With proper quality control training, there are many quality control careers available to individuals looking to increase their earning potential or start a new career. Some quality control jobs are focused on testing products and improving industrial production processes, and others focus on human resources factors such as personnel competence, business culture and organization. Usually, entry-level quality control positions involve testing, sorting, sampling or weighing products. An advanced career in quality control involves developing and implementing quality control programs.
Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably by job websites, there is a difference between quality control and quality assurance. Generally, quality control careers involve testing products to ensure a minimum level of quality set by the manufacturer or government regulation agencies. Quality assurance, on the other hand, usually focuses on improving production processes and solving personnel issues that might have led to a defective product.
Quality control job titles include quality control inspector, quality control technician, quality assurance engineer, quality control manager and industrial production manager. All of these quality control careers involve inspecting production and personnel in a company to assure that the products they make are of the highest quality. Many quality control professionals also make reports to managers about product testing, and some also develop quality control processes.
Entry-level quality control positions, such as those of inspectors, generally require testing products using electronic inspection equipment and software to make sure that they meet industry standards. Higher-level quality control professionals, such as quality control managers, develop and implement procedures to improve production quality. There are many levels of quality control careers for individuals who are interested in industrial production or looking to move up in an industrial career.
To work in quality control as a quality control inspector, individuals need at least a high school diploma, experience in industrial production and training in basic quality control procedures. Individuals seeking quality control careers should be familiar with microscopes, micrometers and other equipment used to measure and assess product quality with accuracy and precision. Computer training also is necessary, because many quality control careers involve using software.
For higher-level quality control careers such as positions in industrial production management, individuals will need a college degree in addition to experience in industrial production. College degrees that can lead to an advanced career in quality assurance include degrees in industrial engineering, business administration and industrial technology. Experience with industrial production models and familiarity with the company’s particular production process and personnel qualifications are also necessary.