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Agricultural Commodity Inspector

Agricultural commodity inspectors ensure that agricultural products meet the production, storage and transportation standards set by federal and provincial agriculture departments.

  • Avg. Salary $54,547.00
  • Avg. Wage $28.12
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Agricultural Commodity Inspector is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Fruit and Vegetables Inspectors

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


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


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

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 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 More

Updated Mar 29, 2015

The duties and responsibilities of agricultural commodity inspectors vary depending on the types of products they inspect (for example, fruits and vegetables, meat, grains). They may specialize in a particular type of product or inspect more than one type of product. In general, however, they:

  • conduct Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) audits to identify potential food safety hazards so action can be taken to reduce or eliminate hazards
  • conduct inspections, checking sanitation, quality control and food safety programs
  • ensure accurate product labelling and packaging
  • interpret and enforce government acts and regulations, explain the standards required and make recommendations to agricultural product plant managers.

Dairy inspectors:

  • inspect dairy products, taking samples for microbiological assessment, ingredient verification, chemical residue testing and vitamin testing
  • register and license dairy plants
  • ensure that transportation and handling meet regulatory requirements.

Some dairy inspectors specialize in providing consultative services for dairy plants in areas such as problem solving, equipment and product evaluation, aseptic systems, plant construction, and layout or food safety systems.

Feeds inspectors:

  • examine the products of livestock feed mills to verify drug guarantees and check for residues of chemicals, pesticides, contamination by heavy metals, mycotoxins and salmonella
  • investigate feed related contamination of meat, milk or eggs
  • inspect commercial feed mills and farms involved in the production of medicated feeds.

Fruit and vegetable inspectors:

  • inspect fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products (including honey) at all stages of merchandising (with the exception of the retail phase)
  • monitor the application of grade packaging and marking regulations
  • inspect imported produce to check for disease or damage resulting from transit, storage or handling, and to ensure proper grading and labelling
  • check processing plants for sanitation, quality and compliance with product standards.

Meat inspectors work in meat processing facilities where they:

  • determine if animals are healthy and fit for slaughter
  • inspect animal carcasses to determine if they are fit for consumption
  • identify carcasses and portions of carcasses suspected of disease
  • conduct quality control tests
  • inspect facilities for sanitation and adherence to federal and provincial regulations regarding the manufacture, preparation and packaging of meat products.

Poultry inspectors:

  • inspect wholesale establishments, storage facilities, registered egg stations, hatcheries or egg product plants
  • monitor the grading done by company employees
  • inspect sanitation procedures
  • certify that the quality and condition of finished products meet established standards.

Plant products inspectors:

  • examine the products of seed cleaning plants, fertilizer plants, pedigree seed growers and formulated pesticide retail outlets
  • collect samples for laboratory analysis and ensure that the information contained on pesticide, fertilizer and seed labels is correct
  • inspect farmers' fields for purity of variety of pedigreed seed, establish the grade of seed, and label and seal the graded product.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Agricultural commodity inspectors experience a wide variety of working environments depending on their specialty. They may work in:

  • livestock auction markets and 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 manufacturing plants or distribution warehouses
  • farms
  • seed cleaning and conditioning plants.

Agricultural commodity inspectors may encounter unpleasant odours and loud noises from animals and machines. When conducting audits and product inspections in processing facilities they may be required to stand, crouch, kneel or lift items weighing 10 kilograms or more.

Commodity inspectors may meet many different people during a working day, and may be required to do a considerable amount of travelling. They sometimes work long and irregular hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Agricultural commodity inspectors need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to communicate well in person and in writing
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • the ability to make objective evaluation decisions
  • high ethical standards
  • the ability to be firm yet diplomatic when dealing with clients who may not agree with their application and enforcement of regulations.

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work, analyzing information, and dealing with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2015

The minimum education requirement for agricultural commodity inspectors is a high school diploma plus related experience or training. However, a related post-secondary diploma or degree (for example, in agriculture, animal health technology or food science) is a definite asset. Dairy specialists must have a related university degree, such as a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Agriculture.

Related Education

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

Assiniboine Community College - Brandon

Grande Prairie Regional College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Thompson Rivers University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Agricultural commodity inspectors are employed by provincial agricultural departments and the federal government's Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Inspector trainees are trained on the job under the direction of an experienced inspector. Because inspectors' jobs are specific to particular industries, working and learning on the job is really the only comprehensive means of training. All trainees' activities are supervised while they learn legislation and regulations, and develop skills and judgment. After an initial training period of six months to one year, trainees are given increased responsibility. By their third year, they are capable of working independently. After gaining enough experience agricultural commodity inspectors can move on to managing positions.

Agricultural commodity inspectors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2222: Agricultural and Fish Products Inspectors. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including


  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above),
  • location in Alberta,
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions),
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before), and
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 29, 2015

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

Agricultural and fish products inspectors

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.00 $31.25 $23.86 $21.00
Overall $15.00 $40.23 $28.12 $23.62
Top $17.31 $40.23 $28.87 $25.24

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.

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.

Industry Information
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development website:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. 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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