Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors monitor production operations, ensuring that specifications are met.

Quality control inspectors monitor production operations, ensuring that specifications are met.

While they operate in many industries, many QC inspectors work with pharmaceutical companies, to ensure that their products are uniform and unaltered. As machines advance, there is less physical inspection to be done, and more chemical and computer analysis required to ensure that the product contents are identical and the same as advertised.


Fast Facts

Minimum Education Required: High School Diploma or GED

Top 3 Skills: Thoroughness, Stamina, Eye for Detail

Average Starting Salary:


Job Description

Quality control inspectors sample merchandise off the production line and out of packaging. Depending on the product being inspected, they look for:

  • Physical inconsistencies
  • Chemical inconsistencies
  • Any product that does not operate according to published instructions

All samples that do not meet the appropriate standards are recorded and reported.


High school students interested in becoming an inspector should pursue courses in English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and engineering.

Most employers offer on-the-job training for qualified applicants, though some colleges are offering associate’s degrees in fields like quality control management.


Certification is available, though not necessary. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers different certifications for workers in quality control. These certificates increase hiring potential, and may increase an entry-level worker’s salary.

Job Outlook: Poor

Employment is only predicted to grow by 8% in this field, which is slightly below the national average. The median salary is also just below average, at $33,000 per year. However, as inspection becomes a more advanced process, involving computer analysis and laboratory testing, the pay for quality control inspectors may increase.

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