Survival and prosperity for many companies demands delivery of goods and services that meet customer requirements and specifications. Many firms set quality standards and put in place a quality department to inspect products and perform other kinds of audits and tests. A quality supervisor provides hands-on, front-line oversight of the department's employees and daily operations.
Quality supervisors keep an eye on the department's employees who are sorting, sampling, inspecting and testing products or performing other quality related activities. They schedule work assignments, show employees how to properly operate test equipment and measuring devices and mentor or instruct new employees. They monitor work in progress to ensure it is done according to proper procedures. They also observe and correct violations of sanitation, safety and attendance rules.
A quality supervisor's work often requires meeting with supervisors from other departments to confer and coordinate. She talks with managers and subordinates to solve problems and resolve issues.
A quality supervisor frequently uses communication skills because of working closely with their employees, other supervisors and the company's managers. They must demonstrate leadership ability, including aptitude for monitoring the work activity of others in a helpful way with a view to training people new skills and proper procedures.
A quality control lab often comes equipped with various measurement devices and test equipment, some of which may require technical sophistication. The supervisor must be able to understand, operate and teach others to use this equipment. Some knowledge of math can be required. Many firms implement internationally recognized quality policies and procedures such as ISO 9000 or Six Sigma. A candidate for the position of quality supervisor benefits from knowledge of these kinds of standards.
Education and Training
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, candidates for the position of quality supervisor should prepare themselves with vocational school training, on-the-job experience or an associate's degree. Depending on the technology used and size of the organization, some employers may require additional training or education. Also, the American Society for Quality offers training and certifications demonstrate related competencies. Certification as a quality auditor or quality engineer enhances the resume and may open opportunities for those seeking employment in quality supervision.
The Occupational Information Network states that persons interested in leading, making decisions and creating practical solutions may enjoy quality supervision. Comfort working within an environment of policies and procedures and working with data and details indicate also suggest a person may fit a quality supervision role.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, front-line supervisors, as of May 2009 earned on average $26.51 hourly or $55,150 annually. Manufacturing activity, a source of many quality supervision jobs, may moderately decline, affecting availability of these positions from 2008 through 2018.
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