Occupation Profile for Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

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.

 
 

Significant Points

  • Almost 7 in 10 are employed in manufacturing establishments.
  • While a high school diploma is sufficient for basic testing of products, complex precision-inspecting positions are filled by experienced assemblers, machine operators, or mechanics who already have a thorough knowledge of the products and production processes.
  • Employment is expected to decline slowly, reflecting the growth of automated inspection and the redistribution of quality-control responsibilities from inspectors to other production workers.

 

 
 
Overview
$29,420.00 Median Annual Wage 7,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
6.6 Average Unemployment Percentage 53.4 Percentage That Completed High School
491,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 33.1 Percentage That Had Some College
457,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 13.5 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Abrasive Grader
Acid Tester
Air Box Tester
Air Conditioning Unit Tester
Air Sampler
Air Value Tester
Aircraft Instrument Tester
Airplane Inspector
Alloy Weigher
Aluminum Container Tester
Ampoule Examiner
Argon Tester
Armature Tester
Asbestos Shingle Inspector
Assembler
Assembler, Wet Wash
Assembly Adjuster
Assembly Inspector
Assembly Line Inspector
Assorter
Auditor
Auto Job Estimator
Auto Service Advisor
Auto Service Writer
Auto Tester
Automatic Tire Tester
Automobile Repair Service Estimator
Automobile Service Advisor
Automobile Service Writer
Automobile Tester
Automotive Technician, Exhaust Emissions
Automotive Tire Tester
Bad Cloth Checker
Bag Cutter
Bag Grader
Bag Sorter
Bag Tester
Bagger
Balance Truer
Balancer, Scale
Ballpoint Pen Cartridge Tester
Barrel Endshaker Adjuster
Barrel Inspector, Tight
Barrel Tester
Baseball Inspector and Repairer
Basket Grader
Basket Sorter
Batch Tester
Batch Weigher
Bath Tester
Battery Charger Tester
Battery Checker
Battery Container Tester
Battery Recharger
Battery Tester
Bead Inspector
Beaming Inspector
Bellows Tester
Belt Operator
Belt Picker
Belt Tender
Belting and Webbing Inspector
Billet Examiner
Binder Selector
Binder Sorter
Bisque Grader
Blade Balancer
Blast Furnace Checker
Bleach Tester
Blender
Block Inspector
Block Sorter
Block Tester
Boardman
Bobbin Inspector
Bobbin Sorter
Boiler House Inspector
Bolt Sorter
Bone Picker
Bottle Gauger
Bottle Selector
Bottle Sorter
Bottle Tester
Bottled Beverage Inspector
Bowling Ball Grader
Bowling Ball Grader and Marker
Bowling Ball Marker
Bowling Ball Weigher and Packer
Box Inspector
Box Repairer
Box Sealing Inspector
Boxing Inspector
Brake Tester
Brass Sorter
Briar Wood Sorter
Brick Grader
Brick Picker
Brick Shader
Brick Sorter
Brick Tester
Broomcorn Grader
Bucker
Buckle Inspector
Buckle Sorter
Buffing Wheel Inspector
Bulb Tester
Buncher
Burler
Bus Inspector
Button Grader
Button Reclaimer
Cabin Man
Cabin Worker
Cable Stretcher and Tester
Cable Tester
Cake Tester
Calibration Checker
Calibration Tester
Calibrator
Calibrator, Barometers
Can Inspector
Can Patcher
Can Reconditioner
Can Sorter
Canoe Inspector, Final
Car Tester
Carbonation Tester
Carbonizer Tester
Card Checker
Cargo Inspector
Carpenter Inspector
Carpet Inspector, Finished
Carton Inspector
Cartridge Gauger
Caser, Shoe Parts
Casing Grader
Casing Material Weigher
Casket Inspector
Casting Inspector
Catcher
Catcher, Filter Tip
Cell Inspector
Cell Tester
Chain Testing Machine Operator
Chair Inspector and Leveler
Chassis Driver
Check Weigher
Checker
Checker, Film Tests
Checker, Liner
Cheese Blender
Cheese Grader
Chemical Checker
Chemical Strength Tester
Chip Tester
Chronograph Operator
Chronometer Tester
Cigar Inspector
Cigar Packer
Cigarette and Filter Chief Inspector
Cigarette Catcher
Cigarette Examiner
Cigarette Inspector
Cigarette Making Machine Catcher
Cigarette Package Examiner
Cigarette Paper Tester
Cigarette Tester
Circuit Tester
Circulating Process Inspector
Classer
Classifier
Cloth Checker
Cloth Examiner
Cloth Examiner, Hand
Cloth Examiner, Machine
Cloth Grader
Cloth Inspector
Cloth Measurer
Cloth Printing Inspector
Cloth Shader
Cloth Shrinking Tester
Cloth Stock Sorter
Cloth Tester, Quality
Clothing Examiner
Coal Grader
Coal Sampler
Coffee Roaster Helper
Coffee Weigher
Coil Tester
Coiled Coil Inspector
Coiler
Coke Inspector
Cold-Roll Inspector
Collator
Collator, Hand
Color Checker
Color Checker, Roving or Yarn
Color Matcher
Color Tester
Color Weigher
Coloring Checker
Comparator Operator
Complaint Inspector
Compliance Analyst
Compliance Manager
Compounder, Cork
Compressed Gas Tester
Computer Game Tester
Condenser Tester
Cone Examiner
Construction and Maintenance Inspector
Content Checker
Continuity Tester
Control Inspector
