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Quality control inspectors check the quality of incoming and outgoing materials or products for a company, as well as the production procedures. This job involves tasks such as running tests, keeping a record of defects, analyzing products, and overseeing procedures. Quality control inspectors may work from a variety of locations, from assembly lines to laboratories or a quality control department. This may involve long hours of standing at a time, depending on the location. Most quality control inspectors work full-time, however, some may be required to work evenings or weekends, or overtime to meet production deadlines. This job is well suited to people with an eye for detail, who have an aptitude for math, and who have technical skills.

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Quality Control Inspector Duties and Responsibilities

The type of company quality control inspectors work for will determine their exact roles and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, quality control inspectors’ duties typically include:

Monitoring Operations

After approving the production processes by confirming specifications and conducting visual and measurement tests, quality control inspectors monitor the operations to ensure they meet the approved systems, communicating any required changes to the production supervisor.

Maintaining Records of Testing

As part of their daily tasks, quality control inspectors maintain detailed records of the testing that's been carried out, as well as relevant additional information, and various metrics such as the number of defective products produced each day.

Inspecting Procedures

Quality control inspectors inspect, test, or measure materials using gauges, calipers, and micrometers, as well as operating electronic inspection equipment to ensure that all necessary procedures and products are inspected to a high standard.

Creating Reports for Quality Manager

From the data collected from inspections, quality control inspectors create reports for the quality manager of the company to highlight issues, detail the number of defective products being produced, and explain where improvements can be made.

Maintaining Compliance

Quality control inspectors monitor production areas, ensuring they meet health and safety compliance, and check that all manufactured products or parts meet the necessary production standards.

Quality Control Inspector Skills and Qualifications

Quality control inspectors are analytical. Typically, employers require a high school diploma, as well as the following abilities:

  • Numeracy skills - to calibrate and measure specifications
  • Physical strength and stamina - quality control inspectors spend long periods of time standing and may be required to lift heavy objects, so applicants for this role should be physically fit
  • Dexterity - to quickly remove sample parts or products during the manufacturing process
  • Technical skills - to understand technical documents, manuals, and blueprints to ensure that products meet the correct standards
  • Detail oriented - to spot issues and monitor products or parts that do not meet compliance

Quality Control Inspector Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a quality control inspector is a high school diploma, along with on-the-job-training, which typically lasts for as little as a month or up to a year. Candidates for this job can improve their chances of being hired by studying industrial trades in high school or as part of a postsecondary vocational program, such as biological sciences, as many quality control inspectors work in medical or pharmaceutical industries. Employers sometimes request certification as well. The American Society for Quality offers a range of certifications, such as a designation for Certified Quality Inspector (CQI), as well as Six Sigma certifications.

Quality Control Inspector Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for quality control inspectors is $51,000. Quality control inspectors in the 10th percentile earn nearly $33,000 a year, while the highest-paid earn around $91,000 annually. Bonus and profit sharing structures can reach as much as $5,000, and commissions nearly $4,000.

Location and level of experience impact the pay level for this role, and many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for this sector is expected to decline by 11 percent through 2026.

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Helpful Resources

We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop a career as a quality control inspector:

The Certified Quality Inspector Handbook

To prepare the reader for taking the CQI exam, this handbook covers all of the main topics a quality control inspector in training will need to know to do this job efficiently.

Jobs in Inspection, Quality Assurance and Manufacturing

This LinkedIn group has over 44,000 members and is a great networking space for anyone in the quality assurance and inspection industry. For novice quality control inspectors, this is a useful group for finding new opportunities and speaking to others in the field.

The Quality Toolbox

A comprehensive guide to everything quality inspectionrelated, this book is a helpful reference for those new to the field of quality control inspection. The Quality Toolbox highlights the seven basic quality control tools, as well as new planning tools and ways to generate ideas.

Intouch Quality

Covering the latest in product inspection and auditing, this site has a range of interesting blogs and articles to help develop a better understanding of new software, techniques, and industry news.

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