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How to Become a Quality/Safety Administrator

Research the requirements to become a quality/safety administrator. Learn about the job duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in quality/safety administration. View article »

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  • 0:00 Quality Control Administrators
  • 0:30 Career Requirements
  • 1:25 Career Steps

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Video Transcript

Quality Control Administrators

Quality control administrators test the safety, reliability and overall condition of the products or service offered by their employers. They work closely with occupational management or industrial engineering to make sure the physical work space and job duties within it are compliant with all laws and company policies. These professionals implement and enforce the safety and quality of products, work-space and employees.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's or equivalent experience sometimes required
Degree Fields Quality management, science, or industry-related discipline
Experience 2-5 years of experience
Certification Voluntary
Key Skills Management, customer service, and math skills; knowledge of production process, quality and safety regulations, laws and standards, and quality control; familiarity with compliance, database, spreadsheet, and word processing software;
Salary (2015) $74,622, (2016 median for all quality safety managers)

Sources: Monster.com job postings (February 2013), ONet Online, PayScale.com

A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for this position. However, a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience is required by some employers. Field of study includes quality management, science or an industry-related discipline. Typically, 2-5 years of experience is called for, and voluntary certification is available.

Key skills for this position include management skills; customer service skills; math skills; production process knowledge; quality control knowledge; familiarity with compliance, database, spreadsheet and word processing software; and knowledge of quality and safety regulations, laws and standards.

In 2016, quality safety managers earned a median annual salary of $74,622, stated PayScale.com.

Now let's check out the career steps for quality control administrators.

Career Steps

Step 1: Earn an Undergraduate Degree

Various colleges, universities and technical schools offer certificate or Bachelor of Science degree programs in disciplines such as safety management or occupational health, typically within their science and technology departments. Technical and certificate programs typically last two years, while bachelor's degree programs last four years. Because safety and quality encompass many areas and occupations, prospective administrators may take courses in topics such as engineering, technology, health, physics, anatomy, math, statistics, hygiene, toxicology or environmental law.

To really shine in the workforce:

  • Complete an Internship. Internships may be a requirement for some bachelor's degree programs. They also serve as a great way for quality or safety administrators to explore different employers and occupational settings. Because administrators may work in an office setting or doing industrial field work, it is important for candidates to not only find out what their preferences are, but also to gain broader experience in the quality and safety field. State and government agencies, insurance companies and a myriad of businesses all employ quality and safety administrators--yet each may expect different things of their employees.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Job postings showed that, in addition to a bachelor's degree, employers hiring quality/safety administrators looked for individuals who had non-managerial experience in the field. A job as a quality control inspector, for example, would familiarize an aspiring quality/safety administrator with industry materials, operations and specifications.

Step 3: Complete On-the-Job Training

Advanced training and certification allows administrators to potentially have higher salaries or advance within an organization. Because safety and quality cover a wide range of industries and trades, there is no shortage of professional associations offering beneficial training.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers a set of guidelines that employers use when selecting the training programs to offer their employees. Although OSHA does not endorse any particular training programs, training that meets OSHA standards is encouraged for administrators who want to work at the state or federal level.

Addtionally:

  • Consider a Graduate Degree Program. Colleges offer graduate degree programs, typically a Master of Science (M.S.) in disciplines such as occupational safety and health or occupational safety management. Master's degree programs may allow candidates to specialize their quality and safety experience and training within the management field. A graduate degree can also provide safety administrators a solid foundation in how to design, implement and manage safety solutions for any organization. While graduate degrees may not be a prerequisite for certain employers or specialized training, master's degrees may be suitable for administrators who want to be independent contractors or run their own quality or safety assurance businesses.

Step 4: Join an Association

Professional organizations are not only resources for advanced or specialized certification; they also allow aspiring administrators to keep up with current quality and safety topics. Quality administrators may wish to join organizations such as the American Society for Quality, which provides certification for auditors, engineers, inspectors and technicians. Administrators can attend conferences, receive news bulletins and network with other quality and safety administrators.

To recap, with an undergraduate degree and experience, a quality safety administrator can earn about $75,000 to test the safety, reliability and overall condition of the products or service offered by their employers.

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