Veterinary Meat Inspector

Investigate animal meat to make sure it's safe to eat.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $145,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Veterinary Meat Inspectors do?

When someone picks up a plastic-wrapped bundle of meat at the store, it’s easy to forget that meat was once an animal, and that animal was slaughtered in a large facility. If the animal was sick or the slaughterhouse was unclean, the meat could make the consumer quite sick. Good thing a Veterinary Meat Inspector is on the job! Veterinary Meat Inspectors travel from slaughterhouse to slaughterhouse, making sure the meat sold in this country is safe to eat.

If you’re a Veterinary Meat Inspector, you spend a long time inspecting the animals that are scheduled for slaughter after each visit. Watching the animals walk, eat, or drink may not be exciting, but it’s a great way to determine that they’re healthy. Your inspections include taking their temperatures, and looking at their gums or coat.

After the animals are slaughtered, you inspect them again to make sure the meat is safe. These inspections are easier to do, as the animals won’t wiggle as you do your checks. After you complete your checks, the workers will label the grade of the meat, and you see to it that those labels are accurate.

You also inspect the facility, making sure the floors, stalls, and pens are up to state and federal standards, and taking swabs to check for bacteria or other contaminants.

While you may be a jolly person whom everybody likes, to the owners of the slaughterhouses, you may be the most dreaded person. After all, your job is to inspect their work and shut them down if you find major violations. They may not be happy to see you, but you try not to take it personally.

Should I be a Veterinary Meat Inspector?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Inspector, Veterinary Medical Officer, Veterinary-Poultry Inspector

    How to Become a
    Veterinary Meat Inspector

    Most Veterinary Meat Inspectors have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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