How to Become a Food Safety Auditor


The first step for becoming a food safety auditor is to figure out if this line of work is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for it:


Food safety auditors have a keen interest in public health, and are enthusiastic about the prospect of working in a career that helps to ensure that dangerous foods are kept off store shelves.


To become a food safety auditor, you must be comfortable working in a variety of settings and traveling to different locations; settings that range from an office close to your home, to a food production facility 3 hours away.


Those who are successful in this line of work are individuals that are comfortable sharing their professional opinions with others, even if sharing their opinion leads to a reprimand of a food production organization.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to get started in this field, including helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Food Safety Auditor

Most employers will require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as food science, nutrition, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, human ecology or a similar field. Some employers may only require that you have a high school diploma to become a food safety auditor, if that diploma is combined with years of experience in a field related to food processing or manufacturing.





What is a Food Safety Auditor?

General job description


Food safety auditors are responsible for conducting food safety audits of food manufacturing facilities, such as commercial slaughterhouses and food processing plants, in order to ensure that work activities related to food production are being conducted in a manner that is safe, healthy and aides by any relevant food production safety regulations.


They also provide technical training to management and employees regarding in-house food safety programs, operational methods, pest control and food production equipment maintenance.



What do they do?

General job duties


• Travel to inspection site and make arrangements for accommodation

• Organize inspection itineraries for the upcoming year

• Conduct food safety audits

• Maintain current knowledge of food safety regulations

• Ensure compliance with food preparation regulations and legislation

• Liaise with management regarding audit findings and make recommendations for improving policies and procedures if necessary

• Write reports on findings

• Provide training to employees and management regarding in-house food safety programs

• Speak at food safety conferences and in-plant seminars



How to Get a Job in this Field

A great way to get a job as a food safety auditor is to look for jobs immediately after graduating from university or college. The federal government hires food safety auditors right out of school, as do some private firms, although these jobs are typically quite competitive.


If you can’t find a job as a food safety auditor immediately after graduation, you will likely need to get an entry-level job in the food manufacturing or food safety industry that offers a lower level of responsibility and a lower level of pay.


These jobs may not be what you had in mind when you were studying so hard all of those nights in university, but rest assured they will give you an opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in this industry, and allow you to get your foot in the door with an employer. Before you know you will be a top candidate for a job as a food safety auditor.


Success Tip: The more education you have in a related field, such as food science, and the more experience you have in the food safety or food manufacturing industry, the more attractive you will be to employers.



Typical Salary Level

The salary level of food safety auditors can vary depending on many factors, such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, the specific responsibilities of their job and many others.


There is no specific reliable salary data available for the career Food Safety Auditor, although we can get a good idea of what they earn by looking at the salary data of closely related occupational groups.


Food Safety Auditor Salary in the United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of workers in the Occupational Health and Safety Specialists occupational group is $64,660 per year.


Salary in Canada (Alberta & B.C.): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety occupational group earn an average salary of $80,949 per year. According to the Province of British Columbia, those working in the same occupational group earn an annual provincial median salary of $74,672.





Work Environment

Working Conditions: Food safety auditors spend a large amount of their time traveling to food production and related facilities in order to conduct inspections and audits and meet with management. This portion of their work may involve being exposed to strenuous, dangerous or stressful conditions. They typically use safety gloves, helmets and other safety equipment in order to reduce their risk of injury while working.


Schedule: Food safety auditors typically work normal, weekday working hours on a full-time basis. Some auditors may be required to work evenings, weekends or other irregular hours in order to perform certain work functions, or to travel home from visiting a facility or region. 



Who Employs Them?

Food safety auditors work for organizations that are contracted by food manufacturing organizations to conduct third party audits of their production processes and facilities, so they can ensure they remain compliant with relevant federal and industrial regulations.


Organizations that employ food safety auditors include:


• Regional, provincial/state and national government departments

• Non-governmental organizations interested in food hygiene or food sanitation and drug safety

• Certified food auditing organizations 



Job Postings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "food safety auditor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Similar Occupational Guides in Our System

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to "food safety auditor", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Food and Drug Inspector

Industrial Hygienist

Quality Control Specialist

Water Quality Analyst




Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a food safety auditor.



Wages & Salaries in Alberta: “Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 25, 2019.

Healthcare:Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 25, 2019.

Explore Careers:Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety.” (January 24, 2018) WorkBC website. Retrieved November 25, 2019.

Partners:Auditors and Technical Reviewers.” (n.d..) SQF Institute website. Retrieved November 25, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Food Safety Auditor

The “Relevant Fields of Study” section below lists academic areas that are applicable to becoming a food safety auditor. You can find relevant scholarships for this profession by clicking on those majors on our Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this line of work. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Food Safety Auditor