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Become A Quality Control Inspector

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Working As A Quality Control 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

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Quality Control Inspector Do

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


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 Control 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 Control Inspector jobs

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Real Quality Control Inspector Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Quality Control Inspector Amazon Produce Network Glassboro, NJ May 11, 2009 $79,202
Quality Control Inspector Amazon Produce Network Mullica Hill, NJ Apr 09, 2010 $79,202
Quality Control Inspector R.A. Zweig, Inc. Glenview, IL Nov 23, 2015 $69,347
Quality Control Inspector Hiossen, Inc. Fairless Hills, PA Oct 13, 2016 $57,013
Quality Control Inspector Rapid Precision Mfg., Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 10, 2015 $53,082
Quality Assurance/Quality Control Inspector Ford Steel, LLC Porter Heights, TX Apr 05, 2013 $50,088
Quality Control Inspector California Mfg.Labs, Inc.Dba: Custom Research Lab Los Angeles, CA Nov 19, 2015 $46,446
Quality Control Inspector American Leather Dallas, TX Sep 08, 2016 $45,656
Seafood Quality Control Inspector ALCO Handling Service Corporation Doral, FL Feb 15, 2010 $45,000
Quality Control Inspector New Jersey Precision Technologies Inc. Mountainside, NJ Nov 14, 2011 $44,720 -
Quality Control Inspector CPK Technologies Pennsauken, NJ Oct 30, 2014 $42,141
Fruit Quality Control Inspector Able Freight Services, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 01, 2015 $40,123
Lead Quality Control Inspector Alpine Fresh, Inc. Doral, FL Mar 08, 2011 $39,000
Quality Control Inspector, Seafood Qualy-Pak Specialty Foods, Inc. CA Jul 02, 2008 $38,714
In Process Quality Control Inspector Kabco Pharmaceutical Inc. Amityville, NY Mar 21, 2011 $37,500
Quality Control Inspector Western Shield Label Company East Rancho Dominguez, CA Mar 12, 2015 $37,232
Quality Control Inspector Us Elite, Inc. North Aurora, IL Oct 31, 2016 $36,587
Quality Control Inspector NSA Produce Marketing II, Inc. Glassboro, NJ Oct 15, 2009 $36,275
Quality Control Inspector NSA Produce Marketing II, Inc. Glassboro, NJ Nov 01, 2010 $36,275
Quality Control Inspector NSA Produce Marketing II, Inc. Glassboro, NJ Oct 31, 2009 $36,275
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Feb 03, 2012 $33,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Sep 05, 2012 $33,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Dec 19, 2011 $33,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Aug 30, 2010 $32,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Aug 05, 2010 $32,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Jun 20, 2010 $32,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Jun 10, 2010 $32,000
Quality Control Inspector Produce Inspectors of America LLC Miami, FL Sep 06, 2010 $32,000

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Top Skills for A Quality Control Inspector


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Top Quality Control Inspector Skills

  1. Magnetic Particle
  2. Inspection Procedures
  3. Safety Standards
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed weld inspections using Magnetic particle examination.
  • Performed quality inspections on products using manufacturing process documentation, schematics, and blueprint inspection procedures.
  • Applied maintenance management principles and procedures to ensure strict compliance to applicable technical manuals, regulations and safety standards.
  • Perform inspections of components and assemblies not limited to receiving, in process and final inspections.
  • Use all gauges, pins, optic comparator, calipers, and micrometers.

Top Quality Control Inspector Employers

Quality Control Inspector Videos

Quality Control Inspector (Aviation), Career Video from drkit.org

Welding Inspection & QC

How To Become A Quality Control Inspector