Sheridan College Food Service Inspector program header image

Are you interested in learning about the quality and safety of the food around you? Sheridan College’s Food Service Inspector certificate program provides hands-on, real-world training, which leads to a career that can include becoming a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) inspector.

You will learn from enthusiastic faculty and leading industry professionals, preparing you to enter the growing meat and food inspection workforce.

In the Food Service Inspector program, you will earn specialized experience demonstrating the knowledge, judgment, interpretative ability, and technical skills required as a federal inspector. Curriculum outcomes were crafted to demonstrate the ability to use knives and equipment necessary to harvest livestock, process fresh meat, and package final products following Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines. In addition, students will gain a deep understanding of hazards and sources of contamination, the repercussions of contamination, and proficiency in the sanitation of equipment and work areas to prevent contamination.

Our Food Service Inspector program is a 21-credit certification that can stand alone or can complement an associate degree and will prepare students to complete the written test provided by the United States Department of Agriculture to become certified in Food Safety and Inspection Services at the GS-5 level. Students also can continue their education at the University of Wyoming to complete their bachelor’s degree to become eligible as a State Food Inspector.

Sheridan College Offers:

  • Hands-on classroom experience with small class sizes and one-on-one instruction
  • Sheridan College recognizes that the nation’s food security relies on access and affordability to safe, quality protein sources and is actively growing programs to support the high-demand workforce
  • The Food Service Inspector Certificate is an accelerated, affordable program, allowing you to work with qualified industry professionals while gaining a year of relevant experience
  • Affordable tuition
  • Credit-for-Prior-Learning for previous business, military, training, or other educational experiences
  • Military-friendly programs

Community Partnerships

To execute this certificate so that the students have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to take the USDA exam and qualify for a food inspector position, Sheridan College is partnering with Western Heritage Meat Company.

Western Heritage Meat Company is in Sheridan, Wyoming, and offers USDA-inspected meat processing and custom-exempt meat processing for beef, pork, lamb, and goat. Through Sheridan College’s partnership with Western Heritage Meat, students enrolled in the Food Inspection Certificate of Completion will participate in a year-long internship that will serve as practical experience when entering the workforce.

Industry Outlook

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified a need for more skilled workforce in meat processing. According to the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) website: “Safe and resilient meat and poultry supply chains require a trained, credentialed, and diverse workforce with the right skills at the correct location. Based on stakeholder feedback, an expanded workforce is one of the most common and persistent needs across the beef, pork, and poultry sectors (USDA NIFA, 2022).

In light of the shortage of skilled workforce, the required qualifications for a food service inspector have been lowered: required qualifications for a USDA Food Inspector at the GS-5 level are: one year of specialized experience demonstrating knowledge, judgment, interpretative ability, and technical skill or a 4-year degree in math or science and must pass a written test.



At Sheridan College, we have a rich tradition in Agriculture. Sheridan College began as an Agriculture-focused community college in the late 1940s. We value Agriculture education and invest in our programs to help prepare you to succeed in today’s growing economy.

Sheridan College Agriculture faculty are experts in their fields and are invested in teaching applicable, foundational skills to guide students throughout their chosen career path. Whether you are in a classroom, laboratory, or learning in the field, our faculty creates real-world training opportunities that will help you enter the workforce seamlessly.

Program Outcomes:

Food Inspector Certificate graduates find employment in a variety of fields.

  • Demonstrate ability to use knives and equipment necessary to harvest livestock, process fresh meat, and package final product in accordance to HACCP guidelines.
  • Understand hazards and sources of contamination and repercussions of contamination.
  • Proficiency in sanitation of equipment and work area to prevent contamination.
  • Apply knowledge to execute proper business etiquette both in and out of processing facilities.