Quality assurance experts monitor the products and operations of a business, making sure regulations and specifications are being met. When a company puts out a product, a quality control manager will evaluate the product’s performance, as well as the production cycle. They assure there are no defects or deviations in the product from what it is intended to be.
Products produced by a company or business must be checked to assure the customer of consistent production and a certain level of quality. They must be checked to assure safety and functionality. This process helps the company continue to please its customers and stay accountable within itself.
Qualifications and Education
High School or GED
A quality assurance expert (or quality control inspector) must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Most positions are able to train their employees on an entry-level basis, so a job in this field will likely require a moderate to high level of on-the-job training. Some industries require special training and specialists certificates.
Those who are hired to perform specialized tests may be required to have a degree in a related field. The level of education for chemical analysis or similar work may need a postsecondary education degree with classes that focus on in-depth knowledge in that vein of science.
Salary and Outlook
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in 2010 an average salary for a quality control expert to be $33,030, with 416,100 quality control experts hired in the field.
Job growth in this field is expected to see an 8 percent rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010-2020. This projected growth speed is much slower than the average growth speeds of other industries. This means that advanced degree and industry knowledge may be needed in the future to stand out as an applicant and find a job in this field.
Tips to Becoming a Quality Control Expert
- Gain experience. You will need to have a proper understanding of the company before you begin the process of checking their product lines. You may want to consider getting an entry level manufacturing job to be on the floor and know what is expected. It may be easier to move up once you are already within the company.
- Consider additional education. If there is a field you can specialize in, than do it. You will regret not having the additional expertise if your job is ever in question or you are having trouble finding work.
- Practice listening and communication skills. Do you take instruction well from your teachers? You will have to be good at listening to concerns from company managers and customers, and then relate them to the workers on the floor. You will also have to understand the concerns of the staff who are producing the products. Being able to communicate effectively is a key factor in this industry.
- Be responsible. You may be required to take prompt remedial action if there is a problem. If items are missing or the job is not being done correctly, you will need to hold your ground and deal with the problems. Being lax in your approach may cost the company in quality and cost you your job.
- Become a leader. Take opportunities to show your capable of leadership. Beingg team captain, obtaining a government position in your class or leading a club are all ways to show an ability to work with others, be a team player and lead toward success.
- Volunteer. Get noticed by spending your time to volunteer in the community. This shows your dedication and respect for a job well done, even when you aren’t being paid to do anything. Employers respect applicants who have shown themselves to be hard workers.