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Quality Assurance Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in manufacturing, engineering, food science, technology or related degree. Master’s degree preferred.
Average Salary: $72,000 per year
Job Outlook: Fair

Quality control managers oversee testing procedures that measure the quality and reliability of products. As managers they spend their time directly involved with compliance testing seeking to improve products and goods as well as managing subordinate employees. Quality control managers also make sure products and goods are manufactured to a certain standard.

Quality control managers work across a variety of industries including aerospace, electronics, pharmaceutical, auto manufacturing, household goods, and more. With the help of other quality control testers they create and perform tests measuring a products performance and level of manufacturing quality. After tests are performed they do in-depth analysis as to whether or not the product meets standards and how it can be improved.

Education and Training Requirements

Many quality control managers have backgrounds in engineering, manufacturing and research. A four-year bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from an accredited college or university is generally required. Typical majors that prepare students for a career in the quality control field include engineering, mathematics, manufacturing, information technology, and decision science. QA managers that work in manufacturing are required to have safety and OSHA training.

Getting the Job

Quality control managers must possess extensive experience in product testing and analysis. Most quality control managers start out as quality control engineers, quality control testers, statisticians, or laboratory researchers. Many college graduates perform internships that help them gain required experience in order to break into the field. Quality control manager positions can be found on major career websites, industry journals, state employment agency job boards, and newspaper classified ads. Similar job titles include QA manager, quality assurance manager, and quality control director.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Employment outlook and job growth is expected to be as fast as the average occupation. Since QA manager positions are found across virtually every sector of the economy the growth varies. Economic forces such as research and development, government funding, and consumer spending directly affect job growth. Once people reach the position of a QA manager they tend to stay there although some move on to become quality control consultants within their given field.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working conditions for quality assurance managers varies depending on the industry they work in. They spend time in their offices analyzing reports as well as in laboratory environments performing and overseeing testing. Some quality control managers spend time in manufacturing plants and production sites requiring the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as safety goggles, hard hats, high visibility vest, and boots. Quality control managers work a standard forty hour work week.

Salary and Benefits

Salary depends on field, experience, and location. The average salary is $72,000 but many QA mangers, especially those working in aerospace, or for federal agencies, can easily make $100,000 or more per year. Health and retirement benefits are common. QA managers also receive paid sick and vacation days. Benefits packages are usually very lucrative due to the managerial nature of the position.

Where to Go for More Information

American Society for Quality (ASQ)
P.O. Box 3005
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse,
Case postale 56
CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
+41 22 749 01 11

The Society of Quality Assurance (SQA)
Society of Quality Assurance
154 Hansen Road, Suite 201
Charlottesville, VA 22911
(434) 297-4772

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production