Control Panel Tester
Cooling Pipe Inspector
Coordinate Measuring Equipment Operator
Coordinate Measuring Machine Operator (CMM Operator)
Cop Examiner
Copra Sampler
Core Checker
Cotton Sampler
Cotton Weigher
Counter Tender
Counter, Hand
Cover Inspector
Crayon Grader
Cruiser
Crust Sorter
Culler
Currency Examiner
Cutter-Inspector
Cutting Inspector
Cylinder Inspector and Tester
Cylinder Tester
De-Icer
Decorating Inspector
Decoration Checker
Deflector Operator
Deicer Inspector, Electric
Deicer Inspector, Pneumatic
Deicer Tester
Diagnostician
Diamond Expert
Diamond Sizer and Sorter
Die Tester
Dielectric Testing Machine Operator
Diesel Engine Tester
Differential Tester
Dope Weigh Operator
Dowel Inspector
Draper
Drapery Examiner
Dress Draper
Drop Tester
Drum Tester
Dry Cell Tester
Dry Cleaning Checker
Dust Sampler
Dynamometer Tester
Dynamometer Tester, Engine
Eddy-Current Inspector
Editor, School Photograph
Electric Container Tester
Electric Detector Operator
Electric Distribution Checker
Electric Meter Tester
Electric Motor Tester
Electric Relay Tester
Electrical Equipment Tester
Electrical Inspector
Electrical Mechanical Technician
Electrical Tester
Electronics Inspector
Electronics Tester
Electronics, Scale Tester
Elevator Examiner
Elevator Examiner and Adjuster
End Finder, Forming Department
Engine Tester
Estimator
Examiner
Examiner of Currency
Experimental Assembler
Filament Tester
Film Flat Inspector
Film Inspector
Film Touch-Up Inspector
Final Armature Tester
Final Inspector
Final Inspector, Movement Assembly
Final Inspector, Paper
Final Inspector, Shuttle
Final Inspector, Truck Trailer
Final Tester
Finished Cloth Examiner
Finished Stock Inspector
Finisher
Finishing Inspector
Fire Extinguisher Tester
Fish Liver Sorter
Fish-Bin Tender
Flasher Adjuster
Flat Examiner
Flatwork Tier
Floorworker, Lasting
Floorworker-Distributor
Fluoroscope Operator
Focuser
Focusing Machine Operator
Food Taster
Force-Variation Equipment Tender
Formation Testing Operator
Forming Tube Selector
Formula Weigher
Fresh Work Inspector
Fretted Instrument Inspector
Fruit Buying Grader
Fruit Coordinator
Functional Tester, Typewriters
Fur Examiner
Fur Grader
Fur Repair Inspector
Fur Sorter
Furnace Combination Analyst
Furnace Combustion Analyst
Furnace Combustion Tester
Furnace Stock Inspector
Garment Alteration Examiner
Garment Examiner
Garment Inspector
Gas Leak Inspector
Gas Leak Tester
Gas Mask Inspector
Gas Meter Checker
Gas Tester
Gasket Inspector
Gauge and Weigh Machine Operator
Gauger
Gear Inspector
Gear Sorting and Inspecting Machine Operator
Gear Tester
Glass Checker
Glass Inspector
Glass Selector
Glassware Selector
Globe Tester
Glove Examiner
Glove Pairer
Glove Parts Inspector
Glucose and Syrup Weigher
Glued Wood Tester
Golf Club Weigher
Grader
Grader, Dressed Poultry
Grader, Green Meat
Grader, Meat
Grain Picker
Grain Receiver
Gravel Inspector
Green Inspector
Green Tire Inspector
Grey Goods Examiner
Grinding Wheel Inspector
Group Leader, Printed Circuit Board Quality Control
Group Leader, Semiconductor Testing
Gun Examiner
Hair Sample Matcher
Hairspring Adjuster
Hairspring Truer
Hardness Inspector
Hardness Tester
Harness and Bag Inspector
Harness Puller
Hat Body Sorter
Head Inspector
Heat Reader
Heat Treat Inspector
Heel Sorter
Hide Inspector
Hide Inspector and Sorter
Hogshead Inspector
Hogshead Mat Inspector
Holiday Detector Operator
Hooker Inspector
Hop Weigher
Hose Inspector and Patcher
Hosiery Mater
Hosiery Pairer
House Piping Inspector
Hull Inspector
Hydraulic Tester
Hydro-Pneumatic Tester
Hydrometer Calibrator
Hydrometer Tester
Hypoid Gear Tester
Inclinometer Tester
Incoming Inspector
Ingredient Scaler
Inker
Inspection Clerk
Inspector
Inspector and Adjuster, Golf Club Head
Inspector and Hand Packager
Inspector and Sorter
Inspector and Tester
Inspector Machine Parts
Inspector, Aircraft Launching and Arresting Systems
Inspector, Aligning
Inspector, Alining
Inspector, Aluminum Boat
Inspector, Ammunition Components
Inspector, Ampoule
Inspector, Armature
Inspector, Artificial Teeth
Inspector, Assemblies and Installations
Inspector, Automatic Typewriter
Inspector, Balance Bridge
Inspector, Balance Truing
Inspector, Balance Wheel Motion
Inspector, Ball Points
Inspector, Ballast
Inspector, Barrel
Inspector, Barrel Assembly
Inspector, Barrelhead
Inspector, Baseball
Inspector, Battery
Inspector, Bead
Inspector, Beaming
Inspector, Bearing
Inspector, Belting
Inspector, Bench Assembly
Inspector, Bicycle
Inspector, Billet
Inspector, Biological
Inspector, Block
Inspector, Bobbin
Inspector, Boilers
Inspector, Bottle
Inspector, Bottle and Glass
Inspector, Bottled Beverage
Inspector, Box
Inspector, Box Sealing
Inspector, Buckle
Inspector, Buffing Wheel
Inspector, Bulb
Inspector, Bullet Slugs
Inspector, Burglar Alarm
Inspector, Button
Inspector, Canned Food Reconditioning
