Training, Certifications, Skills, Advancement: Inspectors, Testers, Sorters,Samplers, and Weighers
Training requirements vary, based on the responsibilities of the inspector, tester, sorter, sampler, or weigher. For workers who perform simple “pass/fail” tests of products, a high school diploma generally is sufficient. Simple jobs may be filled by beginners provided with in-house training. Training for new inspectors may cover the use of special meters, gauges, computers, or other instruments; quality-control techniques; blueprint reading; safety; and reporting requirements. There are some postsecondary training programs in testing, but many employers prefer to train inspectors on the job.
Complex precision-inspecting positions are filled by experienced assemblers, machine operators, or mechanics who already have a thorough knowledge of the products and production processes. To advance to these positions, experienced workers may need training in statistical process control, new automation, or the company’s quality assurance policies. As automated inspection equipment becomes more common, computer skills are increasingly important.
In general, inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers need mechanical aptitude, math and communication skills, and good hand-eye coordination and vision. Advancement for these workers frequently takes the form of higher pay. They also may advance to inspector of more complex products, supervisor, or related positions such as purchaser of materials and equipment.