What Do Transportation Inspectors Do?
Transportation inspectors work hard to keep the country’s roadways and railroad systems safe and the supply of goods moving. They are responsible for inspecting cargo and equipment to ensure safety for both people and goods. Transportation inspectors work with rail transportation, vehicles, and freight. With the amount of goods shipped all around the country, you can imagine there is a high demand for people in this field. Transportation inspector positions are experiencing a growth rate of 11% annually, which averages to over 1,170 job openings every year.
Transportation Inspectors Skills and Duties
Inspectors may be privately employed but the majority of positions are with state or federal government agencies. You would need to be familiar with laws and codes that regulate shipping and transportation. You should have a thorough understanding of mechanical skills, tools, and machinery in order to inspect transportation equipment. You can expect to work with rail and truck operators, so customer services knowledge will be helpful. At the core of this line of work is public safety, so you need to be well-versed in public policy and safety standards. Inspecting transportation and cargo will require physical work and some heavy lifting at times.Other duties for this job include:
- Critical thinking.
- Mathematical aptitude.
- Operation monitoring.
- Quality control analysis.
- Oral and written communication skills.
- Deductive and inductive reasoning ability.
- Problem sensitivity and troubleshooting.
Transportation Inspectors Duties
Working as a transportation inspector involves intensive record keeping and report submissions. You will need to inspect cargo shipments to ensure they are in place and properly contained. An inspector may work with crews to evaluate loading procedures and advise workers of any violations and ways to correct them. You will write and issue certificates of compliance for passing inspections, or notices of nonconformity to government regulations. Inspectors will review both cargo and equipment to observe any defects or irregularities. They may also measure containers or load dimensions for appropriate shipping procedures. Inspectors will determine the function and safety of transportation vehicles through a battery of tests. They review commercial logs and shipping papers for compliance with regulations. Inspectors may be involved in violation or accident investigations as needed.
Transportation Inspectors Tools and Technology
A variety of tools are used to inspect freight and transportation vehicles. If you are in this line of work, you can expect to use calipers, depth indicators, scanners, exhaust emission analyzing equipment, and speed sensors to determine compliance with government regulations. You will also need to be familiar with computers and software. Office suite, internet browser, electronic mail, database, and document management software are necessary for the recording, accounting, analyzing, and reporting of data and other information.
Education and Training for Transportation Inspectors
A transportation inspector position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. You won’t need any specific additional coursework but may take classes at a local community college or vocational school that may provide you with an understanding of mechanics that is needed for this type of work. The majority of training is on-the-job, and requires a moderate amount of time to become proficient.
Transportation Inspectors Salary
Working as a transportation inspector can provide a good salary. The median wage for this position is $69,200. The lowest 10% makes $32,800, while the top 10% can earn over $114,000. Your salary will depend on your geographic area as well as your level of experience and performance record.
Transportation Inspectors Jobs by Geography
This career is needed all over the country because of the amount of goods shipped almost every day. New York, Texas, and California have the largest number of job openings for transportation inspectors.The states with the highest median salary are District of Columbia, Maine, and Alaska.