Shipping Inspector

Inspect all types of cargo transported on planes, trains, and ships.
picture of Shipping Inspector

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $108,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Shipping Inspectors do?

Imagine the backroom at the Target warehouse, or a major shipping yard at the local marina. Vast quantities of merchandise move via airlines, railroads, trucks, and ships every day and night. To help ensure the order is correct before each crate sails across the ocean, companies hire the Shipping Inspector.

Shipping Inspectors work in a wide variety of industries. If you enjoy large machines, you might work as a Shipping Inspector for an agricultural equipment manufacturer, inspecting each tractor for dents, dings, or scratches. Or maybe you’d rather inspect cars, fruits, robots, clothes, trampolines, play structures, or safety pins.

Whatever the merchandise, it’s your job to make sure that the order matches the shipping record. In other words, are there actually 48 boxes of Kleenex on the truck? Does each box contain 108 individual packs?

Not only do you confirm the quantity on each invoice, but you also inspect individual products. For example, you might inspect the glass in manufactured windows to ensure there are no cracks or chips. For some jobs, this inspection requires special tools to measure gaps, length, or other specifications. You also match up part numbers, ensure that all accessories, bolts, and tools are included in the package, and watch for any broken or defective products.

Along the way, you keep careful records of the inspections you’ve done. Working as a Shipping Inspector requires strong communication skills, an acute attention to detail, and the ability to stand for long periods.

Should I be a Shipping Inspector?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Shipping Inspector

    Most Shipping Inspectors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:gwa9cc&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%2840%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2851%25%29|master%27s+%282%25%29|doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,51
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Shipping Inspector