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Agricultural inspector

Agricultural inspectors make sure animal welfare and health and safety regulations are followed on farms, in dairies and other agricultural workplaces.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £23,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need A levels or equivalent, and 2 years’ relevant work experience.

Some employers may ask for a degree or equivalent in a relevant subject like maths, science or engineering.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • observation and problem-solving skills
  • tact and diplomacy
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll make sure food is safe and of a high quality by checking farms, businesses and food processing plants.

You could work for agencies like:

If you work for the HSE, you’ll check occupational health and safety regulations are being followed. 

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • checking machinery, buildings and the environment
  • investigating accidents and complaints
  • writing reports and making recommendations
  • giving evidence in court 

If you work for DEFRA, or an agency on behalf of DEFRA, like the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), you’ll make sure UK and EU laws are being followed. 

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • collecting and analysing data
  • checking record keeping on farms
  • investigating animal welfare concerns
  • planning the control and prevention of animal and poultry disease

If you’re a food assurance scheme inspector, you’ll check agricultural practice meets the Assured Food Standards, known as the Red Tractor scheme.

Your day-to-day duties could include checking:

  • the health and welfare of livestock
  • crop management and production methods
  • the environmental impact of farming techniques
  • animal feed
  • livestock shelters are safe and the right size
  • animal identification and veterinary treatments
  • record keeping and documentation

4. Salary

Starter: £23,000 to £26,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may need to work outside of these hours depending on the job.

You’ll be based in an office, but you’ll spend at least half of your time visiting workplaces. 

You may sometimes stay away from home.

Conditions on visits can sometimes be noisy and dirty.

You’ll sometimes need to wear protective clothing.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a management role, or work as a consultant in occupational health.

You could move into public health or conservation work.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016