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Become An Inspector, Tester, Sorter

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Working As An Inspector, Tester, Sorter

  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $62,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Inspector, Tester, Sorter Do

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

Duties

Quality control inspectors typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints and specifications
  • Monitor operations to ensure that they meet production standards
  • Recommend adjustments to the assembly or production process
  • Inspect, test, or measure materials or products being produced
  • Measure products with rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers
  • Accept or reject finished items
  • Remove all products and materials that fail to meet specifications
  • Discuss inspection results with those responsible for products
  • Report inspection and test data

Quality control inspectors, for example, ensure that the food or medicine you take will not make you sick, that your car will run properly, and that your pants will not split the first time you wear them. These workers monitor quality standards for nearly all manufactured products, including foods, textiles, clothing, glassware, motor vehicles, electronic components, computers, and structural steel. Specific job duties vary across the wide range of industries in which these inspectors work.

Quality control workers rely on many tools to do their jobs. Although some still use hand-held measurement devices, such as calipers and alignment gauges, workers more commonly operate electronic inspection equipment, such as coordinate-measuring machines (CMMs). Inspectors testing electrical devices may use voltmeters, ammeters, and ohmmeters to test potential difference, current flow, and resistance, respectively.

Quality control workers record the results of their inspections through test reports. When they find defects, inspectors notify supervisors and help to analyze and correct production problems.

In some firms, the inspection process is completely automated, with advanced vision inspection systems installed at one or several points in the production process. Inspectors in these firms monitor the equipment, review output, and conduct random product checks.

The following are examples of types of quality control inspectors:

Inspectors mark, tag, or note problems. They may reject defective items outright, send them for repair, or fix minor problems themselves. If the product is acceptable, the inspector certifies it. Inspectors may further specialize in the following jobs:

  • Materials inspectors check products by sight, sound, or feel to locate imperfections such as cuts, scratches, missing pieces, or crooked seams.
  • Mechanical inspectors generally verify that parts fit, move correctly, and are properly lubricated. They may check the pressure of gases and the level of liquids, test the flow of electricity, and conduct test runs to ensure that machines run properly.

Samplers test or inspect a sample for malfunctions or defects during a batch or production run.

Sorters separate goods according to length, size, fabric type, or color.

Testers repeatedly test existing products or prototypes under real-world conditions. Through these tests, manufacturers determine how long a product will last, what parts will break down first, and how to improve durability.

Weighers weigh quantities of materials for use in production.

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How To Become An Inspector, Tester, Sorter

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.

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Inspector, Tester, Sorter Typical Career Paths

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Average Yearly Salary
$62,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$128,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
F. Gavina & Sons
Highest Paying City
Clifton, NJ
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does an Inspector, Tester, Sorter make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Inspector, Tester, Sorter in the United States is $62,987 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

