A restaurant inspector ensures that the food served at restaurants and other eating places are sanitary and clean. They make sure restaurants follow health regulations set forth by the government. You will play a role in public safety, determining that restaurants are operating their businesses in accordance with established standards. You will be using cameras, tape recorders and other equipment to do your job.
As a restaurant inspector, you need to pay attention to detail so you can recognize if something is amiss. You must also possess excellent problem solving skills to determine where the problem is coming from. Because you could potentially upset business owners when you find that their restaurant is not following safety standards, you need to be decisive but fair in handling these kinds of situations.
Restaurant inspectors work as occupational health and safety specialists and as such, they are integral in ensuring that eating establishments are safe. The fact that you are doing a very vital public service job is one reason to become a restaurant inspector. It also pays decent wages.
Restaurant Inspector Work Environment
Restaurant inspectors generally work fulltime, although they may be asked to work in the evenings or weekends or respond to emergency situations. Many of them work for local, state and federal governments. They inspect restaurants and other food establishments and write their reports in the office.
Restaurant Inspector Salary
According to the Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational health and safety specialists such as restaurant inspectors received a mean annual wage of $69,050 in May 2013. This is much higher than the mean annual wage received by occupational health and safety technicians who go $50,390.
Restaurant Inspector Career Outlook
The employment rate of occupational health and safety specialists, of which restaurant inspectors are a part, is projected to grow only 7 percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This is slower than the average rate for all occupations. New opportunities will come from an aging workforce who will be retiring soon and will need to be replaced. Because of the competition for available jobs, those who hold advanced degrees are going to have an edge when it comes to getting jobs.
Restaurant Inspector Degree
Restaurant inspectors and other occupational health and safety specialists generally hold a bachelor’s degree in occupational health, safety, biology, chemistry or related field. Advanced positions may require a master’s degree in industrial hygiene or related field. Although internships are not necessary, employers may want to employ those with this kind of experience. Training, however, is usually provided on the job. Certification as an occupational health and safety specialist is not a requirement but many employers encourage workers to get it. This is usually given by different organizations but graduating from an accredited educational program, related work experience and passing an exam are the typical requirements to get certified.