What Do I Need to Become a Food Inspector?

To become a food inspector, a bachelor's degree or at least one year of specialized work experience is required. Specialized experience refers to regulatory food inspection work, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A background in agriculture, chemistry or biology is highly regarded for entry into food inspection.

Work experience in the processing side of the food industry can be helpful as well. It helps to have a well-rounded education, states Don Voeller, a Food and Drug Administration inspector. Successful applicants often have a college diploma in food science, environmental studies, chemistry, health and safety or a related field.

Food and drug inspectors are responsible for inspecting places where foods and drugs are manufactured, handled, stored or sold. The federal government is the top employer of food inspectors in the United States.

To become an Agricultural and Food Science Technician, an associate's degree is required. Employment in this area is projected to grow slower than the average of all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Entry-level food inspectors often work in slaughter houses. Inspection activity is performed in a noisy industrial environment with large moving machinery that cannot be stopped quickly, states the U.S. Department of Agriculture.