Public Transportation Inspector: Duties, Outlook and Salary

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a public transportation inspector. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and experience to find out if this is the career for you.

If you are concerned with public safety, are observant and a bit of a perfectionist, then a career as a public transportation inspector could be a great fit for you. Public transportation inspectors ensure that transportation systems meet or exceed all regulatory standards. This profession is expected to grow at a faster than average rate and median income comes in at around $65,000 annually.

Essential Information

Public transportation inspectors inspect and maintain machinery used to transport people, along with equipment and systems that correspond with these transportation methods. It's their duty to ensure that public transportation remains safe and efficient. A high school diploma, along with additional job training or related experience, is required for this position.

Required Education High school diploma
Other Requirements Related job experience or completion of training through a vocational school
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 7.1%*
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $70,820*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Duties

Public transportation inspectors inspect and examine public buses, vehicles, trains, and subways for passenger usage in compliance with local and federal laws and regulations. They look for signs of mechanical malfunction, corruption, or damage, conduct equipment tests, and check that repairs were correctly performed. After completing inspections, they produce reports documenting their findings. They also inspect rules and programs regarding the safe operation of machinery.

Job Requirements

Generally, transportation inspectors are mechanically and technically savvy, pay close attention to detail, and possess manual dexterity. They also have the ability to troubleshoot problems in a manner that meets safety standards. Additionally, public transportation inspector jobs typically require quality control skills, critical-thinking abilities, and communication skills. These positions generally require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, as well as related career experience. There are also postsecondary programs available in technical schools or universities that focus on the specialized knowledge and technical skills used in this career field.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that between 2014 and 2024, job growth for transportation inspectors would increase by about 7.1%, which is consistent with the national average among all occupations (www.bls.gov). Industries with the largest portion of these jobs include federal government and rail transportation. Employment for transportation inspectors is highest in states such as New York, Texas, and California.

Salary Information

In May 2015, the BLS indicated that the median wage for transportation inspectors was $70,820 per year. The upper 90 percent earned $115,970 or more per year, and the lower 10% made $34,420 or less per year. Transportation inspectors working in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Maine took home the highest annual salaries.

Public transportation inspectors are vitally important to the safety of patrons who use these public transportation systems. They ensure the safety and overall quality of the transportation systems and make changes as necessary.


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