The goal of quality control is ensuring the highest possible standards are met for the consumer. A variety of industries utilize individuals trained in this area, such as the automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, food handling, child product safety and aerospace industries. Although a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in quality control is not typically offered, individuals interested in this field can pursue a Master of Science in Quality Assurance. Directed research and research projects are typically included in the curriculum. A bachelor's degree is required before admittance into a M.S. in Quality Assurance program.
Master's Degree in Quality Assurance
Graduate quality assurance programs teach students how to assist organizations in maintaining their quality standards. Students learn to run tests on products, measure data, perform system audits and analyze results. Students take courses in industrial quality control, risk management, manufacturing practices, quality management and reliability. Students often complete research related to the topics they have studied. The following classes may also be included:
- Probability and statistics
- Statistical quality control
- Measurement techniques
- Experiments design
- Quality management
Graduates can advance to management positions in quality control, such as industrial production managers, or become independent consultants. Career titles may include:
- Quality control auditor
- Quality testing engineer
- Product reliability specialist
- Government regulatory inspector
Employment Outlook and Salary
In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that industrial production managers, who oversee quality control programs in manufacturing and related industries, earned a median annual salary of $103,380. The BLS projects jobs for these workers will show little or no change over the 2018-2028 decade.
Graduates can pursue professional certification through the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which offers 17 certification exams, including Certified Reliability Engineer, Certified Quality Manager and Certified Quality Inspector. Certification typically requires students to pass a certification examination. Graduates interested in obtaining an advanced degree can apply to a Ph.D. degree program in research and measurement, quality systems or operations research.
For prospective students with a bachelor's degree who are interested in fields related to quality assurance, a master's degree program in quality control can provide the training and education employers are looking for. These programs will provide students with comprehensive educations in the key principals and skills needed to excel in this field.