Inspector, Canoe
Inspector, Capsule
Inspector, Carpet
Inspector, Carton
Inspector, Casing
Inspector, Casket
Inspector, Casting
Inspector, Cell
Inspector, Central Office
Inspector, Chair
Inspector, Chassis
Inspector, Chemical
Inspector, Cigar
Inspector, Cigarette
Inspector, Cigarette Filter
Inspector, Circuitry Negative
Inspector, Clip-On Sunglasses
Inspector, Cloth
Inspector, Clutch
Inspector, Coal
Inspector, Coil
Inspector, Coiled Coil
Inspector, Coke
Inspector, Cold Working
Inspector, Concrete
Inspector, Construction and Maintenance
Inspector, Container Finishing
Inspector, Control
Inspector, Cooling Pipe
Inspector, Core
Inspector, Cotton
Inspector, Crosstie
Inspector, Crystal
Inspector, Cutter
Inspector, Cylinder
Inspector, Decorating
Inspector, Dials
Inspector, Die
Inspector, Diesel
Inspector, Disc
Inspector, Dowel
Inspector, Drilling
Inspector, Dry Goods
Inspector, Electric Deicer
Inspector, Electric or Pneumatic Deicer
Inspector, Electrical Continuity
Inspector, Electro Mechanical
Inspector, Electromechanical
Inspector, Elevator
Inspector, Equipment
Inspector, Exhaust Emissions
Inspector, Eyeglass
Inspector, Eyeglass Frames
Inspector, Fabric
Inspector, Fabrication
Inspector, Fibrous Wallboard
Inspector, Film
Inspector, Filter Tip
Inspector, Final
Inspector, Final Assembly
Inspector, Finished Stock
Inspector, Finishing
Inspector, Fire Alarm
Inspector, Firearms
Inspector, Fireworks
Inspector, Floor
Inspector, Food
Inspector, Fountain Pen Nibs
Inspector, Fresh Work
Inspector, Fretted Instruments
Inspector, Fur Repair
Inspector, Furnace Stock
Inspector, Furniture
Inspector, Furniture Decals
Inspector, Garment
Inspector, Gas Mask
Inspector, Gasket
Inspector, Gauge
Inspector, Gauge and Instrument
Inspector, Gear
Inspector, General
Inspector, Glass
Inspector, Glass or Mirror
Inspector, Golf Ball
Inspector, Golf Club Head
Inspector, Grain Mill Products
Inspector, Gravel
Inspector, Grinding Wheel
Inspector, Hairspring
Inspector, Hairspring Truing
Inspector, Handbag Frames
Inspector, Hardness
Inspector, Harness
Inspector, Heat Treat
Inspector, Hides
Inspector, Hogshead
Inspector, Hooker
Inspector, Hose
Inspector, House Piping
Inspector, Hull
Inspector, Installations
Inspector, Insulation
Inspector, Integrated Circuits
Inspector, Jet
Inspector, Jig
Inspector, Lamp
Inspector, Layout
Inspector, Leak
Inspector, Lens
Inspector, Level Vial
Inspector, Line
Inspector, Live Ammunition
Inspector, Locks
Inspector, Lumber
Inspector, Machine
Inspector, Machine Shop
Inspector, Magnetic Particle and Penetrant
Inspector, Maintenance
Inspector, Masonry
Inspector, Material Disposition
Inspector, Mechanism
Inspector, Metal Can
Inspector, Metal Fabricating
Inspector, Meter
Inspector, Microfilm Equipment
Inspector, Mirror
Inspector, Missile
Inspector, Mold
Inspector, Motor and Chassis
Inspector, Motors and Generators
Inspector, Multifocal Lens
Inspector, New Car
Inspector, Oil
Inspector, Oil Filters
Inspector, Open Die
Inspector, Optical Glass
Inspector, Optical Instrument
Inspector, Outside Production
Inspector, Packaging Materials
Inspector, Paper
Inspector, Paper Products
Inspector, Parts
Inspector, Photographic Equipment
Inspector, Picture Frames
Inspector, Piece Work
Inspector, Pipe
Inspector, Pipe Line
Inspector, Plant
Inspector, Plastics and Composites
Inspector, Plate
Inspector, Plating
Inspector, Poising
Inspector, Pole
Inspector, Power Plant
Inspector, Power Transformer
Inspector, Precision
Inspector, Precision Assembly
Inspector, Press Pipe
Inspector, Printed Circuit Boards
Inspector, Processing
Inspector, Processor
Inspector, Procurement
Inspector, Proof Coins
Inspector, Propeller
Inspector, Publications
Inspector, Quality
Inspector, Quality Control
Inspector, Rag
Inspector, Railroad Wheels and Axle
Inspector, Receiving
Inspector, Refrigeration Service
Inspector, Returned Materials
Inspector, Road Machinery
Inspector, Roll
Inspector, Roller
Inspector, Roving
Inspector, Rubber Goods
Inspector, Rubber Stamp Die
Inspector, Rubber Stamp Dies
Inspector, Rug
Inspector, Salvage
Inspector, Sausage
Inspector, Scales
Inspector, Screen Printing
Inspector, Semiconductor Wafer
Inspector, Semiconductor Wafer Processing
Inspector, Service
Inspector, Set Up
Inspector, Set-Up and Lay-Out
Inspector, Sewer
Inspector, Shells
Inspector, Shingle
Inspector, Shipping
Inspector, Slide Fasteners
Inspector, Soldering
Inspector, Speedometer
Inspector, Spring
Inspector, Steel
Inspector, Stencil
Inspector, Storage Battery
Inspector, Surgical Garment
Inspector, Surgical Instrument
Inspector, Surgical Instruments
Inspector, Switch
Inspector, Switchboard
Inspector, Telegraph
Inspector, Television
Inspector, Temperature
Inspector, Tester, Sorter
Inspector, Thread
Inspector, Tie
Inspector, Timber
Inspector, Time Clock
Inspector, Timers
Inspector, Timing
Inspector, Toll Line
Inspector, Tool
