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Working as a Food Inspector

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a food inspector. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.06 an hour? That's $47,971 a year!

What Does a Food Inspector Do

There are certain skills that many food inspectors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed dexterity, math skills and physical stamina.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a food inspector, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.1% of food inspectors included food preparation, while 7.9% of resumes included red meat, and 7.7% of resumes included human consumption. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the food inspector job title. But what industry to start with? Most food inspectors actually find jobs in the technology and non profits industries.

How To Become a Food Inspector

If you're interested in becoming a food inspector, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 34.6% of food inspectors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.1% of food inspectors have master's degrees. Even though some food inspectors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a food inspector. When we researched the most common majors for a food inspector, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on food inspector resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a food inspector. In fact, many food inspector jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many food inspectors also have previous career experience in roles such as assistant manager or internship.

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Average Salary$47,971

Food Inspector Jobs

Food Inspector Career Paths

Top Careers Before Food Inspector

Cashier
15.1%

Top Careers After Food Inspector

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Food Inspector

Food Inspectors in America make an average salary of $47,971 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,971

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range26k - 53k$38k$37,920
Salary Range20k - 60k$36k$35,584
$20k
$60k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Food Inspector
Food Inspector
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Food Safety and Inspection Service
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$34,91610/30/2020
$34,916
Food Inspector (Imports)
Food Inspector (Imports)
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Food Safety and Inspection Service
10/28/2020
10/28/2020
$49,39010/28/2020
$49,390
Food Inspector
Food Inspector
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Food Safety and Inspection Service
09/25/2020
09/25/2020
$43,24309/25/2020
$43,243
Intermittent Food Inspector
Intermittent Food Inspector
Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
08/26/2020
08/26/2020
$43,24308/26/2020
$43,243
Food Inspector
Food Inspector
Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
08/20/2020
08/20/2020
$43,24308/20/2020
$43,243
See More Recent Salaries

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Food Inspector Demographics

Gender

male

47.4%

female

45.6%

unknown

6.9%

Ethnicity

White

65.0%

Hispanic or Latino

25.6%

Black or African American

5.3%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.8%

French

5.9%

Portuguese

2.9%
See More Demographics

Food Inspector Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

34.6%

High School Diploma

21.7%

Associate

18.7%

Top Colleges for Food Inspectors

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

Tuition and fees
$9,242
Enrollment
20,592

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Tuition and fees
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

6. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME

Tuition and fees
$13,478
Enrollment
979

7. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

8. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA

Tuition and fees
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

9. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY

Tuition and fees
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

10. Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Tuition and fees
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Food Inspector

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Food Inspector

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.1% of food inspectors listed food preparation on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and math skills are important as well.

  • Food Preparation, 15.1%
  • Red Meat, 7.9%
  • Human Consumption, 7.7%
  • Food Inspection, 7.6%
  • Federal Laws, 7.1%
  • Other Skills, 54.6%
  • See All Food Inspector Skills

Best States For a Food Inspector

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food inspector. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Food inspectors make the most in New York with an average salary of $57,759. Whereas in New Jersey and Rhode Island, they would average $57,685 and $53,318, respectively. While food inspectors would only make an average of $52,739 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Pennsylvania

Total Food Inspector Jobs:
303
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
1.67
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Food Inspector Jobs:
52
Highest 10% Earn:
$92,000
Location Quotient:
2.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Food Inspector Jobs:
77
Highest 10% Earn:
$99,000
Location Quotient:
1.49
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Food Inspector Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

I want to become food inspector.April 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoI want to become food inspector.April 2019

What do you like the most about working as Food Inspector?

As a food inspector i should responsible for ensuring that foods are suitable for human consumption or not. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Those who didn't understand their duties and responsibilities Show More

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Top Food Inspector Employers

1. USDA
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$49,284
Food Inspectors Hired: 
206+
2. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Food Inspectors Hired: 
183+
3. Tyson Foods
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$37,078
Food Inspectors Hired: 
16+
4. ManpowerGroup
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,043
Food Inspectors Hired: 
6+
5. Hanover Foods
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$33,238
Food Inspectors Hired: 
6+
6. Perdue Farms
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$28,816
Food Inspectors Hired: 
5+

Food Inspector Videos

Recently Added Food Inspector Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020