Transportation Vehicle, Equipment and Systems Inspectors, Except Aviation
53-6051.07

Inspect and monitor transportation equipment, vehicles, or systems to ensure compliance with regulations and safety standards.

Sample of reported job titles: Car Inspector, Carman, Emissions Inspector, Inspector, Quality Assurance Inspector, Railroad Track Inspector, Safety Officer, Smog Technician, Transit Vehicle Inspector

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Inspect vehicles or other equipment for evidence of abuse, damage, or mechanical malfunction.
  • Inspect vehicles or equipment to ensure compliance with rules, standards, or regulations.
  • Inspect repairs to transportation vehicles or equipment to ensure that repair work was performed properly.
  • Identify modifications to engines, fuel systems, emissions control equipment, or other vehicle systems to determine the impact of modifications on inspection procedures or conclusions.
  • Perform low-pressure fuel evaluative tests (LPFET) to test for harmful emissions from vehicles without onboard diagnostics (OBD) equipment.
  • Conduct remote inspections of motor vehicles, using handheld controllers and remotely directed vehicle inspection devices.
  • Prepare reports on investigations or inspections and actions taken.
  • Issue notices and recommend corrective actions when infractions or problems are found.
  • Compare emissions findings with applicable emissions standards.
  • Investigate and make recommendations on carrier requests for waiver of federal standards.
  • Conduct visual inspections of emission control equipment and smoke emitted from gasoline or diesel vehicles.
  • Conduct vehicle or transportation equipment tests, using diagnostic equipment.
  • Identify emissions testing procedures and standards appropriate for the age and technology of vehicles.
  • Investigate incidents or violations, such as delays, accidents, and equipment failures.
  • Negotiate with authorities, such as local government officials, to eliminate hazards along transportation routes.
  • Review commercial vehicle logs, shipping papers, or driver and equipment records to detect any problems or to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Attach onboard diagnostics (OBD) scanner cables to vehicles to conduct emissions inspections.
  • Investigate complaints regarding safety violations.
  • Examine carrier operating rules, employee qualification guidelines, or carrier training and testing programs for compliance with regulations or safety standards.
  • Monitor or review output from systems, such as Thermal Imaging Units (TIU) or roadside imaging tools, to identify high-risk commercial motor vehicles for follow-up inspections.
  • Evaluate new methods of packaging, testing, shipping, or transporting hazardous materials to ensure adequate public safety protection.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 66% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 63% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Very important.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 46% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Very serious.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 25% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 39% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 20% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 23% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 30% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 26% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 30% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 58%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 13%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 13%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Interests

Interest code: RCI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.
  • Conventional — 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.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Work Styles

  • Independence — 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Transportation Inspectors.
Employment data for Transportation Inspectors.
Industry data for Transportation Inspectors.
Median wages (2021)
$38.35 hourly, $79,770 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
24,900 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
2,800
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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