals.
  • Verify that transportation and handling procedures meet regulatory requirements.
  • Collect samples from animals, plants, or products and route them to laboratories for microbiological assessment, ingredient verification, or other testing.
  • Interpret and enforce government acts and regulations and explain required standards to agricultural workers.
  • Write reports of findings and recommendations and advise farmers, growers, or processors of corrective action to be taken.
  • Inspect the cleanliness and practices of establishment employees.
  • Monitor the operations and sanitary conditions of slaughtering or meat processing plants.
  • Inspect food products and processing procedures to determine whether products are safe to eat.
  • Take emergency actions, such as closing production facilities, if product safety is compromised.
  • Monitor the grading performed by company employees to verify conformance to standards.
  • Label and seal graded products and issue official grading certificates.
  • Inspect livestock to determine effectiveness of medication or feeding programs.
  • Set standards for the production of meat or poultry products or for food ingredients, additives, or compounds used to prepare or package products.
  • Direct or monitor the quarantine and treatment or destruction of plants or plant products.
  • Inquire about pesticides or chemicals to which animals may have been exposed.
  • Set labeling standards and approve labels for meat or poultry products.
  • Examine, weigh, and measure commodities, such as poultry, eggs, meat, or seafood to certify qualities, grades, and weights.
  • Compare product recipes with government-approved formulas or recipes to determine acceptability.
  • Review and monitor foreign product inspection systems in countries of origin to ensure equivalence to the U.S. system.
  • Provide consultative services in areas such as equipment or product evaluation, plant construction or layout, or food safety systems.
  • Advise farmers or growers of development programs or new equipment or techniques to aid in quality production.
  • Testify in legal proceedings.

Knowledge

History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
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.
Conventional
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.
Investigative
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.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Agricultural Commodities Inspector
Agriculture Inspector
Apiary Inspector
Brand Inspector
Cattle Examiner
Cattle Inspector
Certifier
Commodity Grader
Compliance Analyst
Compliance Coordinator
Compliance Manager
Consumer Safety Officer (CSO)
Cotton Classer
Cotton Grader
Cotton Inspector
Dairy Inspector
Eggs Inspector
Field Disease and Insect Control Inspector
Fish Hatchery Inspector
Fish Inspector
Flour Inspector
Food Inspector
Food Regulatory Field Supervisor
Fruit Inspector
Grain Inspector
Grain Sampler
Health Inspector
Health Inspector Food
Insect and Disease Inspection Supervisor
Inspector
Land Inspector
Livestock Brands Inspector
Livestock Inspector
Logging Operations Inspector
Meat and Poultry Inspector
Meat Grader
Meat Inspector
Milk Inspector
Milk Tester
Plant Pest Inspector
Plant Protection Specialist
Plant Quarantine Inspector
Poultry Field Service Technician
Poultry Grader
Poultry Inspector
Route Inspector
Seed and Fertilizer Specialist
Sugar Sampler
Tobacco Classer
Tobacco Grader
Tree Inspector
Vegetable Inspector
Wheat Inspector

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$20.27 hourly, $42,160 annual.
Employment (2008):
13,570 employees