United States Food and Drug Inspector

Investigate food sources to ensure compliance with health and safety codes.
picture of United States Food and Drug Inspector

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$24,000 – $61,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do United States Food and Drug Inspectors do?

Grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores…they’re all filled with a dizzying array of products that we use every day. Foods, drinks, and medicines line every shelf, all at our disposal. But how do we know that those products are fresh, safe, and capable of meeting their claims? We know, because United States Food and Drug Inspectors are on the job.

If you’re a United States Food and Drug Inspector, you investigate the sources of food, take samples, and ensure compliance with federal regulations. Travel is a significant part of your job. That’s because production facilities and farms don’t come to you, so you go to them. You perform regular inspections at frozen food production factories, fresh harvest farms, dry food packaging plants, meat shops, and drink manufacturers. In addition to food and drink, as a United States Food and Drug Inspector you are charged with inspecting plants that produce medications for both humans and animals.

You collect, package, and send samples to one of the FDA labs, where they undergo testing. Scientists evaluate the nutritional value, freshness, color, taste, and presence of harmful agents, such as E. coli.

You also review purchase orders and other paperwork to make sure the products are acquired through legal means, and that the proper permits were filed. If you find any discrepancies, breach of compliance, or illegal substances, you administer fines, or even assist the U.S. Marshal with his or her search and seizure procedures. You might also provide witness testimony in court.


Should I be an United States Food and Drug Inspector?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Field Disease and Insect Control Inspector, Food Product Inspector, Health Inspector Food See More

    How to Become an
    United States Food and Drug Inspector

    United States Food And Drug Inspectors often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:9ss3aa&chl=no+college+%2840%25%29|certificate+%2812%25%29|associate%27s+%2812%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2836%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,40,40
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