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Quality Technician Career Guide

Do you like to tinker with products? Do you always expect the best? If so, becoming a quality technician could be beneficial. As a quality technician, you need strong communication skills to be able to relay your findings in a gentle way. Your main job will be to offer new ideas on how to help improve products and their quality. You will conduct the initial testing of each product to determine its flaws. Other typical job duties will include inspecting components, testing the finished products, recording testing data, recommending product improvements, and analyzing results to ensure that products meet the industry’s quality standards. You should be proficient in Microsoft, have outstanding organization skills, an understanding of technical knowledge, someone who can work in stressful environments, and who can stay positive even when things get difficult. 

Sample job description

A quality technician is needed for urgent hire at [Your Company Name]. For this job, it will be your task to ensure legal and company standards are upheld, if not surpassed. You will constantly run tests and collect data. You will remove the unsatisfactory products and analyze them, in hopes of finding areas of possible improvement, while simultaneously keeping the rate of production the same. We expect the technician to have an eye for detail and be organized for the sake of optimal data entry. It will be your responsibility as well to maintain calibrated testing equipment. You may also be required to train other technicians joining the company. If you have confidence in your ability to complete these tasks well, then consider applying! You must be able to continually learn and understand new tech to match the adaptation of production.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Inspect components before assembly
  • Test trial products during development
  • Test finished goods
  • Record testing data and analyze results to determine whether products meet quality standards
  • Use testing data to recommend improvements to the production process

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or its equivalent required
  • Associate’s degree in quality technology or a related discipline preferred

Required skills and qualifications

  • Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Experience using mathematical concepts such as geometry, trigonometry, ratios, fractions, and proportions
  • Ability to define problems verbally and in writing
  • Experience analyzing data and drawing valid conclusions from that data

Preferred qualifications

  • 5+ years of experience doing quality assurance
  • Expert at Microsoft and Google
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Technical knowledge
  • Self-starter and self-driven
  • Highly motivated
  • Strong attention to detail

Typical work environment

It is the quality technician’s job to conduct analysis of the material, whether it be raw, processing, or finished products. On top of this, you are responsible for ensuring protocol is followed, production rates are kept the same, and finding ways to improve the system. Quality technicians may work in a variety of industries, including food, clothing, and metals. Depending on the industry, this position will have to uphold the legal standards required for that field. You will also have to reject certain items due to failure of meeting said standards. Typically, you will work individually in large warehouses, factories, or any other place of production.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a quality technician are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. However, some quality technicians may work non-traditional hours, depending on the needs of their company.

Available certifications

Quality technicians are expected to have a degree, certificate, or work experience of some sort due to the technical nature of the field. Some ideal certificates are:

  • ASQ Quality Technician – In order to get this certification, you must have worked in a full-time, paid role as a quality tech. You must have at least 4 years of hands-on experience in the field as a quality technician. If you pass this 110-question test, you will have the ability to display your proven skills and knowledge with a certificate provided by ASQ. 
  • MSSC Certification in Quality Practices and Measurement – This is a course offered by Purdue University, with instructors that have years of experience. This 10-day course promises to teach all the skills necessary to become a successful quality technician.

Career path

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Employers hiring quality technicians for more complex tasks may require an associate’s degree in quality technology or a related discipline. Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) can also be attractive to potential employers or those looking towards career advancement. Successful quality technicians can advance into team leader positions, and ultimately, into quality assurance management roles.

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% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift68,100 increase

According to the professional services firm, Accenture, several current trends will bring change to the field of quality assurance. One current trend being the use of big data and applied analytics. Companies continue to find new ways to obtain data about their processes, and as a result, quality technicians will have more tools at their disposal to collect test data.

Another trend in quality assurance is the use of machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). These new processes will help optimize the tests in which quality technicians use. They’ll provide extra speed and accuracy, leading to even more sophisticated quality monitoring systems.