How to become a Primary Products Inspector

Primary Products Inspector

Primary products inspectors examine animals, plants and agricultural produce at farms, abattoirs, processing and packing plants, wholesale markets and places of storage or shipment to ensure they meet government standards of hygiene and quality, and export requirements.

Personal requirements for a Primary Products Inspector

  • Normal colour vision
  • Confidence when dealing with people
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to make accurate observations
  • Good organisational and supervisory skills
  • Able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • Aptitude for working with computers

Education & Training for a Primary Products Inspector

To become a primary products inspector you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact our chosen institution for further information. You can also become a primary products inspector through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Primary Products Inspector

Primary products inspectors:

  • Check produce, live animals and crops for disease, insect or chemical residue and other damage, and reject those of substandard quality
  • Check and grade produce (such as meat, fruit, vegetables, milk, grains, sugar cane and fish) during processing, ensuring ingredients used in processing meet government standards of purity and grading
  • Supervise fumigation of ships and aircraft
  • Supervise the proper disposal of quarantine garbage
  • Examine imported plants, animals and products (timber, seeds and dried fruits, for example) and make quarantine arrangements
  • Ensure commercial fishing regulations are obeyed
  • Inspect livestock before and after slaughter to check that they are fit for human consumption
  • Advise on packing and loading regulations
  • Advise primary producers on economic aspects of disease eradication, and inform producers and the general public of health implications of diseases and impurities
  • Appear in court to give evidence in cases involving breaches of the regulations.

Tasks

  • Patrolling and investigating waterways for unlawful fishing activities and the removal of protected marine life.
  • Auditing and monitoring quality procedures at farms and food handling and processing facilities to ensure compliance with required standards.
  • Examining imported plants and animals, and products, such as timber, seeds and dried fruits, and making quarantine arrangements.
  • Inspecting animals, plants and agricultural produce to identify product quality issues, and providing advice to producers.
  • Testing samples of produce for quality, size and purity.
  • Ensuring that required standards of hygiene are observed at storage, processing and packing facilities and in transport vehicles.
  • Educating, advising and providing information on a wide range of topics relating to fish and their protection.
  • Advising primary producers on economic aspects of disease eradication and informing producers and the general public of the health implications of diseases and impurities.
  • Advising on the identification of pests and diseases and on regulations pertaining to grading, packing and loading of products.
  • May initiate or assist in legal action to enforce regulations.

Working conditions for a Primary Products Inspector

Primary products inspectors may be required to work shifts, including weekends.


Employment Opportunities for a Primary Products Inspector

To become a quarantine inspector you must first become an employee of the Department of Agriculture. Once employed, you will be required to participate in on-the-job training. Quarantine inspectors are employed at airports and seaports throughout Australia. Meat inspectors usually work at establishments that slaughter or process meat for export or domestic consumption. Employment opportunities for sugarcane analysts/auditors are mainly in Queensland, with limited opportunities in NSW and WA. Sugarcane analysts/auditors work in laboratories located within sugar mills, and most work rostered shifts.


Specializations

Sugarcane Analyst/Auditor

A sugarcane analyst/auditor oversees the entire operations of sugarcane analysis programmes to ensure they comply with programme provisions.

Meat Inspector

A meat inspector inspects carcasses and internal organs of animals for disease and ensures the meat complies with health requirements.

Australian Quarantine Inspection Service Officer

An Australian quarantine inspection service officer prevents pests and diseases from entering the country by examining and treating all incoming and outgoing animals, plants, food, humans and machinery. Quarantine inspectors may work at international airports, seaports, mail exchanges and container depots.

Primary Products Inspector

Primary products inspectors examine animals, plants and agricultural produce at farms, abattoirs, processing and packing plants, wholesale markets and places of storage or shipment to ensure they meet government standards of hygiene and quality, and export requirements.

  • Average age
    Average age
    45 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    31% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,644
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    High skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    81% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    4,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.5%
    NSW: 24.4%
    NT: 1.9%
    QLD: 21.3%
    SA: 10.1%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 22.1%
    WA: 16.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.5%
    20-24: 3.5%
    25-34: 18.1%
    35-44: 27.4%
    45-54: 24.4%
    55-59: 13.2%
    60-64: 8.2%
    65 and Over: 4.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.9%
    Bachelor degree: 25.3%
    Certificate III/IV: 28.7%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 6.3%
    Year 10 and below: 7.4%
    Year 11: 3.4%
    Year 12: 11%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? Login Forgot password?

Join the conversation