What does a quality control engineer do?
Quality control engineers are in charge of ensuring all products in their company meet the set quality standards. Their typical duties include assessing the production process, creating new manufacturing checkpoints, testing the products, and generating reports on the products or results. As a quality control engineer, you also need to guarantee that the organization meets all federal regulations and industry standards.View Jobs
What is the average quality control engineer salary?
According to Glassdoor, the average yearly quality control engineer salary is currently $77,413 in the United States. That equals $1,489 a week or $6,451 a month. The majority of the annual salaries of quality control engineers currently range between $58,500 and $80,000, with top earners making $95,500 across the country. According to these figures, the average pay range for quality control engineers varies significantly. That shows there are many opportunities for career advancement and higher salary depending on your location, years of experience, and skill level.
What industries hire quality control engineers?
Quality control engineers work for companies across different sectors to help ensure a smooth production process and consistent quality. They make sure the software and products manufactured are free from defects. When procedures need improvement, these professionals highlight the areas that need work before alerting the appropriate departments. The main sectors that employ quality control engineers include:
- Pharmaceutical firms
- Manufacturing sector
- Legal industry
- eCommerce sector
- Software and technology companies
- Finance sector
- Aerospace industry
- Energy sector
- Food and beverage industry
Working as a quality control engineer
Working as a quality control engineer, you will test processes and products and determine whether they meet the set standards for functionality, reliability, and durability. You will be responsible for creating strategic plans to enhance business processes and boost production input. Other tasks will include creating the organization's testing systems and quality standards to reflect performance, reliability, and efficiency. You will also generate reports that indicate errors and issues related to the production process and offer possible solutions.
What are the responsibilities of a professional quality control engineer?
A quality engineer is responsible for ensuring the quality of services and products produced by their organization. These professionals oversee the product manufacturing process from development to packaging. The other duties and responsibilities of quality engineers include:
- Designing, developing, and implementing best quality processes and practices for product development
- Developing and initiating quality standards for inspections, evaluations, and tests
- Maintaining, monitoring, and ensuring the highest quality in products or services
- Developing strategies to evaluate the accuracy and precision of production equipment, analytical equipment, and tests & measurements
- Designing and creating instructions and forms for assessing, evaluating, documenting, and reporting on quality standards in services or products
- Troubleshooting and resolving problems related to quality control
- Researching, compiling, and preparing information on quality control processes, procedures, and activities
- Analyzing and monitoring quality control performance
- Investigating and troubleshooting production or product errors
- Tabulating and documenting data related to processes, materials, and products qualities and reliabilities
- Training company staff, technicians, and other professionals on quality control aspects of their work
- Leading, directing, and assisting technical and professional staff in testing and measuring services or products
- Collaborating with company operations managers to create and implement controls and product improvements
What type of equipment does a quality control engineer use?
Many companies use quality control tools to help manage and monitor their control initiatives. Quality control engineers can use different tools to solve different problems. You only need to become comfortable and familiar with the various quality tools. This way, you can pull the most suitable tool out whenever there is a problem to be solved. Here are some of the common tools that quality control engineers use.
- Check sheet – Quality control engineers use check sheets to collect data, and you can use them to monitor the number of times a particular incident occurs.
- Flowchart – Quality control engineers use flowcharts to determine the location of breakdowns or bottlenecks in the work processes. You can also use this tool to illustrate a new workflow procedure or show a new workflow process when changes or improvements are made.
- Histograms – These tools show patterns that fall in a typical workflow process, and you can use the detected patterns to understand variation.
- Control charts – Quality control engineers use run charts or control charts to plot data with time to give a clear picture of data movement. This helps you monitor performance with time by analyzing data points' variations.
- Pareto chart – This tool shows the number of defects a particular product has, from the biggest to the smallest, making it easy to prioritize your improvement efforts.
- Scatter diagrams – These tools show the relationship between different variables that often represent potential causes and effects.
What is the work environment of a quality control engineer?
Quality control engineers work in laboratories and manufacturing environments, where they monitor quality standards and test processes for all kinds of manufactured products. Your work environment will vary by establishment and industry. Some quality control engineers are desk-based and usually spend most of their day reading and analyzing data printouts, while others are on their feet throughout the day.
Depending on the needs of your company and industry, you can also work from home as a quality control engineer. To work remotely, you'll need a good workstation with software suites, high-speed internet, and necessary communication gadgets to help you collaborate with teams and clients.
Who are your colleagues as a quality control engineer?
Quality control engineers are part of a bigger team tasked with ensuring quality standards and making quality improvements in the production process. As a professional quality engineer, you'll work with the company's management, data scientists, IT teams, business development experts, quality control technicians, product designers, software developers, and project managers.
What is the work schedule of a quality control engineer?
Quality control engineers normally work full-time Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, depending on your company's needs and job demands, it's possible that you'll sometimes work in shifts, including weekends and nights.
What is the career outlook for a quality control engineer?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for quality engineers is projected to increase 10% by 2026, which means adding approximately 25,100 jobs. This fast growth rate is partly due to the flexibility of quality control professionals who can effectively work in various industries and help companies save money.
As you gain experience as a quality control engineer, you'll encounter different opportunities to advance your career in different directions. Depending on your professional goals and interests, it's possible to advance to supervising teams of quality engineers as a senior quality control engineer. This role allows you to enjoy greater independence as you evaluate and design processes and projects. From there, different executive roles become available.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a quality control engineer?
Spherion is a leading staffing firm that enjoys incredible connections with businesses across different sectors. Whether you like working remotely or from office settings, Spherion has a wide range of job options for you. Finding a quality control engineer job through Spherion provides you with many benefits, including:
- Numerous job opportunities in your preferred location
- A fast and smooth interviewing process
- Permanent and temporary working contracts
- Training opportunities to help advance your career skill set
- Flexible working schedules
- Contact persons to assist or advise you when searching for a job
What education do you need as a quality control engineer?
You'll need a bachelor's degree in industrial, mechanical, or quality engineering to get a quality control engineer position. A bachelor's degree will take approximately four years to finish, and courses will cover different topics related to your engineering specialty. A master's degree is desirable if you plan to advance to management positions.
Generally, the job requirements of quality control engineers are quite flexible and vary significantly based on the industry. Professional certifications are also available for individuals with at least eight years in the field. Obtaining these certifications can help you with your career prospects. You'll find many institutions in the United States offering different certifications that deal with various facets of quality control.
Skills & competencies
If you want to work in the quality assurance field or upgrade your resume, it's important to get the skills needed to succeed. Regardless of the seniority level, quality control engineers must be team players since they collaborate with several departments in an organization. Other essential quality control engineer skills include:
- Good problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills
- Interpersonal communication and teamwork skills
- Excellent technical writing ability
- Computer-assisted design and engineering software expertise
- Expertise in systems operations and computer technology
- In-depth understanding of the industry market conditions and trends
- Strong project management skills
Dozens of certifications are available for professionals in this field. One of the oldest and best-known is that of certified quality engineer (CQE), which the American Society for Quality (ASQ) issues to those who pass their 175-question exam. This demonstrates that the engineer has the knowledge and experience to design and implement quality control systems. Those who possess this certification must recertify every three years.
A quality control engineer helps to ensure that a company's processes and products meet the standards set for them. Here are answers to commonly asked questions about becoming a quality control engineer.