Inspector, Toys
Inspector, Transmission
Inspector, Tube
Inspector, Type
Inspector, Typewriter Assembly and Parts
Inspector, Upholstery Covers
Inspector, Varnish
Inspector, Watch Assembly
Inspector, Watch Parts
Inspector, Watch Train
Inspector, Webbing
Inspector, Welding
Inspector, Wheel and Pinion
Inspector, Wire
Inspector, Wire Products
Inspector, Wood Treating
Inspector, Woodwind Instruments
Inspector, Wreath
Inspector, Yard
Inspector, Yield Loss
Inspector, Zyglo
Inspector-Adjuster, Office Machine Components
Inspector-Repairer
Installer-Inspector, Final
Instrument Checker
Instrument Inspector
Insulator Tester
Intake Man
Intake Worker
Internal Combustion Engine Inspector
Iron Assorter
Jewel Gauger
Jewel Inspector
Jewelry Inspector
Job Estimator
Job Putter-Up and Ticket Preparer
Kiln Tester
Klystrom Tube Tester
Knitting Tester
Kosher Inspector
Laboratory Sample Carrier
Laboratory Technician
Laboratory Tester
Laminating Machine Offbearer
Last Sorter
Launch Check Out
Layout Inspection Quality Control Worker
Lead Hand, Inspecting and Testing
Leaf Size Picker
Leaf Sorter
Leak Detector
Leak Hunter
Leak Tester, Semiconductor Packages
Leakage Tester
Leather Grader
Leather Sorter
Lens Blank Gauger
Lens Block Gauger
Lens Examiner
Lens Gauger
Lens Matcher
Level Vial Curvature Gauger
Level Vial Inspector and Tester
Light Out Examiner
Lightout Examiner
Line Analyst
Line Rider
Line Walker
Line-Up Examiner
Lineman
Linen Checker
Linen Grader
Liquor Inspector
Liquor Tester
Lithographed Plate Inspector
Load Checker
Load Tester
Load-Test Mechanic
Location and Measurement Technician
Locomotive Inspector
Log Inspector
Loom Checker
Loom Starter
Lumber Grader
Lumber Marker
Lumber Sorter
Lump Inspector
Machine Tester
Machine Try Out Setter
Magnaflux Operator
Magnetic Tester
Maintenance Inspector
Major Assembly Inspector
Manometer Technician
Marker
Mat Inspector
Mat Tester
Matcher, Leather Parts
Material Assembler
Material Inspector
Matrix Inspector
Measurer
Mechanic, Salvage
Mechanical Inspector
Mechanical Technician, Laboratory
Mercury Cracking Tester
Metal Control Worker
Metal Finish Inspector
Meter Calibrator
Meter Inspector
Meter Tester
Meter Tester, Electric
Mica Inspector
Mica Patcher
Mill Hand, Plate Mill
Moisture Meter Operator
Moisture Meter Reader
Moisture Tester
Molded Parts Inspector
Money Examiner
Moocher
Motor and Controls Tester
Motor Tester
Motorcycle Tester
Needle Grader
Netting Inspector
Nib Inspector
Night Patrol Inspector
Noise Tester
Nut Sorter
Odd Shoe Examiner
Oil Pipe Inspector
Olive Brine Tester
Operational Test Mechanic
Ore Grader
Ore Sampler
Outboard Motor Inspector
Oxygen System Tester
Paint Spray Inspector
Pairer
Pantry Goods Worker
Pantry Worker
Paper Cone Grader
Paper Counter
Paper Grader
Paper Pattern Inspector
Paper Sorter
Paper Sorter and Counter
Parachute Inspector
Passer
Pasting Inspector
Patch Driller
Patch Finisher
Patcher
Patroller
Pattern Checker
Pattern Lease Inspector
PBX Inspector (Private Branch Exchange Inspector)
Peeled Potato Inspector
Pencil Inspector
Petroleum Inspector
Petroleum Sampler
Photo Checker
Photo Checker and Assembler
Photo Mask Inspector
Pick Up Operator
Picker / Packer
Pickle Sorter
Pinion Sorter
Pipe Inspector
Pipe Line Walker
Pipe Tester
Plastic Card Grader, Cardroom
Plate Gauger
Plate Inspector
Pleat Taper
Plug Sorter
Plywood Stock Grader
Polarity Tester
Pole Inspector
Potato Chip Sorter
Potato Grader
Potline Monitor
Powder Core Tester
Power Checker
Preservation Inspector, Marine Equipment
Pressure Test Operator
Pressure Tester
Pressure Tester Operator
Primer Inspector
Print Inspector
Print Line Inspector
Printed Circuit Board Component Tester, Chemical
Printed Circuit Board Component Tester, Pre-Assembly
Printed Circuit Board Inspector, Pre-Assembly
Process Checker
Process Controller
Process Inspector
Product Tester, Fiberglass
Production Weigher
Proof Coin Collector
Proof Inspector
Proof Technician
Proof Technician Helper
Propellant Charge Loader
Propeller Tester
Pulp and Paper Tester
Pulp Tester
Pump Tester
Puttier
Putty Patcher
Quality Assurance Auditor
Quality Assurance Clerk
Quality Assurance Group Leader
Quality Assurance Inspector
Quality Assurance Monitor
Quality Assurance Technician
Quality Assurance Tester
Quality Auditor
Quality Checker
Quality Control Auditor
Quality Control Checker
Quality Control Checker, Texturing Process
Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Supervisor
Quality Control Technician
Quality Control Technician, Inked Ribbons
Quality Control Tester
Quality Engineer
Quality Inspector
Quality Process Auditor
Quality Systems Technician
Quality Technician
Quality Technician, Fiberglass
Quality Tester
Quartz Orientator
Quill Buncher and Sorter
Rack Puncher
Racker, Silk Screen Printing
Radar Tester
Radiator Core Tester
Radio Tester
Radiographer
