Production Inspector: Career Info & Requirements

Mar 29, 2019

Production inspectors prevent everything from contaminated food from making its way into grocery stores to stopping unsafe cars from hitting the streets. Inspectors use company and government issued standards to test products and ensure their safety to the general public. Keep reading to find out more details of this profession.

Career Definition for a Production Inspector

Production inspectors are responsible for ensuring that a company or business is meeting the standard codes in the manufacturing process. Inspectors have to make sure that no defective or harmful products available to the general public. Degree and education requirements vary widely.

Education High school education as a minimum, higher education needed for more advanced positions
Job Skills Analysis skills, understanding of new methods, attention to detail
Median Salary (2017)* $37,340 for quality control inspectors
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -11% (decline) for quality control inspectors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

There are different levels of production inspecting, which can require different levels of education. Inspectors that are working strictly on the pass/fail grade of a product usually require at least a high school education, and they may require some additional training at a vocational institution or training program. Production inspectors who work with highly sophisticated equipment and need to produce detailed reports require a bachelor's degree in a related subject.

Skills Required

Production inspectors need to have excellent quality control analysis skills, which involves conducting tests on products and services to evaluate their performance. Inspectors also need to be able to watch dials, gauges and indicators to make sure that a machine is working properly. Because there are many different types of products produced, inspectors need to learn and understand new instructional methods in an allocated time frame.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of quality control inspectors, such as production inspectors, would decline by 11% between 2016 and 2026. Inspectors might explore various career opportunities, including jobs as an airplane inspector, cable tester, rubber tester, x-ray-equipment tester, quality-control inspector and operational test mechanic grader. According to the BLS, the median salary for quality control inspectors was $37,340 as of May 2017.

Alternate Career Options

Check out these other careers in inspection:

Construction and Building Inspector

With a high school diploma and some background in construction, these inspectors check to be sure that buildings meet national and local codes. Faster than average employment growth of 10% was expected by the BLS for these professionals from 2016-2026, and the annual median wage was $59,090 in 2017.

Fire Inspector and Investigator

Fire inspectors and investigators check buildings for fire hazards or determine the causes and origins of explosions or fires. High school graduates with experience in police or fire departments are often qualified to work in this field, and they can then receive training in an academy or on the job. The BLS reported a median salary of $56,670 per year in 2017 for inspectors and investigators and projected faster than average growth of 10% in available positions from 2016-2026.

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