Color Matching

Color Matching is a specialized technician focused on coloring, mostly in the plastics field, but can also find work in other industries such as chemical manufacturing (paint) and the textile industry.

Regardless of title, all inspectors, work to guarantee the quality of the goods their firms produce. Job duties, even within one company, vary by the type of products produced or the stage of production. Specific job duties also vary across the wide range of industries in which these workers are found. For example, inspectors may check products by sight, sound, feel, smell, or even taste to locate imperfections such as cuts, scratches, bubbles, missing pieces, misweaves, or crooked seams. These workers also may verify dimensions, color, weight, texture, strength, or other physical characteristics of objects.

Color matchers specialize in the color formulation used primarily in the plastics industry, including performing colorant performance evaluations, colorant compounding, visual, and instrumental matching.

Job Outlook and Growth Potential:

Like that of many other occupations concentrated in manufacturing industries, employment of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers is expected to grow more slowly than average through the year 2012. The slower than average growth stems primarily from the growing use of automated inspection and the redistribution of quality-control responsibilities from inspectors to production workers. Numerous job openings also will arise due to turnover in this large occupation. Many of these jobs, however, will be open only to experienced production workers with advanced skills.

Employment of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers will be positively affected by the increased focus on quality in American industry. The emphasis on improving quality and productivity has led manufacturers to invest in automated inspection equipment, hire more inspectors, and to take a more systematic approach to quality inspection. Continued improvements in technologies, such as spectrophotometers and computer-assisted visual inspection systems, allow firms to effectively automate simple inspection tasks, increasing worker productivity and reducing the demand for inspectors.

Testers and inspectors will continue to operate these automated machines and monitor the defects they detect. The increased emphasis on quality has increased the importance of testing and inspection and the demand for testers and inspectors. These two trends—increased emphasis on inspection and increased automation of inspection—have had opposite effects on the demand for inspectors.

Wages and Earnings Potential:

Median hourly earnings of Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers were $13.01 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.84 and $17.46 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.81 an hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.56 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers in 2002 were:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing $18.24
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing $16.49
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing $12.86
Plastics product manufacturing $11.94
Employment services $8.85

Copyright © 2014, Ohio's 2-Year Council of Deans and Directors of Engineering & Industrial Technologies

Career information from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition and member schools.