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Career Profile: Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 557,900 people employed as inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers in the United States. The median annual salary is $40,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $26,240 per year and senior employees earn approximately $68,220 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

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

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
557,900
Annual Openings:
54,900
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-12%
Annual Salary Range:
$26,240 - $68,220
Education Requirements:
High school diploma