Primary Products Inspectors
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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to decline
- is likely to reach 2,300 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 81% of people employed as Primary Products Inspectors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,384 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,324
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,774
Median hourly earnings are $36, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Primary Products Inspectors||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Most Primary Products Inspectors work in the Public administration and safety industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Primary Products Inspectors||All Jobs Average|
Around 60% of Primary Products Inspectors live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Western Australia and South Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Primary Products Inspectors is 45 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 31% of the workforce. This is 17 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Primary Products Inspectors||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in a related field is usually needed to work as a Primary Products Inspector.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Food Processing, Australian Meat Processing, Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management, Animal Care and Management, Seafood Industry and Public Sector VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Primary Products Inspectors||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||6.3||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||7.4||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Primary Products Inspectors who have strong interpersonal skills, are flexible and provide good customer service.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
55%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
48%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Teaching people how to do something.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Looking for ways to help people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
64%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
52%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
51%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
49%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
48%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
48%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
47%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
40%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
29%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
28%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
54%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Read and understand written information.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are far away.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
43%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
71%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
70%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
69%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
69%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
68%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
65%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
65%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
64%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
62%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
61%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
60%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
60%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
59%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
58%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
56%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
55%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
55%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
50%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
48%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
37%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
92%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
86%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
84%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
83%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
82%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Talk on the telephone.
79%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Work with people in a group or team.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
79%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
79%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
78%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
78%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
74%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
74%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
74%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 45-2011.00 - Agricultural Inspectors.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.