Quality Inspector

What does a Quality Control Inspector do?

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A quality control inspector examines materials and products for specification deviations or defects and monitors the production. They also reject and discard any defective product or material. Every industry has their own specifications and establishment size, therefore it is pertinent for a quality control inspector to adhere to them.

Watch a video to learn what a quality control inspector does:

How to become a Quality Control Inspector

Quality Inspector

Quality control inspectors require a minimum of a high school diploma and mostly receive on-the-job training that can last from 1 month to 1 year. The on-the-job training usually includes skills in quality control techniques, company reporting processes, and equipment use. Examples of equipment and techniques include blueprint reading, safety processes, meters, gauges, technology devices, and a variety of other instruments.

Technology has increased the use of automated techniques, therefore making it more common in manufacturing settings, consequently requiring less inspection by hand. This is making it more necessary for quality assurance workers to have knowledge of sophisticated equipment and software applications. Due to this growing change formal training may be becoming more necessary and some colleges are now starting to offer associate’s degrees in fields like quality control management.

Though at entry-level employers are not requiring certifications; it may be advantageous to pursue it for advancement or increasing opportunities as one has worked in the field for a while. These certifications show professionalism and competency in quality assurance. This can be earned through the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and they offer a variety of certifications. The most common certification is called Six Sigma. This certification focuses on a set of techniques and tools for process improvement and is considered the gold standard of quality assurance.

Job Description of a Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors work in a variety of settings from food to medical to manufacturing industries, therefore there may be some differing factors at times, however, the duties are always focused on the quality and safety of the products and employees that are working on it. Common duties typically include reading product specifications and monitoring to ensure all standards are met.

At times they may need to adjust the production process, measure, inspect, and test materials or products being produced. They do this by using calipers, rulers, micrometers, or gauges. If a finished item is rejected, he or she removes or discards the product or material. They meet with those responsible for products to discuss the results of the inspection and report test data. In addition they may recommend modifications to make improvements or correct the rejected products or materials.

There are many industries with their own specifications and establishment size. Therefore, the duties of a quality control inspector may vary according to the particular place he or she is employed. These workers monitor quality standards for foods, textiles, motor vehicles, electronics, computers, and even structural devices for buildings. All of this is done before, during, and after the product is completed.

Quality assurance workers are mostly found work in manufacturing settings followed by scientific and technical services. Full-time hours and shift work is typical for this career field. Many work weekends and evenings especially for those first entering the field. As one gains seniority you may be able to request a specific schedule. One must have physical stamina and are often exposed to airborne particles, noise, and heavy machinery. Though with the appropriate protective gear this is usually not a problem. Quality control inspectors typically work full-time during regular business hours with some overtime when necessary.

Quality Control Inspector Career Video Transcript

If your equipment starts producing defective products, who do you call? Quality control systems managers! In fact, call them before you notice something is wrong; quality control is a necessary and ongoing process. Quality control systems managers generally work in laboratories and factories, but may also find roles in healthcare. They collect and analyze samples from their production lines and services every day to make sure everything is going as planned.

Whether your product is a Frisbee, a car, a food item, or a healthcare service, as a quality control manager, it’s your job to meet standards, comply with regulations, and continuously improve quality. If a problem occurs, these managers need to troubleshoot the process to find a solution and communicate with all of the departments, vendors, and contractors who might be affected by it. On the people side, they supervise employees, and personally advise customers on technical issues.

Quality control systems managers often have a four-year degree related to their industry. They must be well versed in quality systems, statistics, and risk analysis. But for these professionals, their work experience is a more important credential. While they usually work typical business hours, overtime might be necessary when big production deadlines approach.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Quality Control Inspectors.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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