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Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
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Description: what do they do?
Inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh nonagricultural raw materials or processed, machined, fabricated, or assembled parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from specifications. May use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment.
Also known as:
Inspector, QA Auditor (Quality Assurance Auditor), QA Inspector (Quality Assurance Inspector), QA Technican (Quality Assurance Technician), QC Technican (Quality Control Technician), Quality Auditor, Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector), Quality Inspector, Quality Technican, Test Technician

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: From food and clothing… to motor vehicles and structural steel… Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects… to ensure that consumer products meet regulations and quality standards. Inspectors inspect, test, and measure products… if an item meets specifications, the inspector certifies it… but when a product is faulty, inspectors may reject it, send it for repair, or fix a minor problem themselves. Samplers test or inspect a sample from a production run for malfunctions or defects. Sorters separate goods according to length, size, fabric type, or color. Testers test existing products or prototypes to determine how long a product will last and what will break first, and then identify possible improvements. Weighers weigh out quantities of production materials. Some inspectors spend their day lifting heavy objects, while others sit during their shift and read data printouts. Some work environments may be noisy or expose workers to hazardous materials, while others may be clean and air-conditioned. Inspectors may need to wear protective clothing. Though some quality control inspectors work evenings or weekends, standard full time business hours are common. Most quality control inspectors need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training that typically lasts from as little as 1 month up to 1 year.. An associate’s degree in a field such as quality control management may help qualify workers for more challenging positions.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Vermont
1,150
2018 Employment
950
2028 Employment
-17%
Percent change
110
Annual projected job openings
United States
590,100
2019 Employment
489,600
2029 Employment
-17%
Percent change
48,300
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2019 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2029 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    Please note that these projections do not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different projections due to the rapidly changing economy. When revised data are available, they will be published here.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2019-29.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers in Vermont
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationVermontUnited States
10%$28,220$24,660
25%$32,510$30,390
Median$38,390$39,140
75%$50,980$51,990
90%$65,210$66,260


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2019.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Evaluate quality of materials or products.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Advise others on ways to improve processes or products.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Calibrate equipment to specifications.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
  • Analyze test results.
  • Compare physical characteristics of materials or products to specifications or standards.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Test products for functionality or quality.
  • Connect electrical components or equipment.
  • Fabricate parts or components.
  • Evaluate capabilities or training needs.
  • Instruct workers to use equipment or perform technical procedures.
  • Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for testing.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
  • Weigh finished products.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Quality Control Analysis - Testing how well a product or service works.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Perceptual Speed - Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Discard or reject products, materials, or equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Mark items with details, such as grade or acceptance-rejection status.
  • Measure dimensions of products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers.
  • Notify supervisors or other personnel of production problems.
  • Inspect, test, or measure materials, products, installations, or work for conformance to specifications.
  • Write test or inspection reports describing results, recommendations, or needed repairs.
  • Recommend necessary corrective actions, based on inspection results.
  • Read dials or meters to verify that equipment is functioning at specified levels.
  • Make minor adjustments to equipment, such as turning setscrews to calibrate instruments to required tolerances.
  • Read blueprints, data, manuals, or other materials to determine specifications, inspection and testing procedures, adjustment methods, certification processes, formulas, or measuring instruments required.
  • Check arriving materials to ensure that they match purchase orders, submitting discrepancy reports as necessary.
  • Inspect or test raw materials, parts, or products to determine compliance with environmental standards.
  • Monitor production operations or equipment to ensure conformance to specifications, making necessary process or assembly adjustments.
  • Record inspection or test data, such as weights, temperatures, grades, or moisture content, and quantities inspected or graded.
  • Analyze test data, making computations as necessary, to determine test results.
  • Compare colors, shapes, textures, or grades of products or materials with color charts, templates, or samples to verify conformance to standards.
  • Clean, maintain, calibrate, or repair measuring instruments or test equipment, such as dial indicators, fixed gauges, or height gauges.
  • Fabricate, install, position, or connect components, parts, finished products, or instruments for testing or operational purposes.
  • Administer tests to assess whether engineers or operators are qualified to use equipment.
  • Monitor machines that automatically measure, sort, or inspect products.
  • Interpret legal requirements, provide safety information, or recommend compliance procedures to contractors, craft workers, engineers, or property owners.
  • Adjust, clean, or repair products or processing equipment to correct defects found during inspections.
  • Remove defects, such as chips, burrs, or lap corroded or pitted surfaces.
  • Position products, components, or parts for testing.
  • Compute usable amounts of items in shipments.
  • Inspect or test cleantech or green technology parts, products, or installations, such as fuel cells, solar panels, or air quality devices, for conformance to specifications or standards.
  • Collect or select samples for testing or for use as models.
  • Grade, classify, or sort products according to sizes, weights, colors, or other specifications.
  • Disassemble defective parts or components, such as inaccurate or worn gauges or measuring instruments.
  • Stack or arrange tested products for further processing, shipping, or packaging.
  • Weigh materials, products, containers, or samples to verify packaging weights or ingredient quantities.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.