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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info

Food & Drug Inspector

Overview: Food and drug inspectors analyze product contents & the facilities where foods, drugs, cosmetics & other edible products are manufactured, handled, stored or sold. They enforce legal standards for sanitation, purity and consumer safety. They do long term studies of product impact on health.
Duties: They design and conduct experiments and studies of the effects of processed foods and pharmaceutical products on the health of persons consuming these products.

Decide whether or not new products can be marketed to the public based on on the results of experiments. They make recommendations for changing the content of the products to assure consumer safety.

They conduct on-site inspection of food processing plants, slaughter houses and food storage facilities to assure foods are protected against bacteria and contamination.

They investigate incidents where consumers' health was impaired by a specific food or drug or personal product. They may order the removal of harmful products off the market.

Degree(s): A.S. Environmental Science 
Job Outlook: Employment of food and drug inspectors is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018.
Salary Range (National Average): $28,000 to $34,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: An associate or bachelor's degree in environmental health or biological sciences is the usual educational background required by most states for this occupation. Licensing is also required in most states. On-the-job training is provided after being hired.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • Inspecting and testing products or services to assure they meet the desired specifications.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
Recommended Values:
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information please click here.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.