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You probably already know from context clues that inspectors inspect things. Sure, the joke's not great but it's not inaccurate either. There are a lot of different types of inspectors out there. So what they're inspecting really depends on what type of inspector they are.

The fact that there are many different types of inspectors is truly a good thing for the career, though. While it means you have a tougher decision to make, it also means you have a lot of job opportunities to consider. The more opportunities, the better. We don't recall anyone complaining about too much job opportunity.

The attention is in the details for inspectors. Whether you're a quality control inspector, a parts inspector, a furniture inspector, or even a police inspector your job requires you to look at the fine print. Pay attention to the little things. You don't want to miss anything as an inspector, no matter how small it is.

What Does an Inspector Do

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications.

Learn more about what an Inspector does

How To Become an Inspector

Most quality control inspectors need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training that typically lasts as little as 1 month or up to 1 year.

Education & Training

Education and training requirements vary with the responsibilities of the quality control worker. For inspectors who do simple pass/fail tests of products, a high school diploma and some in-house training are generally enough. Workers usually receive on-the-job training that typically lasts for as little as 1 month or up to 1 year.

Candidates for inspector jobs can improve their chances of finding work by studying industrial trades in high school or in a postsecondary vocational program. Laboratory work in the natural or biological sciences also may improve a person’s analytical skills and increase their chances of finding work in medical or pharmaceutical labs, where many of these workers are employed.

Training for new inspectors may cover the use of special meters, gauges, computers, and other instruments; quality control techniques such as Six Sigma; blueprint reading; safety; and reporting requirements. Some postsecondary training programs exist, but many employers prefer to train inspectors on the job.

As manufacturers use more automated techniques that require less inspection by hand, workers in this occupation increasingly must know how to operate and program more sophisticated equipment and utilize software applications. Because these operations require additional skills, higher education may be necessary. To address this need, some colleges are offering associate’s degrees in fields such as quality control management.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers various certifications, including a designation for Certified Quality Inspector (CQI), and numerous sources of information and various levels of Six Sigma certifications. Certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase opportunities for advancement. Requirements for certification generally include a certain number of years of experience in the field and passing an exam.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Quality control inspectors should be able to quickly remove sample parts or products during the manufacturing process.

Math skills. Knowledge of basic math and computer skills are important because measuring, calibrating, and calculating specifications are major parts of quality control testing.

Mechanical skills. Quality control inspectors must be able to use specialized tools and machinery when testing products.

Physical stamina. Quality control inspectors must be able to stand for long periods on the job.

Physical strength. Because workers sometimes lift heavy objects, inspectors should be in good physical condition.

Technical skills. Quality control inspectors must understand blueprints, technical documents, and manuals which help ensure that products and parts meet quality standards.

Inspector Career Paths

Average Salary for an Inspector

Inspectors in America make an average salary of $36,273 per year or $17 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Inspector Salary
$36,273 Yearly
$17.44 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Inspector Education

Inspector Majors

24.8 %

Inspector Degrees

High School Diploma

33.7 %


26.8 %


20.1 %

Top Skills For an Inspector

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.0% of inspectors listed communication on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and math skills are important as well.

  • Communication, 15.0%
  • Magnetic Particle, 6.1%
  • Customer Service, 5.9%
  • Safety Standards, 5.2%
  • Safety Procedures, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 62.9%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Inspector Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Inspector templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Inspector resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Inspector Demographics

Inspector Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among inspectors, 38.3% of them are women, while 61.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among inspectors is White, which makes up 62.4% of all inspectors.

  • The most common foreign language among inspectors is Spanish at 68.8%.

Online Courses For Inspector That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Fire Safety: Become A Fire Safety Expert

Become an expert in Fire Safety, Fire Hazards Control, Fire Evacuation Plans, and Fire Risk Assessment...

Wave-Based NDT Methods
edX (Global)

Wave-based NDT methods allow for reliable and rapid evaluation of civil engineering infrastructure. These methods are particularly useful in long-range inspection; for example, in pipelines, where the wave-based NDT can provide data on hundreds of meters of piping in a matter of seconds. In this course, students will learn about wave-based NDT methods, including ultrasonic inspection, acoustic emission, resonant frequency testing, and electromechanical impedance testing. The topics include...

Complete Health and Safety Auditor Course. OHSAS 18001.

How to implement and audit a health & safety management system and obtain certification to OHSAS 18001 Standard...

Show More Inspector Courses
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Best States For an Inspector

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an inspector. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Louisiana, New York, and Virginia. Inspectors make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $47,220. Whereas in Louisiana and New York, they would average $45,817 and $43,159, respectively. While inspectors would only make an average of $40,908 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maryland

Total Inspector Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Inspector Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.06 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Louisiana

Total Inspector Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
0.82 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Inspectors

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Top Inspector Employers

Most Common Employers For Inspector

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1City of Houston$51,305$24.6741
2General Motors$36,857$17.7242
3DENSO Sales California$36,843$17.7138
4Ashley HomeStore$36,644$17.6239
5VASCOR Logistics$36,527$17.5643
7Park Ave Motor Corp$36,500$17.5556
8Stratosphere Quality$36,455$17.53122
9Milliken & Company$36,360$17.4863

Becoming an Inspector FAQs

How long does it take to become an Inspector?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become an inspector. That is the time it takes to learn specific inspector skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

Do home inspectors make good money?

Yes, home inspectors make good money. They make an average of between $46,000 and $59,000 a year. This job may be full-time, part-time, working for an established company, or on your own. A home inspection can cost between $300 - $800, depending on home size and location.

Do you need a degree to become a home inspector?

No, you do not need a degree to become a home inspector, but there are different requirements for each state. To obtain your license to do this work, you need to pass a national certification exam and, in some states, a state exam.

What degree do you need to be an inspector?

You do not require a degree to be an inspector, but you do need proper certification. The job title "inspector" usually refers to home or vehicle inspections. The more you are familiar with your field of choice, the higher level of competence you bring to your work.

What do building inspectors do?

Building inspectors do important work to keep people safe. Building inspectors regularly check structural quality, architectural requirements, safety and enforce local, state, and national codes. Additionally, they inspect mechanical and electrical systems.

What is the role of a police inspector?

The role of police inspector is a senior position that manages teams on the police staff. The police inspector serves under the superintendent and reviews conduct, efficiency, performance, and enforces department policy and standards.

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