Rag Inspector
Rag Picker
Rag Sorter
Railroad Wheels and Axle Inspector
Raker, Buffing Wheel
Raw Juice Weigher
Raw Sampler
Raw Silk Grader
Re Examiner
Record Changer Tester
Record Tester
Redye Hand
Refrigerator Tester
Regrader
Regulator Inspector
Regulator Tester
Reinspector
Reject Opener
Rejector
Relay Tester
Remnant Sorter
Resistor Testing Machine Operator
Returned Goods Sorter
Ring Sorter
Rivet Sorter
Road Tester
Roadability Machine Operator
Rocket Engine Tester
Roll Examiner
Roll Inspector
Roll Tension Tester
Roller Bearing Inspector
Roller Checker
Roofing Tile Sorter
Rotor Balancer
Rough Rib Grader
Rough Rice Grader
Roving Sizer
Roving Weight Gauger
Rubber Goods Inspector-Tester
Rubber Goods Tester
Rubber Tester
Rug Inspector
Safety Equipment Tester
Safety Fire Boss
Salvage Inspector
Salvage Worker
Salvager
Sample Collector
Sample Color Maker
Sample Examiner
Sample Grader
Sample Maker
Sample Selector
Sample Tester
Sample Tester-Grinder
Sample Washer
Sampler
Sampler and Test Preparer
Sampler Tester
Sampler, First
Sand Tester
Sausage Inspector
Scale Balancer
Scale Operator
Scale Tester
Scaler-Packer
Scrap Separator
Scrap Sorter
Seconds Handler
Selector
Sensitized Paper Tester
Separator
Service Writer
Sewing Machine Tester
Shade Matcher
Shader
Shadowgraph Operator
Shadowgraph Scale Operator
Shaker Plate Operator
Shank Inspector
Shell Grader
Shingle Grader
Shop Estimator
Shot Examiner
Shuttle Inspector
Sight Mounter
Signal Tester
Sizer
Skin Grader
Snuff Container Inspector
Soap Inspector
Sorter Operator
Sorter, Upholstery Parts
Sorting Machine Operator
Sound Tester
Spark Plug Tester
Spark Tester
Special Tester
Spindle Tester
Spoilage Worker
Spool Sorter
Spot Checker
Spot Picker, Molded Goods
Spotter
Spring Inspector
Spring Tester
Static Balancer
Stave Grader
Steel Sampler
Steelscope Operator
Stencil Inspector
Stock Parts Inspector
Stock Sorter
Stocking Inspector
Stone Grader
Storage Battery Inspector and Tester
Storage Battery Tester
Stummel Selector
Substation Inspector
Sumatra Opener
Swatch Checker
Table Worker
Tablet Tester
Tank Car Inspector
Tank Tester
Targeteer
Taster
Tea Taster
Technician, Automotive Exhaust Emissions
Technician, Mechanical Test
Technician, Test
Technician, Testing and Regulating
Technician, Tire
Technician, Zyglo
Television Analyzer
Television Parts Tester
Temperature Control Inspector
Temperature Inspector
Temperature Regulator
Temperature Regulator, Pyrometer
Template Checker
Test Car Driver
Test Carrier
Test Desk Trouble Locator
Test Driver
Test Inspection Engineer
Test Preparer
Test Technician
Test Worker
Tester and Inspector, Lamps
Tester Operator
Tester, Compressed Gases
Tester, Electrical Continuity
Tester, Motors and Controls
Tester, Regulator
Tester, Rocket Motor
Tester, Semiconductor Packages
Tester, Semiconductor Wafers
Tester, Sound
Tester, Wafer Substrate
Tester, Waste Disposal Leakage
Testing and Regulating Technician
Testing Machine Operator
Thermocouple Tester
Thermometer Tester
Thread Checker
Thread Inspector
Ticket Puller
Tie Inspector
Tile Grader
Tile Picker
Tile Shader
Tile Sorter
Timer
Tin Assorter
Tin Flipper
Tin Flopper
Tip Length Checker
Tire Balancer
Tire Classifier
Tire Inspector
Tire Mold Tester
Tire Sorter
Tire Technician
Tire Tester
Tobacco Classer
Tobacco Grader
Tobacco Sample Puller
Tobacco Sampler
Tooth Inspector
Torque Tester
Touch-Up Screener, Printed Circuit Board Assembly
Towel Inspector
Towel Sorter
Transformer Tester
Transistor Tester
Transmission Tester
Treating Inspector
Triple Air-Valve Tester
Trouble Locater
Trouble Locator, Test Desk
Trouble Shooter
Truer
Truer, Pinion and Wheel
Try Out Person
Tube Sorter
Tube Tester
Turbine Attendant
Twist Tester
Type-Copy Examiner
Typewriter Tester
Ultrasonic Tester
Upholstery Parts Sorter
Upper Leather Sorter
Utilities Service Investigator
Utility Worker, Line Assembly
Vacuum Tester, Cans
Valve Tester
Varnish Inspector
Vegetable Tester
Veneer Grader
Veneer Matcher
Veneer Measurer
Veneer Stock Grader
Vibrator Equipment Tester
Viscosity Tester
Voltage Tester
Wallpaper Inspector
Wallpaper Inspector and Shipper
Ware Tester
Warp Tester
Warp Yarn Sorter
Waste Examiner
Waste Salvager
Water Leak Repairer
Water Quality Tester
Weaving Inspector
Weigh Machine Operator
Weigh Tank Operator
Weigher and Crusher
Weigher and Grader
Weigher Operator
Weigher, Alloy
Weigher, Production
Weight Tester
Weight Yardage Checker
Weld Inspector
Wet Inspector, Optical Glass
Wheel Inspector
Winder
Winding Inspector
Winding Inspector and Tester
Wire Tester
Wood Inspector
Wood Scaler
Woodwork Salvage Inspector
Wool and Pelt Grader
Wool Puller
Wrap Yarn Sorter
Wrapper Counter
Wrapper Selector
Wrapping Checker
X Ray Equipment Tester
X-Ray Inspector
Yarn Cleaner
Yarn Dumper
Yarn Examiner
Yarn Examiner, Skeins
Yarn Sorter
Yield-Loss Inspector
Zipper Trimmer, Hand

