Primary Products Inspectors inspect animals, plants and agricultural produce and facilities to ensure compliance with government and industry standards with respect to quality, health and licensing.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed.

Tasks

  • inspecting animals, plants and agricultural produce to identify product quality issues, and providing advice to producers
  • auditing and monitoring quality procedures at farms and food handling and processing facilities to ensure compliance with required standards
  • 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
  • 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
  • examining imported plants and animals, and products, such as timber, seeds and dried fruits, and making quarantine arrangements
  • patrolling and investigating waterways for unlawful fishing activities and the removal of protected marine life
  • educating, advising and providing information on a wide range of topics relating to fish and their protection
  • may initiate or assist in legal action to enforce regulations

Job Titles

  • Fisheries Officer or Inspector
  • Meat Inspector
  • Quarantine Officer or Inspector
  • Other Primary Products Inspectors
  • Fisheries Officer or Inspector

    Inspects fishing vessels, gear, licences and catches to ensure that fisheries laws and regulations are obeyed.

  • Meat Inspector

    Inspects animal carcasses, internal organs and meat processing facilities for disease to ensure compliance with government and industry standards with respect to quality and health.

  • Quarantine Officer or Inspector

    Inspects incoming animals, plants, and animal and plant products to ensure compliance with laws and regulations to prevent the spread of exotic pests and diseases.

  • Other Primary Products Inspectors

    Includes Dairy Quality Assurance Officer, Fruit and Vegetable Inspector

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,395 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Associate Degree or Diploma
  • Employment Size

    3600
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    48.7%
  • Female Share

    51.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    84.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 3600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Primary Products Inspectors.
  • They mainly work in: Public Administration and Safety; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Wholesale Trade.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 31.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,395 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 46 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20054000
20065700
20075300
20083800
20094100
20104900
20114700
20125000
20132300
20143400
20153600
20203700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPrimary Products InspectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings13951230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrimary Products InspectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-time84.568.4
Part-time15.531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)31.840

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety60.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services15.5
Wholesale Trade8.9
Manufacturing8.1
Other Industries7.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePrimary Products InspectorsAll Jobs Average
NSW22.331.8
VIC1425.5
QLD37.819.8
SA06.8
WA11.911.2
TAS5.82
NT3.51.1
ACT4.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPrimary Products InspectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-241.8-9.99.9
25-3422.7-23.423.4
35-4420.9-21.721.7
45-5434.7-21.121.1
55-5915.3-8.78.7
60-640-5.95.9
65 and Over4.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrimary Products InspectorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males48.7Males53.6
Females51.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Primary Products Inspectors who have strong interpersonal skills, are flexible and provide good customer service.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    70% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Administration and Management

    67% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  3. Law and Government

    66% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  4. Clerical

    66% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  5. Mathematics

    64% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Documenting/Recording Information

    89% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    89% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Checking Compliance with Standards

    89% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  4. Getting Information

    86% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    85% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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