Students in an AAS in Quality Assurance Management develop skills that include quality transformation, statistical process control, product and service improvement, cost reduction, and quality management. These programs are designed to teach students how to test and inspect products at different stages of the production process to maintain quality.
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Associate Degree in Quality Assurance Management
The curriculum provides a basic overview of the fundamental concepts of quality assurance while offering practical exercises to let students get hands-on experience in quality control. Most programs last about two years and require that applicants hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission. Students may learn to record data and make recommendations that improve overall product quality. Courses that cover topics directly related to quality control and management may include:
- Manufacturing processes
- Statistical process control
- Inspection methods
- Team management
- Quality planning techniques and measurements
- Sampling techniques
Popular Career Options
Programs are designed to allow graduates to immediately enter the workforce in entry-level quality control positions. Such positions could include:
- Manufacturing inspector
- Product auditing agent
- Quality control coordinator
- Product testing coordinator
- Quality manager
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that quality control inspectors would see little or no change in employment opportunities from 2014 through 2024. Their median annual salary was $36,000, the BLS reported in May 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Advancement in quality control positions can come from experience, time on the job and training in company standards with no need to earn another college degree. However, bachelor's and master's degree programs in quality assurance are available and could prepare individuals to obtain quality management positions in fields like the pharmaceutical and food industries.
Certification options in the field of quality control and assurance are available through the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The ASQ offers 18 certifications, as of 2016 (www.asq.org). To qualify for most certifications, individuals need experience in the field and must meet education requirements. For example, for the Quality Inspector certification, a person must have two years of experience and a high school diploma or equivalent. If individuals don't have a high school diploma or equivalent, they can substitute another three years of experience.
With an AAS in Quality Assurance Management, students have the logistical skills they need for quality control work in a wide range of industries. Programs train students to test and inspect products, as well as to recommend quality improvements.