Training
  • These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, pharmacy technicians, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
  • These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job-related course work. In some cases, an associate's or bachelor's degree could be needed.
  • Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience may be helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a teller might benefit from experience working directly with the public, but an inexperienced person could still learn to be a teller with little difficulty.
  • Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Most inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers enter the occupation after spending years at a particular company or in an industry. They usually get their training on the job.

Education and training. Training requirements vary, based on the responsibilities of the inspector, tester, sorter, sampler, or weigher. For workers who perform simple pass/fail tests of products, a high school diploma generally is sufficient, together with basic in-house training. Training for new inspectors may cover the use of special meters, gauges, computers and other instruments; quality-control techniques; blueprint reading; safety; and reporting requirements. There are some postsecondary training programs in testing, but many employers prefer to train inspectors on the job.

Chances of finding work in this occupation can be improved by studying industrial trades, including computer-aided design, in high school or in a postsecondary vocational program. Laboratory work in the natural or biological sciences may also improve one’s analytical skills and enhance the ability to find work in medical or pharmaceutical labs where many of these workers are employed.

As companies implement more automated inspection techniques that require less manual inspection, workers in this occupation have to learn to operate and program more sophisticated equipment and learn software applications. Since this requires additional skills, the need for higher education may be necessary. To address this need, some colleges are offering associate degrees in fields such as quality control management.

