The requirements for a person who wants to become a meat inspector may depend on the jurisdiction in which he wants to work. In some places, an individual has to earn a veterinary degree in order to secure a job in this field. In others, any degree in an agriculture-related field may be suitable. There are some places that may even accept food safety or preparation experience in lieu of degrees. In general, however, a person who wants to become a meat inspector has to complete high school or earn an equivalent diploma before going on to attend college for at least four years.
In some jurisdictions, a person who wants to become a meat inspector may do so after earning a four-year college degree. Pursuing a degree in biology, agriculture, or a related major may provide good preparation for this job. There are some places in which a meat inspector may land a job after working in a food preparation job, such as in a slaughterhouse environment. In some cases, even restaurant food preparation experience may be considered.
Other jurisdictions may require a person who wants to become a meat inspector to earn a college degree and then go on to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. To pursue this educational path, a person typically completes four years of college, often in a science-related field and then spends an additional four years studying to earn a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. Usually, an aspiring veterinary doctor must also pass exams in order to become licensed in his jurisdiction.
No matter which educational path a person follows to become a meat inspector, he’ll usually need at least some experience to secure a job in this field. Internships and entry-level jobs in food production, testing, disease research, veterinary medicine, or food processing and packaging may be considered suitable preparation for this job. While each employer’s exact experience requirements may vary, gaining at least one year of experience often opens up a fair number of job opportunities for a new meat inspector.
Besides education and experience, a person who wants to become a meat inspector for a regional or national agency may have to pass a medical exam and demonstrate that he is free of communicable diseases such as hepatitis. He may also have to undergo a background check. On-the-job training is typically provided for a person who qualifies for this job as well.