A Quality Engineer monitors, tests, and reports on the quality of products. They also test systems and procedures to make sure they meet technical standards. Quality Engineers work in a wide variety of industries, including transportation, textiles, software, and manufacturing. In many organizations, Quality Engineers design the quality standards against which the company tests its products. If there’s an issue, the Quality Engineer documents the problem and works with other engineers to solve it.
In some cases, Quality Engineers are responsible for training workers in new processes. For this reason, a Quality Engineer must have high-level interpersonal communication skills in addition to skills and experience in engineering. Planning and analytical thinking are also a vital part of this role, to solve problems and create plans for testing.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Develop methods to inspect and measure product quality
- Recommend changes to improve product quality
- Work with team members and stakeholders to enhance products
- Ensure products meet company and industry quality standards
- Identify problems and brainstorm solutions for them
- Create strategies to increase productivity
- Document results and findings from inspections
- Implement production systems to ensure consistency and accuracy
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in quality, industrial, or mechanical engineering. Another requirement is extensive experience in a quality assurance environment. Some employers prefer a master’s degree or Ph.D. for specific positions or career advancement.
Skills and Competencies
- Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong technical writing ability
- Skill in working with engineering and computer-assisted design software
- Demonstrated skill in solving highly technical problems
- Expertise in computer technology and systems operations
- In-depth understanding of industry market trends and conditions
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Quality Engineer with
1 year of experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $71,000
- Tampa, Florida: $67,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $73,000
- Miami, Florida: $75,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $70,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
- Houston, Texas: $77,000
- Los Angeles, California: $73,000
- New York, New York: $75,000
- Seattle, Washington: $75,000
- Overall: $75,000
5 years of experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $83,000
- Tampa, Florida: $75,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $88,000
- Miami, Florida: $85,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $83,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $85,000
- Houston, Texas: $90,000
- Los Angeles, California: $90,000
- New York, New York: $89,000
- Seattle, Washington: $90,000
- Overall: $86,000
Similar Job Titles
- Prototype Quality Engineer
- QA Engineer
- QC Engineer
- Quality Assurance Engineer
- Quality Control Engineer
- Performance Engineer
- Test Engineer
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in quality, industrial, or mechanical engineering. Some employers prefer a master’s degree or Ph.D. for certain jobs. Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) can also be attractive to potential employers or for career advancement. Successful Quality Engineers can advance to supervising a team of engineers and receive greater independence to design and evaluate projects and processes. From there, they can progress into executive roles.
According to the professional services firm Accenture, several current trends will bring change to the field of Quality Engineering. The first is the use of big data and applied analytics. With companies finding ways to obtain new types of data about their processes, Quality Engineers have more tools at their disposal to maintain efficiency and productivity. Also, it will be incumbent upon Quality Engineers to look at data collection systems and ensure the quality of the data collected versus the quantity.
Another trend in Quality Engineering is the use of machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). These new programs will help optimize the tests Quality Engineers design. They’ll provide extra speed and accuracy, leading to even more sophisticated quality monitoring systems.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Industrial Engineering field is expected to grow by eight percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s faster than average.
The typical work hours for a Quality Engineer are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, some Quality Engineers may work non-traditional hours, depending on the needs of their company.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Zip Recruiter
- Engineering Jobs
- National Society of Professional Engineers
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