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How do I Become a Quality Control Technician?

Karyn Maier
Updated May 17, 2024
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The role of the quality control technician is to ensure quality standards of a wide variety of manufactured products, including electronics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, clothing, food, and other consumer goods. Most people employed in this area of manufacturing become a quality control technician through on-the-job training over a period of time, or in accordance with experience in a specific phase of the production process. For instance, some technicians may only be required to conduct a visual inspection of parts entering the assembly line, while others may be involved in testing or calibrating the final products. Although a high school diploma is usually the only requirement to become a quality control technician, advancement opportunities significantly improve with further training and certification.

First, it should be noted that advancements in engineering equate to more automated inspection methods, meaning more quality control inspectors and safety technicians are needed to operate and program the software and equipment necessary to run these automated processes rather than perform manual inspections. To meet this challenge, many candidates are supplementing their education and training in industrial arts with a focus on learning how to program and use computer-aided systems. A basic knowledge of various software applications is also desirable since they are used to compile and report statistical data related to operational and safety issues.

Many quality control technicians obtain their education and training by attending vocational courses while still in high school. Others enroll in adult education courses in order to train to become a quality control technician. In addition, there are agencies that provide specialized training and certification in this field. In the U.S., for example, The American Society for Quality provides more than a dozen quality control certifications. While each level of certification may have specific requirements, all generally require a certain number of years working on-site in the field and the successful completion of a written or practical exam.

In addition to training and certification, certain attributes are needed in order to become a quality control technician. Generally speaking, applicants should be able to demonstrate a mechanical aptitude, solid math skills, good hand-eye coordination, and excellent communication skills. Other desirable qualifications include the ability to interpret blueprints, design specifications, and product formulas, as well as the capacity to implement inspection procedures and quality assurance protocols. Advancement from quality control technician typically graduates to quality control inspection or testing and, with appropriate educational accreditation, quality control management.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Karyn Maier
By Karyn Maier , Writer
Contributing articles to WiseGeek is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill Mountain region, Karyn is also a magazine writer, columnist, and author of four books. She specializes in topics related to green living and botanical medicine, drawing from her extensive knowledge to create informative and engaging content for readers.

Discussion Comments

By OeKc05 — On Jan 15, 2012

My mother worked at a shirt factory for many years, and her work was always being inspected by a quality control technician. If there were any stitches out of place or any flaws in the design, the technician sent her work back to her to be fixed.

The technician got hired right before the last one retired, and she received all her training right there in the factory. She didn't have to take any special courses, and the factory didn't care if she had a degree or not.

I'm sure she wasn't paid an outstanding salary, but she did make more than my mother and the other seamstresses. She was a supervisor of sorts, since she had the power to return work for repair.

By Perdido — On Jan 14, 2012

My good friend works as a quality control technician for a company that manufactures window blinds. He first got his degree in engineering, and he has worked in various sectors of that field for over a decade.

He landed this job easily, because he had the experience and education they were looking for, as well as excellent skills in math and mechanical aptitude. He took a test provided by the company and excelled at it.

He runs a machine that tests the strength of each set of blinds the company makes, and they make many different kinds, ranging from electric to manually operated ones. He also develops blueprints for new blind designs, and he is an extremely valuable employee.

By anon73522 — On Mar 27, 2010

thank you for your hard work.

By anon72181 — On Mar 22, 2010

thank you for this article. it is very good.

Karyn Maier

Karyn Maier


Contributing articles to WiseGeek is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill...
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