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Agricultural Commodity Inspector

Agricultural commodity inspectors make sure agricultural products meet government standards for storing, producing, and transporting food.

Also Known As

Grain Inspector, Inspector, Livestock Carcass Grader, Meat Inspector, Poultry Inspector, Vegetable Inspector

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Fruit and Vegetables Inspectors (2222.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Agricultural and Fish Products Inspectors (C122) 
  • 2011 NOC: Agricultural and fish products inspectors (2222) 
  • 2016 NOC: Agricultural and fish products inspectors (2222) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Fruit and Vegetables Inspectors

2006 NOC: 2222.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in handling and inspecting fruits and vegetables during processing to establish size, quality and grade and to prepare specimens for examination

innovative

Interest in analyzing data collected at inspection centers; and in examining specimens to detect and identify diseases, insects and other damage

directive

Interest in speaking with growers, farmers and shippers regarding methods of culture, registration requirements, eradication of diseases and regulations pertaining to grading, packing, loading and transporting of products; and in reporting diseases to government authorities

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Agricultural commodity inspectors’ duties vary depending on the types of products they inspect (for example, fruits and vegetables, meat or grains). Inspectors may specialize in one or more product types. But in general, they:

  • Conduct hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) audits to identify potential food safety hazards so the hazards can be reduced or eliminated
  • Check sanitation, quality control, and food safety programs
  • Make sure product labels are accurate
  • Supervise the seal of containers for export
  • Interpret and enforce government acts and regulations
  • Explain standards and recommend changes to plant managers

Dairy inspectors:

  • Collect samples for microbiological, chemical-residue, and vitamin tests
  • Register and license dairy plants
  • Make sure the transportation and handling of products meet regulatory requirements

Some dairy inspectors work as consultants at dairy plants. They solve problems and assess equipment, products and systems. They may also specialize in other areas such as plant construction and layout or food safety systems.

Feed inspectors:

  • Check feed for harmful chemicals (such as pesticides) and contamination (such as salmonella)
  • Investigate feed-related contamination of meat, milk, and eggs
  • Inspect commercial feed mills
  • Inspect farms that produce medicated feeds

Fruit and vegetable inspectors:

  • Inspect fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products, including honey, at all stages of sale except in stores
  • Make sure grade packaging and marking rules are followed
  • Inspect imported produce for disease and damage and to ensure proper grading and labelling
  • Check processing plants for sanitation, quality, and compliance with standards

Meat inspectors work in meat processing facilities. They:

  • Assess whether animals are healthy and fit for slaughter
  • Inspect carcasses to see if they are fit to eat
  • Identify carcasses that may have disease
  • Run quality control tests
  • Inspect facilities for sanitation
  • Make sure facilities follow federal and provincial regulations for manufacturing, preparing, and packaging meat products
  • Ensure the humane handling and slaughter of all livestock that is presented for slaughter at their inspected facilities

Poultry inspectors:

  • Inspect wholesale businesses, storage facilities, registered egg stations, hatcheries, and egg product plants
  • Monitor grading by company employees
  • Inspect sanitation procedures
  • Certify that finished products meet standards

Plant product inspectors:

  • Check plant products at various locations, such as seed-cleaning plants, fertilizer plants, pedigree seed growers, and pesticide stores
  • Collect samples for lab analysis
  • Make sure pesticide, fertilizer, and seed labels are accurate
  • Inspect farmers’ fields for purity of pedigreed seed type
  • Establish seed grades
  • Label and seal graded seed products

Livestock inspectors work in auction markets, assembly stations, feedlots, and provincial and federal abattoirs (designated inspection sites). They:

  • Examine the brands and other identifiers on livestock as well as livestock manifests, livestock permits, bills of sale, and any other information or documentation to determine the right to possession by the person presenting the livestock for inspection
  • Count the livestock
  • Withhold the proceeds or prohibit the sale of livestock if ownership is in question
  • Impound, identify, and document stray livestock and arrange for the board and maintenance of strays prior to their return or sale
  • Assist with the settlement of claims arising from damages caused by stray livestock
  • Assist RCMP livestock investigators with suspected cases of theft, illegal branding and unlawful confinement of livestock, and possibly testify as expert witnesses
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Agricultural commodity inspectors work in a variety of places, depending on their specialty. They may work in:

  • Livestock auction markets
  • Terminal yards
  • Frozen food plants
  • Canneries
  • Dairy plants
  • Meat and poultry processing plants
  • Hatcheries or egg stations
  • Nurseries
  • Fertilizer manufacturers, blenders, and outlets
  • Feed mills
  • Producer fields
  • Pesticide plants or warehouses
  • Farms
  • Seed cleaning and conditioning plants

Agricultural commodity inspectors may come across unpleasant odours and loud noises. They may need to stand, crouch, or kneel for long periods.

They may meet many different people in a typical day. They may need to do significant travel. They sometimes work long and irregular hours.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Agricultural commodity inspectors need:

  • An impartial nature
  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to analyze information
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • The ability to read and comprehend government acts and regulations
  • High ethical standards

They should enjoy:

  • Having clear rules and organized methods for their work
  • Dealing with people
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

Agricultural commodity inspectors need a high school diploma and related experience or training. A post-secondary diploma or degree in a related subject is an asset (for example, agriculture, animal health technology, or food science). Dairy specialists must have a related degree, such as a bachelor of science in agriculture.

Federal government meat inspectors undergo up to 3 years of on-the-job training. Alberta government inspectors undergo a 2-year on-the-job training program. All agricultural commodity inspectors must take professional development courses on an ongoing basis to keep up to date.

A driver’s licence is also required.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Northwestern Polytechnic
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Thompson Rivers University

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Agricultural commodity inspectors work for provincial agricultural departments and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Trainees learn on the job from experienced inspectors. Because their jobs are specific to certain industries, working and learning on the job is the best means of training. Trainees are supervised while they learn legislation and regulations and develop skills and judgment. After 6 to 12 months, they are given more responsibility. By their third year, they can work on their own. With enough experience, they can move into managerial roles.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2222: Agricultural and fish products inspectors occupational group, 77.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2222: Agricultural and fish products inspectors occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries for agricultural commodity inspectors vary according to the type and level of work performed.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Agricultural and fish products inspectors

2016 NOC: 2222
Average Wage
$33.76
Per Hour
Average Salary
$65,886.00
Per Year
Average Hours
37.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2222 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $33.60 $28.02 $30.72
Overall $20.00 $44.16 $33.76 $36.35
Top $22.00 $44.16 $35.61 $36.35

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
46%
46%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
N/A
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website: www.alberta.ca/ministry-agriculture-forestry

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website: www.inspection.gc.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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