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Quality Inspector Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: October 10, 2023

A Quality Inspector, or QA Inspector, is responsible for reviewing products and materials during manufacturing to make sure they meet company requirements. Their duties include measuring objects compared to their intended physical specifications, running quality tests and identifying defects.

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Quality Inspector duties and responsibilities

Quality Inspectors are responsible for inspecting and testing products and overseeing operations for a company to ensure they meet production standards, and they can work in any industry that involves production and assembly, such as glassware, textile, motor vehicles and food. Here are some of the typical duties a Quality Inspector may have:

  • Establishing quality standards for products a company produces
  • Reading blueprints and specifications to ensure that operations meet production standards
  • Recommending any necessary adjustments and changes to production processes
  • Inspecting and testing the materials and equipment produced by a company
  • Using gadgets such as micrometer screw gauges to measure products
  • Removing products that don’t meet production standards and recommending strategies to improve product quality
  • Accepting or rejecting finished products and discussing inspection results with the production team
  • Performing inspections at random to assess product quality
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What does a Quality Inspector do?

Quality Inspectors usually work at manufacturing plants on assembly lines to identify products that don’t meet quality standards. The role of a Quality Inspector is to use their observational skills to notice when a material, product part or finished product differs from the blueprints. Quality Inspectors quickly and efficiently assess incoming products at their assigned stage of production. This can occur when unpacking shipments from vendors, sorting products on an assembly line or preparing finished products for outgoing shipments. Quality Inspectors remove faulty items from the production line and report them to management to prevent sending poor quality items to customers.

Quality Inspector skills and qualifications

Quality Inspectors play a tremendous role in ensuring that your products conform to the set safety and quality standards, so the position requires certain skills and qualifications in order to perform well in any industry, including:

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Technical skills and ability to understand blueprints, documents and manuals
  • Knowledge of basic math and computer skills
  • Ability to influence others to follow rules and regulations
  • Strong leadership skills and teamwork mentality
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Dexterity, physical strength and physical stamina

Quality Inspector education and training requirements

Most employers require a high school diploma as a minimum level of education for Quality Inspector candidates. However, depending on your specific industry or company, some employers may prefer candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree. Some of the top degrees to look out for include bachelor’s degrees in quality assurance, quality management and manufacturing management. You can also look for candidates with a certification, such as the Certified Quality Inspector offered by the American Society for Quality.

Quality Inspector experience requirements

In most cases, the Quality Inspector for a manufacturing company should have at least 1-2 years of experience in the industry. They are required to understand how to inspect electronic devices, use gadgets for measurement, work with other departments to maintain product quality and measure and produce accurate test records. It’s also beneficial to find a candidate who is familiar with the production process in your particular field.

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Frequently asked questions about Quality Inspectors

What are the daily duties of a Quality Inspector?

Quality Inspectors spend their time implementing a range of quality assurance techniques and tests on products. They weigh items, measure their dimensions, compare their color, test mobility and complete other actions that confirms a product meets all quality expectations. Some Quality Inspectors are integrated into the assembly line and inspect every single product, while others complete random quality assessments.

If a Quality Inspector identifies a product that doesn’t meet specifications, they determine if it can be corrected or if it needs to be discarded and destroyed. Quality Inspectors carefully record what was wrong with each defective product and identify the cause of the quality issue. They write reports about the quality control rates on their team and make suggestions about how to eliminate future performance problems.

What is the difference between a Quality Inspector and a Quality Engineer?

Quality Inspectors and Quality Engineers are both quality assurance experts who serve a vital role in helping a company deliver consistent products to customers. Quality Engineers have a leadership and managerial role while Quality Inspectors implement their directions on an assembly line. Quality Inspectors work on the floor physically inspecting items on the production line while Quality Engineers work in an office planning and developing quality assurance techniques.

Quality Engineers create the blueprints and product specification documents that Quality Inspectors use to rate the quality of items on the line. Quality Inspectors can make suggestions about how to improve quality control systems, but Quality Engineers are the people responsible for integrating those improvements into current processes.

What are the qualities of a good Quality Inspector?

Because Quality Inspectors need to be able to interpret technical specification documents to properly assess an item’s quality, they must be detail-oriented and excellent at following instructions. Industry knowledge is essential for Quality Inspectors to understand the documents they’re interpreting and properly use testing tools.

Good Quality Inspectors are highly efficient people who can quickly determine if a product meets quality specifications or not, allowing them to keep up with the pace of production without slowing down. Successful Quality Inspectors are team players who enjoy working with others to solve problems and eliminate defects as a group, while still takign individual accountability for their work.

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