Real Inspector, Tester, Sorter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Rolls-Royce Crosspointe, LLC Prince George, VA Feb 28, 2013 $64,575
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Core Laboratories LP and All Subsidiaries and AFFI Linden, NJ Jan 14, 2014 $60,241
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Palmer Manufacturing Co Malden, MA Jan 03, 2013 $50,398
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers Intertek USA Inc. Corpus Christi, TX Sep 22, 2010 $48,500
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers I.C Medical Inc. Phoenix, AZ Sep 12, 2013 $44,054
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Core Laboratories LP and All Subsidiaries and AFFI Fort Lauderdale, FL Jan 16, 2014 $43,222
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers High End Seating Solutions Santa Ana, CA Dec 06, 2013 $42,952
Inspectros, Testers, Sorters, Samplers & Weighers Ferreira Dance & Costumes Los Angeles, CA Mar 05, 2010 $39,790
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers & Weighers Texas Gamma Ray Houston, TX Mar 25, 2010 $39,653
Inspector, Testers, Sorters Vital Health Tech. Clifton, NJ Dec 22, 2009 $38,776
Production Inspectors, Testers, Graders, Sorters, Samplers, Weighers F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. Vernon, CA Jun 30, 2009 $37,858
Production Inspectors, Testers, Graders, Sorters, Samplers, Weighers F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. Vernon, CA Sep 17, 2008 $37,858
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers North American ATK Grand Prairie, TX Jun 04, 2008 $35,402
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers North American ATK Grand Prairie, TX Mar 05, 2009 $35,402
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Aerospace Manufacturing Corporation Wallington, NJ Oct 07, 2011 $35,152
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Rilco Manufacturing Company Houston, TX Apr 07, 2010 $32,906
Insp;Ectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Intertek USA Inc. Tampa, FL Sep 09, 2010 $32,302
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Galaxy Color Inc. New York, NY Apr 05, 2011 $31,555
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Gurum Corporation New York, NY Dec 17, 2009 $31,555
Inspector, Testers, Sorters Vital Health Tech. Clifton, NJ Aug 20, 2010 $31,555
Inspectors, Tester, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. Vernon, CA Sep 26, 2008 $30,929
Inspectors, Tester, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. Vernon, CA Aug 03, 2010 $30,929
Production Inspectors, Testers, Graders, Sorters, Samplers, Weighers Dependable Scrap Co, Inc. NY Aug 20, 2009 $30,324
Production Inspectors, Testers, Graders, Sorters, Samplers, Weighers Dependable Scrap Co, Inc. NY Feb 08, 2010 $30,324
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers Kabco Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Amityville, NY Apr 09, 2008 $26,000
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Steven's Tire Services By Rictez, LLC Bridgewater, NJ Jun 09, 2008 $22,289
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Danco Enterprises, Inc. Riverside, CA Jun 19, 2012 $21,902
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers C & MF Metals Seminole, TX Mar 18, 2008 $21,819
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers C & MF Metals Seminole, TX Apr 14, 2010 $21,819
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers Texollini, Inc. Long Beach, CA Apr 30, 2009 $21,392

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Top Skills for An Inspector, Tester, Sorter

  1. Test Cases
  2. Sort Products
  3. Color Charts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Grade, classify, or sort products according to sizes, weights, colors, or other specifications.
  • Loaded and unloaded processing equipment and conveyance used to receive raw materials and to ship finished products.
  • Recorded inspection and test data, such as weight, temperature, grade and moisture content and number inspected and graded.
  • Discarded or rejected products, materials, and equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Inspect, test, or measure materials, products, installations, or work for conformance to specifications.

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Top 10 Best States for Inspectors, Tester Sorter

  1. North Dakota
  2. Ohio
  3. Washington
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Maine
  6. Wyoming
  7. Alaska
  8. Connecticut
  9. Kansas
  10. West Virginia
  • (18 jobs)
  • (142 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)

Inspector, Tester, Sorter Demographics

Gender

Female

51.3%

Male

41.0%

Unknown

7.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Black or African American

15.1%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

4.7%
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Inspector, Tester, Sorter Education

Schools

Brown Mackie College-Phoenix

8.7%

Columbus Technical College

8.7%

Strayer University

8.7%

South Florida State College

4.3%

Western Piedmont Community College

4.3%

West Virginia State University

4.3%

Greenville Technical College

4.3%

Texas Southern University

4.3%

Allen University

4.3%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.3%

Spartanburg Technical College

4.3%

Santiago Canyon College

4.3%

Fred W Eberle Technical Center

4.3%

McDowell Technical Community College

4.3%

University of Mississippi

4.3%

Northeastern Technical College

4.3%

ECPI University

4.3%

York Technical College

4.3%

Edgecombe Community College

4.3%

Tidewater Community College

4.3%
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Majors

Business

17.6%

Pharmacy

8.8%

Marketing

5.9%

Medical Assisting Services

5.9%

Computer Science

5.9%

General Studies

5.9%

Nursing

5.9%

Criminal Justice

5.9%

Accounting

5.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Animation

2.9%

Political Science

2.9%

Health Education

2.9%

Mathematics

2.9%

Social Sciences

2.9%

Precision Metal Working

2.9%

Fine Arts

2.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.9%

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, And Research

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.9%
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Degrees

Other

45.5%

Bachelors

15.9%

Certificate

13.6%

Associate

11.4%

Diploma

9.1%

Masters

2.3%

License

2.3%
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