Animal care | Environment and land
Agricultural inspectors make sure animal welfare and environmental standards are followed in farms and dairies.
£23,000 Starter - £50,000 Experienced
38 to 40 a week (evenings away from home)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university course
You could start by taking a degree in a relevant subject like:
science, maths, environmental health or agriculture. Some universities offer a foundation degree in agriculture as preparation for working in the agricultural sector.
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or the equivalent.
The following courses may help you to work towards this role: a Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture or a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Agriculture.
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course. You'll need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course.
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 machine operator.
A professional qualification in health and safety would also be useful, for example a course offered through NEBOSH or IOSH. 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 or the Red Tractor scheme.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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 use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day to day duties will depend on where you work.
For the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), you could:
For the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), you could:
- check machinery, buildings and the working environment
- investigate accidents and complaints
- write reports and make recommendations
For food assurance standards, you could:
- collect and analyse data
- check record keeping on farms
- investigate animal welfare concerns
- plan the control and prevention of animal disease
- inspect the health and welfare of livestock
- check food crop production methods
- ensure records and documents are kept up to date
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.
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.