What does a Transportation Inspector do?

Median Pay $73,720
Growth Rate 4%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A transportation inspector ensures vehicles are meeting safety regulations and communicates or reports any violations that need immediate attention. They look for vehicle customizations that may not meet safety regulation, check the vehicle’s emissions to ensure they meet environmental standards, and would also reinspect vehicles after repair work is complete to ensure the work meets quality standards. Those holding this position may also be called a transit vehicle inspector as well.

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How to Become a Transportation Inspector

There is no educational requirement past a high school diploma to become a transportation inspector. However, to inspect vehicles, you would need training on-the-job or may need to attend a trade or vocational college in order to gain the skills you need to land your first job inspecting vehicles. According to O*Net Online, over 10% of those surveyed earned a certification after high school.

Job Description of a Transportation Inspector

transportation inspector

Transportation inspectors have an important job inspecting vehicles for damage, mechanical failures, safety violations, and emissions pollution that exceed regulations. They may work with diagnostic equipment to find issues with a vehicle, perform visual scans of vehicles, and inspect a vehicle’s gauges to ensure everything is working properly. Ultimately, this ensure the safety of other vehicles on the road.

They would report areas for improvement as well as items that must be fixed until the vehicle can be approved as travel worthy. After a vehicle has been serviced, they may also reinspect the vehicle to ensure the changes were made appropriately.

Transportation Inspector Career Video Transcript

Whether a vehicle has 18 wheels or it’s the family car, somewhere along the way, a vehicle, equipment, and systems inspector will need to look it over to make sure it makes the grade for safety and other regulations. Vehicle inspectors typically work for a car dealership or a government agency, examining cars, trucks, and accessories to report on the condition of their parts. They also make sure there are no illegal devices on cars or trucks, such as those meant to get around auto emissions laws.

These inspectors are trained to see beneath a gleaming exterior to identify prior damage that may compromise a vehicle’s safety. They also conduct test drives to make sure everything sounds and feels like it’s running smoothly. Physical strength may be needed to lift heavy equipment for some inspections. Inspectors usually have a high school diploma, train on-the-job at a repair shop or factory, or take classes in automotive engineering at a technical or community college, or trade school. This is a job for someone who likes realistic, practical work and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to keep the roads a little safer, and the skies a littler cleaner.

Article Citations

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

National Center for O*NET Development. 13-2011.01. O*NET OnLine.

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