Quality auditors inspect the products or goods a company creates to ensure they meet requirements. Some companies only require their quality auditors to hold a high school diploma, but postsecondary education may be beneficial to improve skills needed on the job or advance auditors' careers.
A certified quality auditor oversees and administers testing to ensure that products meet established standards of appearance or performance. Certification requires varying levels of work experience and/or education. Although a high school diploma is the minimum education required for this job, completion of some postsecondary coursework can substitute for work experience to meet the certification requirements.
|Required Education||High school diploma at minimum|
|Other Requirements||certification through American Society for Quality (ASQ)|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||0% all for quality control inspectors|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$36,000 for all quality control inspectors|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description for a Certified Quality Auditor
A certified quality auditor, also called a quality control inspector, ensures that standards of excellence are maintained during the production of goods or the execution of services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015, nearly two-thirds of all quality auditing positions were found in the manufacturing industry. Quality auditors perform inspections at all stages of production, including reviews of raw materials, manufactured components and finished products.
Job Outlook and Salary Info
According to the BLS, quality control inspectors are expected to see no increase in employment from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that quality control inspectors earned a median hourly salary of $17.31, or $36,000 per year.
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Duties of a Certified Quality Auditor
Quality auditors address a product's physical appearance, functionality and composition. In the case of food inspections, audits can include taste, smell or touch. Duties also include assessing the procedures that make up the production process, as well as inspecting and calibrating auditing tools, such as scales, calipers and other testing equipment.
Certified quality auditors supervise teams of inspectors and participate in quality control audits themselves. Auditors develop testing parameters that are company-specific, in addition to administering audits established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). After testing is complete, auditors write assessments that report the number of accepted and rejected products. This information, along with recommendations for fixing detected defects, is presented to product supervisors.
Requirements for Becoming a Certified Quality Inspector
Certification is granted by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which establishes certification standards, administers certification examinations and offers preparatory classes for the exams. Requirements for certification include eight years of work experience in quality control, three of which must be in a position of authority over quality processes. A high school diploma is the minimum education prerequisite, though further education can be substituted for years of work experience. Certification also requires passing a 5-hour, open-note exam that is offered twice a year by ASQ.
Quality auditors conduct tests on a company's products to ensure that the products look and act like they are supposed to. Professional certification by ASO requires a certain amount of work experience, along with passing an exam. The BLS predicts no growth in employment for quality control inspectors, but retirement and turnover may still open up opportunities for applicants.