A product tester may or may not be an expert in the field of the products he or she tests. Sometimes companies want knowledgeable testers, while other times they want to ensure that an average consumer will be able to use the product according to simple instructions. In this way, a product tester tests not only the products alone, but also the instructions for assembly or use. Inspecting, testing and reporting are the basic tasks that product testers do.
Any missing pieces or malfunctioning parts of the test product are reported to the company by the tester. Some types of product testers provide only a visual inspection of products such as clothing. Seams are checked for any crookedness or missing stitches; garments are viewed carefully to make sure they are properly sized and constructed. A mechanical product tester inspects moving parts as well as runs products such as vacuum cleaners. If the product is a car, he or she does a test drive to make sure the vehicle is working properly.
If the item is electronic, then the product tester may use technical tools and test equipment such as meters to be sure the item is in working order. Product testers work for manufacturers and retailers to ensure that products meet quality standards before being shipped out to clients. Random testing is performed during production as well as when products reach stores.
Product testers don't just inspect and test products in factory settings. For example, a restaurant product tester makes random visits to check food quality and safety procedures in restaurants. Some restaurant product testers work for chains who want to ensure that each franchise store is maintaining uniform quality standards. Food product testers for manufacturers test for freshness. They also check that flavor, color and other qualities are consistent.
Keeping thorough records and preparing reports form a large part of a product tester's job. Testers must prioritize their paperwork; for example, if they find products with safety issues, they must immediately inform the right people to avoid anyone getting hurt from an unsafe product. When products pass their inspection, testers certify each successful product. Organized files of all tests must be easily accessible in case of any necessary future inquiry into the testing of a product.