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Food Inspector - Federal Salaries of 2021

Pay Rates for "Food Inspector"

How much does a Food Inspector in the federal government get paid? $49,696.20* *Based on the 2021 average.

Food Inspector was the 123rd most popular job in the U.S. Government in 2021, with 1,705 employed. The most common payscale was the general schedule payscale.

In 2021, the Food Safety and Inspection Service hired the most employees titled Food Inspection, with an average salary of $49,696.

Government Food Inspection jobs are classified under the General Schedule (GS) payscale. Remember that the starting and maximum yearly pay listed above reflect base pay only - your actual salary will be higher based on the Locality Pay Adjustment for the area in which you work.

Job Description

Food Inspectors employed in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) agency of the US Department of Agriculture are responsible for conducting inspections of facilities engaged in the slaughter and processing of meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, and fish and fish products. They also inspect the processes employed by these facilities for packaging, storing, and shipping their products. They assess compliance of these facilities with laws and regulations on food safety to ensure that consumers are getting unadulterated foods that are properly labeled and well-packaged.

Food Inspectors play a critical role in ensuring that meat, poultry and fishery products are fit for human consumption. The first step in achieving this is by observing animals before they even get slaughtered. They inspect the areas where the animals are kept and they observe the process of getting these animals ready for slaughter. Each animal is given a complete visual examination to detect any physical or behavioral abnormality before the slaughtering process begins. Food Inspectors want to make sure that only the animals that are healthy and in a condition capable of being converted into a wholesome product are slaughtered.

Food Inspectors ensure that animals are slaughtered in a humane manner. They observe the process applied for post-mortem inspection and carcass preparation. The procedures for post-mortem inspection will vary depending on the animal slaughtered. For red meats, Food Inspectors incise and observe lymph nodes, muscle tissues, and viscera, including liver and heart, to identify any abnormalities or disease conditions. For poultry, each bird is given a sensory examination for any abnormality or disease condition as they pass by the Food Inspector through a hanging conveyor. In all species, Food Inspectors determine the wholesomeness of each inspected carcass. When the quality of the carcass is questionable, it is retained, together with the viscera, for veterinarian disposition. If the carcass is wholesome, the veterinarian will approve it for further processing.

Individuals in this occupation may specialize in the areas of slaughter inspection and/or processed products inspection. Slaughter inspection involves the inspection of animals before and after slaughter. Processed products inspection involves the inspection of all processed food containing animal parts. Processed foods include fresh boneless meats, ground meats, frozen meats, ready-to cook and ready-to-eat products, canned goods, cured and smoked products, and luncheon meat among others.

A basic knowledge and ability is required for Food Inspectors. This comprises knowledge of food animals, of normal and abnormal appearances, of general sanitation, of sanitary practices in the food industry, and what constitutes a potential sanitary hazard. Food Inspectors are required to be knowledgeable of the desirable conditions for live and slaughtered meat, poultry, and fish, as well as the standards on wholesomeness and sanitation of these products and the facilities that process them. Most Food Inspectors are initially trained in slaughter plants. After a probationary period, they receive formal classroom and on-the-job training after which they become eligible for positions in processed products inspection and compliance.

The demand for Food Inspectors is expected to grow at 9% over the next decade. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this rate is higher than the expected growth in the employment rate for other occupations. The Bureau expects 1,500 new openings for this occupation each year. The median annual wage for this occupation in 2021 is $45,140 with the lowest 10% earning $29,990 and the highest 10% earning $69,450.

Agencies that have hired a Food Inspector

Agency Employees Hired Average Salary
Food Safety and Inspection Service 1,705 $49,696.20

Food Inspector Pay Distribution

The average pay for a Food Inspector is $49,696.20. The highest paid Food Inspector made $83,923 in 2021.

Common Food Inspector Payscales

Payscale Number of Food Inspection Employees
GS - General Schedule 1,705

Category: N/A

Average Food Inspection Pay Trend from 2004 to 2021

In 2004, the average pay for a Food Inspector was $36,914. Since then, the average pay has increased to $49,696 in 2021.

Data Sources

The information provided on these pages is sourced from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) dataset. Postal Service data is managed exclusively by the USPS . All information is displayed unmodified and as provided by the source agency.

Federal employee salaries are public information under open government laws (5 U.S.C. § 552). FederalPay provides this data in the interest of government transparency — employee data may not be used for commercial soliciting or vending of any kind. Learn more about the FederalPay Employees Dataset here.

The series code of this occupation is 1863.

** This Document Provided By - The Civil Employee's Resource **