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How to Become a Quality Manager

Are you someone that can manage multiple tasks? Do you consider yourself a team player? If these qualities sound like you, a quality manager may the perfect fit! As a quality manager, companies will rely on you for all of the quality standards. You’ll need to help perform the inspections, as well as collect data. Once you help collect the data, you’ll need to dissect it so you can see if there are any mistakes in the product quality. Other duties you’ll perform on the job site include ensuring products live up to customers’ expectations, supervising other employees, approving and rejecting products, training the production staff, and making sure deadlines are always met. You will need to have experience in either quality assurance or quality control. Because you’ll be managing a team, you will also need to be a great leader.

Sample job description

As our new quality manager, we will rely on you for all quality standards throughout our company. You will be responsible for all quality inspections, audits, and reports. It will be your responsibility to perform the inspections, collect the data, dissect it to locate trends and/or flaws in product quality, and provide direction on how to improve these quality issues. As you gather this information, it will also be important to cultivate healthy relationships in order to receive valuable feedback from your fellow coworkers, as they will have insight into the daily tasks and nuances of producing the products. This will allow for optimal performance and keep employees’ productivity at the highest level possible. Another important role that you will play is understanding customer needs, wants, and expectations in order to ensure that we are meeting them as effectively as possible. If you have strong communication skills in communicating, are detail-oriented and organized, take pride in what you do, and have a high level of ambition, then you may be the perfect fit as our new quality manager!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Inspect products 
  • Understand customer expectations
  • Make sure the products meet the customers’ needs 
  • Supervise employees
  • Establish QA metrics and SOPs for new lines of business
  • Project manage and oversee implementation of a quality management tool
  • Make sure employees are following guidelines 
  • Oversee product development
  • Approve and reject products 
  • Develop reports
  • Collect product feedback from customers
  • Meet the necessary deadlines 
  • Train production line 
  • Stay in communication with staff and customers 
  • Implement improved ideas 

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent 
  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field 
  • 3 or more years of experience in related field, like quality assurance or quality control

Required skills and qualifications

  • Outstanding organizational skills
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Experience managing large cross-functional projects
  • Understanding of quality processes and compliance requirements
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Team player 
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks
  • Proficient in computer technology
  • Knowledge of market trends 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • Certified Quality Inspector

Typical work environment

Quality managers work in many different types of industries. They will typically have an office to do their desk work. When they are not in the office, they are supervising at the manufacturing plant or in meetings. There may also be times when quality managers will be required to travel to different locations for larger companies. 

Typical hours

Quality managers work the typical business hours of 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday. Occasionally, they may have to work overtime to meet deadlines. Some travel will be required for meetings, seminars, or other plant locations.

Available certifications

To set yourself apart from other candidates, there are many certifications that quality managers can earn to bolster their resume.

  • Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) – This certification focuses on strengthening your organizational and management skills and improving your knowledge of industry-specific standards. To be eligible for this certification, you will need a 4-year degree and 2 years of experience, and currently working in the field. You must pass a test and pay a fee of $350.
  • Six Sigma Certification – This certificate signifies that you have mastered a method of professional skills needed for management. There are many Six Sigma certifications out there, but there isn’t a standardized curriculum. Regardless, receiving any of these certifications will be beneficial for quality managers.
  • Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) – To obtain this certification, you’ll need extensive experience. Eligibility requirements include 10 years of experience in one role, that must be part of the CMQ/OE curriculum, and 5 years of experience in a decision-making role.

Career path

In order for you to become a quality manager, you will need a bachelor’s degree in business management, statistics, industrial science, or related field. Quality managers can work in a variety of industries. Although a bachelor’s degree is required, a master’s degree is fundamental to growing in the field and shows you have the necessary knowledge. 

You will also need a minimum of 3 years of experience in manufacturing or quality assurance. Certifications are available to increase your knowledge and possibly put you ahead of other candidates. You must be proficient in verbal and written communication, be detail-oriented, and able to solve problems in a timely manner to be successful in this field of work.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 51-9061

2020 Employment557,900
Projected Employment in 2030489,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 12% decline
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift68,100 decline

Being a quality manager opens up many doors in any industry. The ability to pay extreme attention to detail and provide constructive feedback on an issue in a professional way displays many characteristics that will transfer to almost all industries. The possibilities in quality assurance in and of itself are also seemingly endless, with opportunities from the service industry to manufacturing to food processing and beyond. Some examples of said opportunities could be in construction, pest control, assembly line production, food processing plants, technology hardware manufacturing, and anything in between. The qualities it takes to be a successful quality manager also bleed over into most management positions, leading to many additional opportunities in upper-level careers.