Other qualifications. In general, inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers need mechanical aptitude, math and communication skills, and good hand-eye coordination and vision. Another important skill is the ability to analyze and interpret blueprints, data, manuals, and other material to determine specifications, inspection procedures, formulas, and methods for making adjustments.

Certification and advancement. Complex inspection positions are filled by experienced assemblers, machine operators, or mechanics who already have a thorough knowledge of the products and production processes. To advance to these positions, experienced workers may need training in statistical process control, new automation, or the company’s quality assurance policies. As automated inspection equipment and electronic recording of results is common, computer skills are also important.

Training has become more formalized with the advent of standards from the International Organization for Standardization. As a result, certification as a quality inspector, offered by the American Society for Quality, is designed to certify that someone is trained in the field and may enable workers to advance within the occupation. To take the exam for certification, two years of on the job experience in mechanical inspection or a related field is required.

Advancement for workers with the necessary skills frequently takes the form of higher pay. They may also advance to inspector of more complex products, supervisor, or related positions such as purchaser of materials and equipment.

Nature of Work

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers ensure that your food 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 or audit quality standards for virtually all domestically manufactured products, including foods, textiles, clothing, glassware, motor vehicles, electronic components, computers, and structural steel. As product quality becomes increasingly important to the success of many manufacturing firms, daily duties of inspectors have changed. In some cases, the job titles of these workers also have been changed to quality-control inspector or a similar name, reflecting the growing importance of quality. (A separate statement on construction and building inspectors appears elsewhere in the Handbook. )

Regardless of title, all inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers work to guarantee the quality of the goods their firms produce. Specific job duties also vary across the wide range of industries in which these workers are found. For example, materials inspectors may check products by sight, sound, feel, smell, or even taste to locate imperfections such as cuts, scratches, bubbles, missing pieces, misweaves, or crooked seams. These workers also may verify dimensions, color, weight, texture, strength, or other physical characteristics of objects. Mechanical inspectors generally verify that parts fit, move correctly, and are properly lubricated; check the pressure of gases and the level of liquids; test the flow of electricity; and do a test run to check for proper operation. Some jobs involve only a quick visual inspection; others require a longer, detailed one. Sorters may separate goods according to length, size, fabric type, or color, while samplers test or inspect a sample taken from a batch or production run for malfunctions or defects. Weighers weigh quantities of materials for use in production.

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers are involved at every stage of the production process. Some inspectors examine materials received from a supplier before sending them to the production line. Others inspect components and assemblies or perform a final check on the finished product. Depending on their skill level, inspectors also may set up and test equipment, calibrate precision instruments, repair defective products, or record data.

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers rely on a number of tools to perform their jobs. Although some still use hand held measurement devises such as micrometers, calipers, and alignment gauges, it is more common for them to operate electronic inspection equipment, such as coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). These machines use sensitive probes to measure a part’s dimensional accuracy and allow the inspector to analyze the results using computer software. Inspectors testing electrical devices may use voltmeters, ammeters, and oscilloscopes to test insulation, current flow, and resistance. All the tools that inspectors use are maintained by calibration technicians, who ensure that they work properly and generate accurate readings.

Inspectors mark, tag, or note problems. They may reject defective items outright, send them for repair or correction, or fix minor problems themselves. If the product is acceptable, inspectors may screw a nameplate onto it, tag it, stamp it with a serial number, or certify it in some other way. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers record the results of their inspections, compute the percentage of defects and other statistical measures, and prepare inspection and test reports. Some electronic inspection equipment automatically provides test reports containing these inspection results. When defects are found, inspectors notify supervisors and help to analyze and correct the production problems.

The emphasis on finding the root cause of defects is a basic tenet of modern management and production philosophies. Industrial production managers (see the statement on this occupation elsewhere in the Handbook) work closely with the inspectors to reduce defects and improve quality. In the past, a certain level of defects was considered acceptable because variations would always occur. Current philosophies emphasize constant quality improvement through analysis and correction of the causes of defects. The nature of inspectors’ work has changed from merely checking for defects to determining the cause of those defects.

