Quality control is often a traditional way for businesses to manage their products or services. This is a large field typically seen in companies around the world. Quality control training is often designed to prepare people for positions relative to technology, assurance, engineering and inspection. Each position differs slightly from the other, and education requirements are therefore different. Two- and four-year degrees are often required of quality control employees, although some pursue master’s degrees and still others receive on-the-job training.
People who work in quality control often hold technical degrees from accredited colleges or universities. These educations provide the fundamental skills required for most quality control jobs. At the two- and four-year degree levels, common course subjects may include math, physics, quality processes, mistake proofing, total quality and auditing. Students who wish to work in a specific industry may also pursue courses in natural, biological or mechanical sciences.
A quality control technician may work in any number of environments with a variety of team members. This position often tests products and analyzes the resulting data. Technicians routinely need two-year associate’s degrees in a specialization such as quality systems technology. Quality control courses in this area may include statistical process controls, introduction to metrology and team problem solving.
Bachelor’s degree programs can vary significantly depending upon a person’s professional goals. A degree in quality assurance is likely to prepare one for a position that relates to products or services. Quality assurance ensures a good is made or delivered in the proper manner. Educational material may thus include Six Sigma and ISO 9000, which are often perceived as industry-leading standards for quality assurance. Students may also receive quality control training in systems analysis and failure as well as measurement science.
Quality control training in industrial and systems engineering may prepare students for positions as quality control engineers. This education may be obtained from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. People can elect to specialize in total quality management, which may lead to a supervisor position, or quality assurance and control, which may place them at the forefront of product design. Courses in industrial and systems engineering may include design experiments, supply chain engineering and operations research.
A degree program in quality management may help students earn positions in quality control inspection. Such positions may oversee testing techniques for a particular company or manufacturer. Master's degrees in this area are often available, although students may be able to find some bachelor's degree programs. Course subjects in quality management may include maintenance and safety management, logistics management and safety regulations.
On-the-job training may also be available for some aspects of quality control. Technicians who promote from assembly or machine workers, for example, may begin their careers in this manner. Both classroom education and learn-by-watching techniques may be utilized. Instruction may include use of technical equipment, blueprint reading, report preparation and general quality control techniques.
People in quality control often continue learning well after earning their college degrees. Certifications for membership in some professional organizations may be available, or people may choose to attend routine seminars and workshops. These methods of quality control training keep professionals aware of regulatory changes, environmental impacts and new technique developments.