The quality assurance department in any organization strives to ensure that products meet customer specifications for quality. Professionals in this field implement methods to monitor products and processes for consistency in quality. Quality assurance engineers design the test and inspection methods that are used to identify defects and problems within the process.
Quality assurance engineers write product specifications, which are used in inspection and testing procedures to identify defective products. The engineer evaluates the methods used to sample, test or inspect products and makes improvements in the process. A quality assurance engineer develops new inspection and testing procedures for products.
The quality assurance engineer analyzes inspection and testing data to find areas that require improvement. The engineer uses the information from testing and inspection reports to investigate the cause of defective products. A quality engineer will focus on raw materials, processes or machinery as potential causes of defective products.
Engineers participate in continuous improvement projects to increase productivity, eliminate scrap and reduce rework operations.
A quality assurance engineer must be knowledgeable in the principles and procedures used in quality assurance, such as sampling and inspection techniques.
The engineer in an organization should be familiar with the materials used to build a product as well the final product and its uses.
Quality assurance engineers must have the ability to communicate effectively with others to explain technical processes in everyday language.
Engineers should be analytical and have strong mathematics skills. A quality assurance engineer may work independently and should be able to manage time effectively to complete projects on time.
Education and Qualifications
Employers require a bachelor’s degree in engineering for a quality assurance engineer position. The employer also may require experience in the particular industry, such as electronics, computers or software development. Experience can include work as a quality assurance inspector.
The median salary for a quality assurance engineer was $54,797 as of November 2009, according to Salary.com. The wages for a quality assurance engineer depend on the level of experience, industry and geographic location of the business.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11 percent growth for all engineering occupations from 2008 to 2018. This is about as fast as the average for job growth. The downturn in the manufacturing industry during this time affects the positions for engineers working in this industry, including quality assurance engineers.
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