Increased emphasis on quality control in manufacturing means that inspection is more fully integrated into the production process than in the past. Now, companies have integrated teams of inspection and production workers to jointly review and improve product quality. In addition, many companies now use self-monitoring production machines to ensure that the output is produced within quality standards. Self-monitoring machines can alert inspectors to production problems and automatically repair defects in some cases.

Some firms have completely automated inspection with the help of advanced vision inspection systems, using machinery installed at one or several points in the production process. Inspectors in these firms monitor the equipment, review output, and perform random product checks.

Testers repeatedly test existing products or prototypes under real-world conditions. For example, they may purposely abuse a machine by not changing its oil to see when failure occurs. They may devise automated machines to repeat a basic task thousands of times, such as opening and closing a car door. Through these tests, companies determine how long a product will last, what parts will break down first, and how to improve durability.

Work environment. Working conditions vary by industry and establishment size. As a result, some inspectors examine similar products for an entire shift, whereas others examine a variety of items.

In manufacturing, it is common for most inspectors to remain at one workstation. Inspectors in some industries may be on their feet all day and may have to lift heavy objects, whereas in other industries, they sit during most of their shift and read electronic printouts with massive quantities of data. Workers in heavy manufacturing plants may be exposed to the noise and grime of machinery; in other plants, inspectors work in clean, air-conditioned environments suitable for carrying out controlled tests. Other inspectors rarely see the products they are inspecting and instead do the majority of their work examining electronic readouts in front of a computer.

Some inspectors work evenings, nights, or weekends. Shift assignments generally are made on the basis of seniority. Overtime may be required to meet production goals.

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)
Earnings

Median hourly earnings of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers were $14.14 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.84 and $18.79 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.65 an hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.85 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers in May 2006 were:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing $20.62
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 16.74
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 13.32
Plastics product manufacturing 12.85
Employment services 11.12

For the latest wage information:

The above wage data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, unless otherwise noted. For the latest National, State, and local earnings data, visit the following pages:

  • Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
  • Job Outlook

    Like that of many other occupations concentrated in manufacturing industries, employment of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers is expected to decline moderately through the year 2016. The decline stems primarily from the growing use of automated inspection and the redistribution of some quality-control responsibilities from inspectors to production workers. Additionally, as manufacturing companies continue to move some production offshore, the need for these workers will lessen.

    Employment change. Employment of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers is expected to decline moderately by 7 percent between 2006 and 2016. Because the majority of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers work in the manufacturing sector, their outlook is greatly affected by what happens to manufacturing companies. As this sector becomes more automated and productive and as some production moves offshore, the number of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers is expected to decline. However, the continuing emphasis on producing quality goods and the need for accuracy in the growing medical and biotechnology fields will positively affect this occupation and moderate the decline.

    In some industries, however, automation is not a feasible alternative to manual inspection. Where key inspection elements are oriented toward size, such as length, width, or thickness, automation will become more important in the future. But where taste, smell, texture, appearance, fabric complexity, or product performance is important, inspection will continue to be done by workers. Employment of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers is expected to increase faster than average in the employment services industry, as manufacturers and industrial firms hire more temporary inspectors to increase the flexibility of their staffing.

    The emphasis on improving quality and productivity has led manufacturers to invest in automated inspection equipment and to take a more systematic approach to quality inspection. Continued improvements in technologies, such as spectrophotometers and computer-assisted visual inspection systems, allow firms to effectively automate inspection tasks, increasing workers’ productivity and reducing the demand for inspectors. Inspectors will continue to operate these automated machines and monitor the defects they detect. Thus, while the growing emphasis on quality has increased the importance of inspection, the increased automation of inspection has limited the demand for inspectors.

    Apart from automation, firms are integrating quality control into the production process. Many inspection duties are being redistributed from specialized inspectors to fabrication and assembly workers who monitor quality at every stage of the production process. In addition, the growing implementation of statistical process control is resulting in smarter inspection. Using this system, firms survey the sources and incidence of defects so that they can better focus their efforts on reducing production of defective products.

    Job prospects. Although numerous job openings will arise due to the need to replace workers who move out of this large occupation, many of these jobs will be open only to experienced workers with advanced skills.

    Employment

    Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers held about 491,000 jobs in 2006. About 7 in 10 worked in manufacturing establishments that produced such products as motor vehicle parts, plastics products, semiconductor and other electronic components, and aerospace products and parts. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers also were found in employment services, wholesale trade, architectural, engineering, and related services, and government agencies.

    Knowledge
    • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
    • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
    • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
    • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
    Skills
    • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
    • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
    • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
    • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
    Abilities
    • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
    • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
    • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
    Tasks
    • Supplemental — Compute usable amounts of items in shipments and determine prices, based on quantities and grade assessments.
    • Supplemental — Fabricate, install, position, or connect components, parts, finished products, or instruments for testing or operational purposes.
    • Supplemental — Measure dimensions of products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers.
    • Supplemental — Supervise testing or drilling activities.
    • Supplemental — Analyze test data and make computations as necessary to determine test results.
    Activities
    • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
    • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
    • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
    • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
    • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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