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Become A Technical Inspector

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Working As A Technical 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

  • $43,300

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical 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 Technical 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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Technical Inspector jobs

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Technical Inspector Career Paths

Technical Inspector
Platoon Sergeant Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Operator Maintenance Technician
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Material Handler Operation Supervisor
Distribution Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Property Manager
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Senior Buyer
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Inspector Operator Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Quality Control Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Inspector Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Manager
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician
Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Platoon Sergeant Instructor Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Inspector Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Inspector Quality Inspector Quality Engineer
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Engineer Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Quality Inspector Shipping Clerk
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Technical Inspector Demographics

Gender

Male

82.9%

Female

15.5%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

79.6%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.9%

German

5.8%

French

5.8%

Japanese

3.8%

Carrier

3.8%

Hindi

3.8%

Portuguese

1.9%

Khmer

1.9%

Indonesian

1.9%

Persian

1.9%

Lakota

1.9%

Gujarati

1.9%

Dari

1.9%

Dutch

1.9%

Urdu

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Thai

1.9%

Tibetan

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%
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Technical Inspector Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.3%

Central Texas College

13.1%

Community College of the Air Force

9.0%

North Central Institute

7.2%

The Academy

6.8%

Columbia Southern University

5.0%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

5.0%

Ashford University

4.5%

Austin Peay State University

4.1%

Trident Technical College

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

Liberty University

3.2%

Fayetteville Technical Community College

2.7%

Excelsior College

2.7%

Defense Acquisition University

2.7%

Thomas Edison State University

2.3%

American InterContinental University

2.3%

Youngstown State University

2.3%

Oregon State University

2.3%

Universal Technical Institute

2.3%
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Majors

Business

21.1%

Automotive Technology

9.5%

Aviation

9.3%

General Studies

8.2%

Management

6.3%

Electrical Engineering

5.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Mechanical Engineering

4.0%

Education

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Aerospace Engineering

3.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.0%

Computer Science

2.9%

Information Technology

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%

Civil Engineering

2.5%

Construction Management

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Biology

2.0%

Environmental Science

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

37.3%

Bachelors

27.1%

Associate

18.2%

Certificate

7.9%

Masters

5.9%

Diploma

2.0%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Top Skills for A Technical Inspector

SafetyProceduresMaintenanceProceduresTechnicalManualsFinalInspectionsVehicleTechnicalInspectionsHistoricalRecordsTroubleshootAircraftMaintenanceUh-60UltrasonicTechnicalGuidanceMagneticParticleOshaTestEquipmentPTFAADepotISOCustomerService

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Top Technical Inspector Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Maintenance Procedures
  3. Technical Manuals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised and ensured safety procedures and operational policies were followed.
  • Inspect systems and subsystems and components to applicable technical publications to determine adherence to prescribed maintenance procedures and quality assurance standards.
  • Monitor and collect data for maintenance personnel, Ordered required parts using parts manuals or by using electronic technical manuals.
  • Perform initial, in process, and final inspections on various types of vehicles.
  • Examined vehicles to determine malfunction and repairs desired.

Top Technical Inspector Employers

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