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Become A Pipe Inspector

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Working As A Pipe Inspector

  • 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

  • $60,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Pipe Inspector 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 A Pipe 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.

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Pipe Inspector Career Paths

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Pipe Inspector Demographics

Gender

Male

82.7%

Unknown

11.4%

Female

5.9%
Ethnicity

White

56.5%

Hispanic or Latino

22.2%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

77.8%

French

11.1%

Dakota

5.6%

Carrier

5.6%
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Pipe Inspector Education

Schools

Odessa College

12.2%

The Academy

10.0%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Houston Community College

6.7%

Del Mar College

5.6%

Nicholls State University

5.6%

Central State University

4.4%

Casper College

4.4%

Bakersfield College

4.4%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

4.4%

El Paso Community College

4.4%

Baton Rouge Community College

3.3%

Texas Southern University

3.3%

South Louisiana Community College

3.3%

Brazosport College

3.3%

Blinn College

3.3%

Sam Houston State University

3.3%

A-Technical College

3.3%

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

3.3%

Universal Technical Institute

3.3%
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Majors

Business

20.4%

Precision Metal Working

9.3%

General Studies

8.0%

Criminal Justice

8.0%

Industrial Technology

5.3%

Computer Science

4.9%

Drafting And Design

4.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.4%

Automotive Technology

4.4%

Education

3.5%

Engineering

3.5%

Property Management

3.5%

Kinesiology

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

3.1%

Management

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Civil Engineering

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Construction Management

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

50.3%

Bachelors

18.8%

Associate

15.2%

Certificate

9.7%

Diploma

4.4%

Masters

1.4%

License

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Pipe Inspector

  1. Pipe Systems
  2. Drill Pipe
  3. Safety Meetings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed hydro's travelers and walked down pipe systems to verify all specifications has been met.
  • Buffed and retrieved serial numbers on drill pipes in order to log those that were damaged and or refurbished.
  • Attended monthly safety meetings to ensure machine operation safety.
  • Received a certificate of completion on radiation safety for pipe inspection operator.
  • Used wet/dry magnetic particle inspection to search for hairline fractures in piping.

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Top Pipe Inspector Employers

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