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Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing  (NOC 9415)
Northwest Region
Description |  Titles |  Duties |   Related Occupations
Included Cities in Region | Service Canada Offices

Education and job requirements can vary by region. Workers in regulated occupations require a licence to work legally. Workers in non-regulated occupations do not require a licence, but employers may have other certification requirements.

Employment Requirements

Employment requirements are prerequisites generally needed to enter an occupation.

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Experience as a machine or process operator in mineral and metal processing is usually required.

Regulation by Province/Territory

Some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province, your licence may not be accepted in other provinces or territories. Consult the table below to determine in which province or territory your occupation/trade is regulated.

Table of job opportunities for your chosen occupation at the provincial or territorial level.
Province and Territory Regulation
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

Essential Skills

How Essential Skills Profiles can help you!
The essential skills profiles can:
  • Help determine, based on skill sets, which career may best suit a particular individual.
  • Assist job seekers to write a résumé or prepare for a job interview.
  • Help employers to create a job posting.

Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.

Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.

Inspectors and Testers, Mineral and Metal Processing

Inspectors and testers in this unit group inspect, grade, sample or test raw materials and products from mineral ore and metal processing operations. They are employed in mineral ore and metal processing plants such as copper, lead and zinc refineries, uranium processing plants, steel mills, aluminum plants, precious metal refineries, cement processing plants, clay, glass and stone processing plants and foundries.

