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Career profile Quality Assurance Inspector

Also known as Inspector, QA Auditor (Quality Assurance Auditor), QA Inspector (Quality Assurance Inspector), QA Technican (Quality Assurance Technician), QC Technican (Quality Control Technician), Quality Auditor, Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector), Quality Inspector, Quality Technican, Test Technician

Quality Assurance Inspector

Also known as Inspector, QA Auditor (Quality Assurance Auditor), QA Inspector (Quality Assurance Inspector)

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,240 - $68,220 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Writing
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Discard or reject products, materials, or equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Mark items with details, such as grade or acceptance-rejection status.
  • Measure dimensions of products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as rulers, calipers, gauges, or micrometers.
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What does a Quality Assurance Inspector do?

Quality Assurance Inspectors 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.

In addition, Quality Assurance Inspectors may use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment.

What kind of tasks does a Quality Assurance Inspector perform regularly?

Quality Assurance Inspectors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Discard or reject products, materials, or equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Mark items with details, such as grade or acceptance-rejection status.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stack or arrange tested products for further processing, shipping, or packaging.

The above responsibilities are specific to Quality Assurance Inspectors. More generally, Quality Assurance Inspectors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Quality Assurance Inspector salary?

The median salary for a Quality Assurance Inspector is $40,460, and the average salary is $44,580. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Quality Assurance Inspector salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Quality Assurance Inspectors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Quality Assurance Inspectors earn less than $26,240 per year, 25% earn less than $31,840, 75% earn less than $53,500, and 90% earn less than $68,220.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Quality Assurance Inspectors is expected to change by -12.2%, and there should be roughly 54,900 open positions for Quality Assurance Inspectors every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$26,240 - $68,220
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Quality Assurance Inspectors?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Quality Assurance Inspector are usually higher in their Conventional and Realistic interests.

Quality Assurance Inspectors typically have very strong Conventional interests. 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.

Also, Quality Assurance Inspectors typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Quality Assurance Inspector tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Quality Assurance Inspectors moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Quality Assurance Inspectors somewhat value 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.

Lastly, Quality Assurance Inspectors somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Quality Assurance Inspectors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Quality Assurance Inspectors, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
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.

What education and training do Quality Assurance Inspectors need?

Working as a Quality Assurance Inspector usually requires a high school diploma.

Quality Assurance Inspectors need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Quality Assurance Inspectors

  • 9.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 36.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.0% completed some college coursework
  • 11.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 13.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Quality Assurance Inspectors

Quality Assurance Inspectors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, customer and personal service, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Quality Assurance Inspectors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Quality Assurance Inspectors

Quality Assurance Inspectors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Quality Assurance Inspectors need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Quality Assurance Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
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 that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Quality Assurance Inspectors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Quality Assurance Inspectors frequently use skills like quality control analysis, writing, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Quality Assurance Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.