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Career Profile: Transportation Inspectors

Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors, rail inspectors, and other inspectors of transportation vehicles not elsewhere classified.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 29,000 people employed as transportation inspectors in the United States. The median annual salary is $78,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $35,560 per year and senior employees earn approximately $132,710 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

  • Prepare and submit reports after completion of freight shipments.
  • Inspect shipments to ensure that freight is securely braced and blocked.
  • Record details about freight conditions, handling of freight, and any problems encountered.
  • Advise crews in techniques of stowing dangerous and heavy cargo.
  • Observe loading of freight to ensure that crews comply with procedures.
  • Recommend remedial procedures to correct any violations found during inspections.
  • Inspect loaded cargo, cargo lashed to decks or in storage facilities, and cargo handling devices to determine compliance with health and safety regulations and need for maintenance.
  • Notify workers of any special treatment required for shipments.
  • Direct crews to reload freight or to insert additional bracing or packing as necessary.
  • Check temperatures and humidities of shipping and storage areas to ensure that they are at appropriate levels to protect cargo.
  • Determine cargo transportation capabilities by reading documents that set forth cargo loading and securing procedures, capacities, and stability factors.
  • Read draft markings to determine depths of vessels in water.
  • Issue certificates of compliance for vessels without violations.
  • Write certificates of admeasurement that list details such as designs, lengths, depths, and breadths of vessels, and methods of propulsion.
  • Post warning signs on vehicles containing explosives or flammable or radioactive materials.
  • Measure heights and widths of loads to ensure they will pass over bridges or through tunnels on scheduled routes.
  • Time rolls of ships, using stopwatches.
  • Determine types of licenses and safety equipment required, and compute applicable fees such as tolls and wharfage fees.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
29,000
Annual Openings:
3,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
5%
Annual Salary Range:
$35,560 - $132,710
Education Requirements:
High school diploma