  • Read work orders from supervisors. The work order may include special customer specifications. (1)
  • Read reports which give the results of metal tests and provide recommendations concerning the use of the metal. (2)
  • Read test standards in order to apply them to specific cases. (2)
  • Read customer specifications for a number of orders to check on the grade required for particular items. Grades differ depending on the intended use of the product. (2)
  • May read letters from customers, providing information to guide future inspections. (2)
  • Read trade magazines and newsletters to learn about new products. (2)
  • Read equipment instruction manuals for information on testing procedures. (3)
  • Refer to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to check on the chemical composition of new products. (3)
Document Use
  • Read safety signs and warnings in the production area. (1)
  • Read stickers identifying furnaces and batch numbers to ensure they match information shown on the inspection sheets. (1)
  • Read forms, such as production records and reject forms. (2)
  • Refer to pictures and descriptions in supply catalogues. (2)
  • Complete charts showing critical steel elements and the proportion of each element in the inspection sample. (2)
  • Complete forms to record the thickness and grade of metal and to record defect codes. (2)
  • Read test reports. (3)
  • Refer to computer-generated bar graphs and histograms which display data. (3)
  • Interpret graphs produced during ultrasonic inspection to determine if there are internal defects in products. (3)
  • Read production information presented in tables in order to convert the information to a graphic format. (4)
  • Write notes to lab technicians to explain the results of tests on raw materials. (1)
  • Complete forms, stating the reasons for rejecting quantities of metal. (1)
  • Write memos to forepersons to provide information on inspections. (2)
  • Write comments on test reports to explain unusual findings. (2)
  • May write modifications to fabrication procedures. (2)
  • Write a variety of reports, such as test reports which outline test methodology and analyse the results, and quality reports which indicate repeated flaws or errors that could be corrected with process improvements. (3)
Numeracy Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May prepare project budgets, itemizing all cost factors. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May use a stopwatch to time turnover cycles. (1)
  • May measure dimensions of steel bars before and after cooling to determine the shrinkage. (2)
  • May calculate the quantity of alloy to add to make sure the product meets specifications. (2)
  • May measure quantities of trace elements in metal, using x-rays. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • May compare numerical data from test results to established standards to draw conclusions about the sample. (1)
  • May calculate the average quantity of elements in metal mixes. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the amount of inventory stockpiled by "eyeballing" the storage areas. (1)
  • May estimate the area of a coil by observing its thickness and length. (2)
  • May estimate the amount of air-borne particulate when testing asbestos samples. (3)
Oral Communication
  • Talk to repair personnel about broken machinery and to delivery drivers about the pick-up and drop-off of test samples. (1)
  • Speak with lab technicians concerning variances between lab results and inspection findings. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to co-ordinate schedules and to discuss production levels and problems, such as flaws in metals. (2)
  • Interact with supervisors to discuss lab results or quality concerns. (2)
  • Interact with operators to show them patterns of defects or trends outside of normal operating parameters. (2)
  • Talk to customers to inform them of specific tests which need to be performed. (2)
  • May give precise instructions to mill operators concerning detailed process changes. If their communication is not clear, bad batches may be prepared resulting in considerable loss of time and money. (3)
Thinking Problem Solving
  • May find that a customer's order is incomplete with respect to the quantity ordered and the quantity provided. They request additional pours or make up quantities from other orders if they are available. (1)
  • May see cobbles, scabs, overfill on bars, seams or overlaps when inspecting. They talk to forepersons or operators to point out the defects and to discuss process changes which could resolve the problems. (2)
  • May encounter equipment breakdowns. They troubleshoot the equipment, looking for blown fuses and low fluid levels. They call repair people if necessary. (2)
  • May find that samples are off specifications. They examine all the potential reasons, such as sample error, testing error or production error. Depending on their conclusion, they may seek a new sample or may request that mill operators make changes in processes. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide what lab materials need to be ordered and when to contact the suppliers. (1)
  • Decide whether to secure and test additional samples to identify possible product defects. (2)
  • Decide whether to stop the production process to remove defective pieces. (2)
  • Make decisions about the meaning and importance of test results, such as whether test variations are significant enough to warrant remedial action. (3)
  • Decide when to alert others to unusual readings or trends, such as test results showing that concrete being shipped does not meet acceptable standards for tensile strength. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, plan their work activities according to the overall production schedule of the plant. They generally prioritize their own tasks, with occasional reprioritizing taking place in response to special requests from shift forepersons. Inspectors and testers co-ordinate their activities with co-workers and supervisors to ensure that they are accurately taking into account the urgency of specific production runs and shipping deadlines. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the results of lab analyses for a short period of time before entering them into the computer.
  • Remember the various quality standards required by individual customers.
  • Memorize test specifications to avoid frequent referencing of lab manuals.
  • Recall production codes for work orders.
Finding Information
  • Refer to customer databases to check the quality standards for specific orders. (1)
  • Find information in instrument manuals to correctly calibrate machines. (2)
  • May contact manufacturers, technologists or engineers to get specific data regarding concrete standards and tests. (2)
  • Refer to industry publications and course materials for information on emerging technologies. (2)
Digital Technology
  • They write memos to suppliers. (2)
  • They may use a database to keep track of production data, such as what products are being smelted in each furnace, when they will be cast and in what form ingots will arrive at inspection areas. (2)
  • They may prepare test results spreadsheets. (2)
  • They may exchange notices and memos with co-workers on in-house communication systems. (2)
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may track production processes on computer systems. (2)
  • They may use statistical programs to create graphs and charts as part of product analysis. (3)
Additional Information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, mainly work independently. They may work with a partner. They are part of the production team, liaising closely with supervisors and operators to ensure that quality problems encountered through inspection or testing are dealt with quickly and effectively.

Continuous Learning

Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing, continue to learn. For example, they may take computer or quality control courses to update their knowledge of new computer systems and advanced sampling techniques. They take Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training.

Apprenticeship Grants

There are two types of Apprenticeship Grants available from the Government of Canada:
  • The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person. This grant helps registered apprentices in designated Red Seal trades get started.
  • The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a taxable cash grant of $2,000. This grant helps registered apprentices who have completed their training become certified journeypersons in designated Red Seal trades.
[ Source: CanLearn - HRSDC ]
Information for Newcomers

Credential Assessment

Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. Contact a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on one that is not required or recognized.

The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle can help you in your job search.

Please consult the Northwest Region and Ontario tabs for more useful information related to education and job requirements.
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