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Quality Inspector Duties and Responsibilities

In all industries and in any type of business, quality inspectors are primarily responsible for maintaining quality and ensuring that all safety standards are being met at all times. People in this position are required to complete many daily responsibilities in order to perform their jobs effectively.

Perform Inspections Quality inspectors must perform inspections at all levels of production and manufacturing, company-wide. This includes checking production lines for efficiency, monitoring employees, and checking computer systems for functionality and performance.

Inspect Finished Products They inspect finished products as they come off the manufacturing line for quality to ensure they meet company specifications and safety standards.

Review Product Specifications Quality inspectors are familiar with product specifications to ensure that every product and the process of creating them meets company standards.

Find Damaged Items and Materials Additionally, they are responsible for routing out damaged items and materials and removing or discarding them as appropriate.

Manage Inventory Control System They also manage the inventory control system used by the company for which they work and search for discrepancies and problems that may negatively affect the quality of products.


Quality Inspector Skills and Qualifications

Quality inspectors are detail-oriented people who can quickly spot problems that may decrease the quality of products and daily operations within a company. In order to perform well in this career, these professionals must possess the following skills:
  • Communication - Quality inspectors frequently speak with supervisors and other employers, which requires them to have a strong ability to communicate and sometimes relate complex information in an easy-to-understand way
  • Reading and Visual Comprehension - They must review company guidelines, policies, and product specifications both in written form and using visual guides, so employers look for professionals with strong reading skills and good visual comprehension
  • Basic Computer Skills - They use the company's in-house computer system on a regular basis to monitor inventory and daily operations, so computer literacy is highly desired by employers
  • Mathematics - Quality inspectors make basic computations frequently while monitoring assembly line operations and checking inventory.
  • Physicality - This is a physical job, and quality inspectors must be able to stand for long periods of time, walk from one end of the warehouse or factory to the other, and lift up to 50 pounds with little or no trouble
  • Familiarly with Blueprints and Schematics - Quality inspectors routinely look at blueprints, schematics, and detailed graphs, which means people in this position must know how to read these highly complicated drawings

Quality Inspector Education and Training

Most employers require their quality inspectors to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many companies hire quality inspectors who have attended a trade or vocational school within the field specific to the industry to which they are applying. However, having relevant past work experience can suffice for professional schooling in the industry. Quality inspectors will receive hands-on, on-the-job training, usually a one- or two-week program. During this training period, quality inspectors become familiar with the daily operations of the company, as well as the safety standards and quality standards the company adheres to.

Quality Inspector Salary and Outlook

Statistics compiled by the BLS show that in 2016, quality inspectors, listed as "Quality Control Inspectors," earned a median wage of $36,780 that year, or about $17.68 hourly. There were 520,700 jobs available for quality control inspectors in 2016. Available jobs in this career field are expected to decline by 11 percent through the year 2026. More than 50,000 jobs in this field are expected to become nonexistent over the next 10 years. Typically, quality inspectors receive full benefits packages from their employers that includes life, health, vision, and dental insurance coverage. Other on-the-job benefits, such as profit-sharing bonuses, may also be offered by some companies. Quality inspectors also receive paid vacation leave and sick days as a standard perk.

Helpful Resources

Find out how to become an effective quality inspector and move ahead in this career path with these helpful resources:

ASQ - Visit ASQ to find an enormous online library of resources useful to quality inspectors of all types, as well as information about certification and training programs and a full calendar of conferences and events.

The Certified Quality Inspector Handbook, Second Edition - This handbook covers all the basics of being a quality inspector, including information about performing math calculations, inspections, and basic testing techniques that will be used in the course of the job.

Society of Quality Assurance - Use this website to find vast educational and career resources for quality inspectors in all industries, as well as information about regulatory requirements and news on policy and safety standard changes.

Handbook for Quality Technicians and Mechanical Inspectors - Read this book by Thomas Pyzdek to learn basic techniques for quality inspectors written in simple, straightforward language that is easy to understand. This guide covers inspection methods, mathematics, and other basic functions of quality inspectors.

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