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Become A Quality Assurance Inspector

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Working As A Quality Assurance 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

  • $45,175

    Average Salary

What Does A Quality Assurance 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 Quality Assurance 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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Quality Assurance Inspector Career Paths

Quality Assurance Inspector
Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Control Manager Inspector
Inspecting Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Operator Laboratory Technician
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Inspector Quality Control
Lead Quality Control
5 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Operation Supervisor Logistics Coordinator
Logistics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Manager Production Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Analyst Quality Assurance Specialist
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Inspector Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Quality Control Supervisor
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Technician Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Engineer
Quality Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Manager Inspector Quality Inspector
Quality Lead Inspector
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Technician Quality Inspector
Quality Senior Inspector
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Quality Technician Quality Engineer
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Inspector
9 Yearsyrs
Operator Technician Quality Control Inspector
Senior Quality Control Inspector
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Assurance Manager Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Inspector 4.1 years
Incoming Inspector 3.8 years
Lead Inspector 3.3 years
Process Inspector 3.1 years
Inspector 2.5 years
Quality Inspector 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Quality Assurance Inspector
Inspector 7.6%
Technician 5.2%
Cashier 4.8%
Supervisor 4.3%
Mechanic 3.8%
Welder 3.7%
Crew Chief 3.1%
Top Careers After Quality Assurance Inspector
Inspector 7.7%
Supervisor 4.0%
Technician 3.9%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as a Quality Assurance Inspector?

Quality Assurance Inspector Demographics

Gender

Male

69.6%

Female

28.6%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.6%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.9%

French

3.2%

Portuguese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Japanese

2.6%

Mandarin

2.3%

Italian

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Arabic

1.9%

Hindi

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Carrier

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Romanian

1.3%

Croatian

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Serbian

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Polish

1.0%
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Quality Assurance Inspector Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

23.1%

University of Phoenix

19.3%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

6.7%

Ashford University

5.8%

The Academy

4.5%

Central Texas College

4.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.6%

Liberty University

3.5%

Greenville Technical College

3.1%

University of Maryland - University College

2.7%

Thomas Edison State University

2.6%

Excelsior College

2.6%

Kaplan University

2.6%

Houston Community College

2.4%

Columbia Southern University

2.4%

American InterContinental University

2.4%

Strayer University

2.2%

Vincennes University

2.2%

Colorado Technical University

2.2%

Park University

2.2%
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Majors

Business

25.4%

Electrical Engineering

7.7%

Aviation

7.2%

Management

5.3%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Automotive Technology

4.8%

General Studies

4.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.7%

Biology

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Computer Science

3.2%

Industrial Technology

3.1%

Precision Metal Working

3.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.9%

Education

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Aerospace Engineering

2.6%

Drafting And Design

2.5%
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Degrees

Other

35.1%

Bachelors

28.7%

Associate

18.5%

Certificate

7.3%

Masters

7.0%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Quality Assurance Inspector Videos

Welding Inspection & QC

QC and QA Professional Seminar

U.S. Poultry Quality Control and Food Safety

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Part Time
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Real Quality Assurance Inspector Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Engineer/Quality Assurance Inspector Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corporation Richmond, VA Nov 14, 2007 $70,000
Quality Assurance Inspector C-B Gear & MacHine, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 20, 2012 $60,000
QA Inspector The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Rockaway, NJ Sep 22, 2016 $56,599
QA Inspector The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Rockaway, NJ Jan 20, 2016 $56,599
QA Inspector The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Rockaway, NJ Apr 25, 2016 $56,599
Quality Assurance Inspector Surgimed Supplies, Inc. Morrisville, PA Apr 16, 2015 $53,560
QA Inspector The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC NJ Dec 15, 2016 $52,655
Inspector-Quality Assurance Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Jun 13, 2011 $51,249
Inspector-Quality Assurance Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Jul 13, 2011 $51,000
Quality Assurance Inspector Central American Produce, Inc. Opa-locka, FL Jun 01, 2015 $40,000
QA Inspector Gemini Pharmaceuticals Commack, NY Dec 01, 2011 $36,000
Quality Assurance Inspector Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. Palmetto, FL Feb 15, 2010 $36,000
Quality Assurance Inspector TRIS Pharma, Inc. Monmouth Junction, NJ Sep 02, 2013 $35,443 -
$47,000
Quality Assurance Inspector TRIS Pharma, Inc. Monmouth Junction, NJ Sep 03, 2013 $35,443 -
$47,000
Quality Assurance Inspector Surgi-Care Supplies Inc., . Tucker, GA May 28, 2015 $33,966
QA Inspector I TRIS Pharma, Inc. Monmouth Junction, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $33,155 -
$47,840
QA Inspector I TRIS Pharma, Inc. Monmouth Junction, NJ Nov 29, 2012 $33,155 -
$47,840

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Top Skills for A Quality Assurance Inspector

  1. Inspection Procedures
  2. Safety Standards
  3. Inspect Parts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed continuous inspection procedures of each process using visual and/or automated inspection procedures to maintain quality.
  • Communicated with floor manager when damaged parts were discovered to ensure company safety standards were adhered to.
  • Assemble device & inspect parts that are defective: Scratches, blemish, haziness, uneven color or coatings.
  • Prepare written reports on discrepancies/deficiencies affecting production or quality of maintenance to include recommended corrective actions.
  • Completed inspections on in-process parts using a Coordinate Measuring Machine, micrometers and calipers and recorded results.

What is it like to work as a Quality Assurance Inspector

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What do you like the most about working as Quality Assurance Inspector?

Very repetitive work schedule, so no huge surprises or having to carve out time in addition to the regular work week. Little supervision, which could be a plus if you are looking for a job where there is no micromanagement... Show More

What do you NOT like?

In a lot of places, a QA Inspector tends to be a dead-end job at that particular company because it is difficult to find people willing to stay in that position long term (most leave within 2 years). However, it is a valuable stepping stone to gaining a promotion in a new company! Also, the job itself is thankless. Production dislikes QA, management never likes to receive bad news...it is a job where you never get thanked for preventing bigger errors, only punished if you end up missing anything. I takes a hardy person who likes working independently to perform well in this role... Show More

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Top 10 Best States for Quality Assurance Inspectors

  1. North Dakota
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Washington
  4. Connecticut
  5. New Mexico
  6. Alaska
  7. New Jersey
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Kansas
  • (35 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (335 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (316 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (438 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)

Top Quality Assurance Inspector Employers

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Jobs From Top Quality Assurance Inspector Employers

Quality Assurance Inspector Videos

Welding Inspection & QC

QC and QA Professional Seminar

U.S. Poultry Quality Control and Food Safety

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