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Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
SOC Code: 51-9061.00

Inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh nonagricultural raw materials or processed, machined, fabricated, or assembled parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from specifications. May use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment.

Sample of reported job titles: Inspector, Picker / Packer, Quality Assurance Auditor, Quality Assurance Inspector, Quality Assurance Technician, Quality Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, Quality Control Technician, Quality Inspector, Quality Technician


  • Inspect, test, or measure materials, products, installations, or work for conformance to specifications.
  • Measure dimensions of products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers.
  • Read blueprints, data, manuals, or other materials to determine specifications, inspection and testing procedures, adjustment methods, certification processes, formulas, or measuring instruments required.
  • Record inspection or test data, such as weights, temperatures, grades, or moisture content, and quantities inspected or graded.
  • Mark items with details such as grade or acceptance-rejection status.
  • Notify supervisors or other personnel of production problems.
  • Discard or reject products, materials, or equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Collect or select samples for testing or for use as models.
  • Write test or inspection reports describing results, recommendations, or needed repairs.
  • Compare colors, shapes, textures, or grades of products or materials with color charts, templates, or samples to verify conformance to standards.
  • Recommend necessary corrective actions, based on inspection results.
  • Grade, classify, or sort products according to sizes, weights, colors, or other specifications.
  • Analyze test data, making computations as necessary, to determine test results.
  • Clean, maintain, calibrate, or repair measuring instruments or test equipment, such as dial indicators, fixed gauges, or height gauges.
  • Remove defects, such as chips, burrs, or lap corroded or pitted surfaces.
  • Read dials or meters to verify that equipment is functioning at specified levels.
  • Check arriving materials to ensure that they match purchase orders, submitting discrepancy reports as necessary.
  • Make minor adjustments to equipment, such as turning setscrews to calibrate instruments to required tolerances.
  • Fabricate, install, position, or connect components, parts, finished products, or instruments for testing or operational purposes.
  • Inspect or test raw materials, parts, or products to determine compliance with environmental standards.
  • Compute defect percentages or averages, using formulas and calculators.
  • Position products, components, or parts for testing.
  • Stack or arrange tested products for further processing, shipping, or packaging.
  • Monitor production operations or equipment to ensure conformance to specifications, making necessary process or assembly adjustments.
  • Adjust, clean, or repair products or processing equipment to correct defects found during inspections.
  • Monitor machines that automatically measure, sort, or inspect products.
  • Compute usable amounts of items in shipments.
  • Weigh materials, products, containers, or samples to verify packaging weights or ingredient quantities.
  • Interpret legal requirements, provide safety information, or recommend compliance procedures to contractors, craft workers, engineers, or property owners.
  • Disassemble defective parts or components, such as inaccurate or worn gauges or measuring instruments.
  • Administer tests to assess whether engineers or operators are qualified to use equipment.
  • Inspect or test cleantech or green technology parts, products, or installations, such as fuel cells, solar panels, or air quality devices, for conformance to specifications or standards.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Design of experiments DOE software; Minitab ; The MathWorks MATLAB ; Tolerance analysis software (see all 5 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Computer assisted design software; Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - Computer-aided inspection software
  • Content workflow software - Atlassian JIRA
  • Data base management system software - Apache Hive ; Apache Pig
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software ; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Lotus Notes; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Microsoft Visio
  • Industrial control software - Coordinate measuring machine software; Cybermetrics GAGETrak; Statistical process control SPC data collection devices; Wilcox Associates PC-DMIS Inspection Planner
  • Label making software - Inspection marking systems
  • Medical software - Medical condition coding software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software - Label inspection systems
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Accelerometers - Capacitive acceleration instruments; Magnetic induction acceleration instruments; Piezoelectric acceleration instruments; Resonance acceleration instruments (see all 5 examples)
  • Ammeters
  • Bench scales - Industrial bench scales
  • Beta gauge measuring systems - Beta gauges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Measuring microscopes
  • Calibrated resistance measuring equipment - Digital resistance meters; Resistance meters; Resistivity meters
  • Calipers
  • Circuit tester - Continuity testers
  • Comparators - Optical comparators
  • Compression testers
  • Conductivity meters
  • Coordinate measuring machines CMM
  • Creep testers - Creep and stress relaxation testers
  • Depth gauges
  • Digital testers - Bit error rate testers BERT
  • Ductility testing machines - Ductility testers
  • Eddy current examination equipment - Eddy current flaw detectors; Eddy current probes
  • Electrical frequency meters - Frequency meters
  • Fatigue testers
  • Force or torque sensors - Force transducers
  • Forklifts
  • Frequency counters or timer or dividers - Frequency counters
  • Go or no go gauge - Plug gauges
  • Hardness testers
  • Height gauges
  • Hipot testers
  • Hydraulic pumps
  • Impact hammers
  • Impact testers - Impact toughness testers
  • Impedance meters - Return loss calibrator RLC passive component testers
  • Integrated circuit testers - Backplane testers; Logic test systems; Manufacturing defect analyzers MDA; Printed circuit board PCB testers (see all 5 examples)
  • Interferometers - Holographic interferometers
  • Laser measuring systems - Laser shearography flaw detectors
  • Leak testing equipment - Bubble leak testers; Calorimetric leak testers; Mass flow leak testers
  • Level generators - Pulse generators
  • Lifts - Hydraulic lifts
  • Liquid penetrant examination equipment - Penetrant flaw detectors
  • Magnetic particle examination equipment - Magnetic particle flaw detectors
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Micrometers
  • Moisture meters
  • Multimeters - Digital multimeters
  • Optical flats - Optical gauges
  • Oscilloscopes - Sampling oscilloscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Pin gauge - Pin gauges
  • Plotter printers - Plotters
  • Power meters - Direct current DC power testers
  • Reflectometers - Gloss meters
  • Refrigerated and heated walk in environmental or growth chambers - Environmental chambers
  • Resistance thermometers - Digital resistance thermometers
  • Rulers - Pi tapes
  • Shear strength testers - Shear testers
  • Shock testing apparatus - Shock testers
  • Signal conditioners - Linear or mixed signal equipment
  • Signal generators - Function generators
  • Sorters - Sorting machines
  • Spectrometers - Color spectrometers
  • Strain gauges
  • Tension testers - Tensile testers
  • Thickness measuring devices - Laser thickness gauges
  • Thread counters or gauges - Thread gauges
  • Track cranes - Overhead cranes
  • Ultrasonic examination equipment - Utrasonic flaw detectors
  • Vibration testers - Vibration and shaker systems
  • Viscosimeters - Viscometers
  • Voltage or current meters - Digital voltmeters DVM
  • X ray radiography examination equipment - Radiographic flaw detectors


  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.


  • Interest code: CR
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others - 59% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Time Pressure - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 50% responded “Very important results.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 33% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 34% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 58% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 31% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 28% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 27% responded “Very important.”
  • Telephone - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 29% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 27% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 31% responded “Never.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
52%High school diploma or equivalent
14%Less than high school diploma
14%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $17.95 hourly, $37,340 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 521,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 52,700

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