Agricultural inspector

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Agricultural inspectors make sure animal welfare regulations are followed in farms and dairies.

Salary Range: £23,000 to £50,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
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You could start by taking a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • science
  • maths
  • engineering
  • environmental health

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
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Direct application

To apply directly to become an agricultural inspector, you’ll usually need A levels or equivalent, and at least 2 years’ relevant work experience, for example in agricultural engineering.

A professional qualification in health and safety would also be useful, for example a course offered through NEBOSH or IOSH.

More information

Career tips

You’re most likely to find jobs with a government-related agency, for instance:

  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Heath and Safety Executive
  • Red Tractor scheme

Further information

You can find more details about working as an agricultural inspector from Tasty Careers.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

For the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 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 

For the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 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

For food assurance inspection, 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

Working environment

You could work in an office or on a farm.

Your working environment may be noisy and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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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.