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

  • $1,395 Weekly Pay
  • 2,300 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 73.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.4 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 41.2% female Gender Share

The number of Primary Products Inspectors fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 2,300 in 2017 to 2,300 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Primary Products Inspectors work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Public Administration and Safety; Manufacturing; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (73.4%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 41.2% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20075300
20084200
20094200
20104200
20115700
20124300
20133700
20142700
20154000
20162900
20172300
20222300

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Safety58.4
Manufacturing24.1
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing7.4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services4.4
Other Industries5.7

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 2017, 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
NSW19.731.6
VIC31.626.2
QLD18.719.7
SA7.56.7
WA17.510.8
TAS3.92.0
NT1.11.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-244.0-9.99.9
25-3414.8-23.623.6
35-4439.8-21.721.7
45-5422.5-20.820.8
55-593.6-8.88.8
60-6410.5-6.06.0
65 and Over4.7-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Food Processing, Australian Meat Processing, Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management, Animal Care and Management, Seafood Industry and Public Sector VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2011.00 - Agricultural Inspectors.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2011.00 - Agricultural Inspectors.

go to top