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Meat inspector

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Summary of occupation

​Meat inspectors inspect meat handling and processing facilities to ensure hygiene and food safety standards are followed to meet Western Australian industry requirements. They test samples of produce for quality, size and purity, and also make sure that food animals are treated and slaughtered humanely.

Meat inspectors may inspect domestic and export meat-processing facilities located in the regions east of Perth such as Tammin, Corrigin and Coolgardie, or in the south and south-east of the state such as Harvey, Bunbury, Denmark and Katanning.

ANZSCO description: Inspects animal carcasses, internal organs and meat processing facilities for disease to ensure compliance with government and industry standards with respect to quality and health.
Alternative names:
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A meat inspector needs:

  • an interest in food safety
  • to have a good level of computer literacy
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • to be observant and accurately record statistics
  • good organisational skills
  • to be able to work independently and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Meat inspectors inspect meat processing facilities and handle meat during the testing process. They may come into contact with blood or hazardous substances and must adhere to strict health and safety standards, which requires wearing personal protective clothing. The working conditions in the processing facilities are usually kept clean, well-lit and ventilated. Meat inspectors may spend most of their day standing up.

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Salary details

​On average meat inspectors, classified under primary produce inspectors, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a meat inspector develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Meat inspectors need to be proficient in the use of knives to examine meat products and carcasses, and collect samples. They use special testing kits to analyse the chlorine levels in water used in processing the meat, and they record inspection data results. They may be required to wear special clothing such as hairnets or snoods, gloves, boots and aprons.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become a meat inspector you usually need to complete a traineeship. The meat inspector traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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