Inspectors and testers, inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from required specifications.


Average Hourly Earnings



High school diploma, moderate on-the-job training


  • Inspect, test, or measure materials, products, installations, or work to conform to specifications
  • Use instruments such as rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers to measure dimensions of products to make sure they conform to specifications
  • Read blueprints, data, manuals, or other materials to decide about specifications, procedures, adjustment methods, certification processes, formulas, or measuring instruments required
  • Record inspection or test data like quantities, weights, temperatures, grades, or moisture content
  • Mark items with details such as grade or acceptance-rejection status
  • Notify supervisors or other personnel of production problems
  • Throw out or reject products, materials, or equipment that does not meet specifications
  • Collect or select samples for testing or for use as models

Work Environment

Work environments vary by industry and establishment size. Workers may examine similar products for an entire shift or may examine a variety of items. In manufacturing, most inspectors remain at a single workstation sitting, but at some sites they are on their feet all day and may have to lift heavy items. Workers in heavy-manufacturing plants may be exposed to the noise and grime of machinery while others work in clean, air-conditioned environments. Workers typically wear protective eyewear, ear plugs, and appropriate clothing. Most work full time during regular business hours, but some of them work evenings or weekends. Overtime may be required to meet production deadlines.

Key Traits

Conventional. Often involves following set procedures and routines. May include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually have a clear line of authority to follow.