A quality assurance (QA) or quality control (QC) inspector works for a company to inspect, test, and sample materials, parts, or products for defects and any deviations from specifications. The inspector will discard anything that does not meet with company standards, including products, materials, and equipment used by the company in processing. A QA or QC inspector will observe production operations and equipment to ensure that specifications are being met and to make or order necessary adjustments to processes or assemblies. The inspector will discuss results and findings with those in charge of the products, and recommend any required corrective actions. A high school diploma is required to obtain employment as a quality assurance or quality control inspector, and a formal college degree (bachelor's or associate's, depending on employer preferences) is also sometimes needed. Previous experience carrying out the duties and responsibilities of an inspector is preferable, but on-the-job training can be provided by many companies. A keen attention to detail is central to the job in order to detect defects that could be easily missed by the consumer but still present a safety risk, and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively when reporting issues and defects is necessary. An inspector should be able to interpret blueprints and other drawings that detail product specifications. Experience with measuring tools is required as well, and a quality assurance inspector should be able to work under pressure. Hours will vary, but an inspector can plan on working a set schedule that could be on the first, second, or third shift in a production factory or plant.
Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) Inspector Tasks
- Discuss inspection results with those responsible for products, and recommend necessary corrective actions.
- Discard or reject products, materials, and equipment not meeting specifications.
- Inspect, test, and sample materials or assembled parts or products for defects and deviations from specifications.
- Observe and monitor production operations and equipment to ensure conformance to specifications and make or order necessary process or assembly adjustments.