Career Definition for a Quality Testing Technician
As an integral part of a quality control team, quality testing technicians help define and carry out appropriate tests to confirm a product's compliance with quality standards. Documenting test results, analyzing data, and recommending product improvements are also important parts of the job; this information is then used by product developers, managers, and quality assurance specialists to refine the process and create a higher-quality product. Quality testing technicians report to quality engineers and work in settings as diverse as software engineering companies, healthcare equipment manufacturers, and food processing plants, among others.
|Education||Associate degree required, certification also available|
|Job Skills||Analytical mind, attention to detail, grasp of measurement and test equipment, team worker|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$37,340 for quality control inspectors|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-11 (decline) for quality control inspectors|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all engineering technicians should earn a two-year associate's degree before pursuing jobs. Aspiring quality testing technicians can begin by researching accredited degree programs through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and pursuing a degree at a community college or technical school. After earning their degree and completing two years of on-the-job experience, quality testing technicians can pursue professional quality technician certification by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which may give them an edge in advancing their careers.
The ASQ describes individuals in quality assurance roles, such as quality testing technicians, as analytical, detail-oriented workers who have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of quality control. Quality testing technicians should have a firm grasp of measurement and test equipment (M&TE) and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), as well as basic engineering models and data analysis methods. Excellent interpersonal skills, teamwork, and an aptitude for communication are also essential for success in the quality testing technology field.
Career and Economic Outlook
The job outlook for positions in quality control inspection is minimal, with an 11% decline in jobs projected between 2016-2026, according to the BLS. Rapid growth of customer demand for new technologies may position quality evaluation workers at the front line of product development, and quality testing technicians can expect to be among them. The BLS reported the median salary for testers and inspectors such as quality testing technicians to be $37,340 as of May 2017.
Alternate Career Options
Check out these other choices for careers in inspection:
Fire inspectors have usually completed at least an associate's degree program in fire science or a related field; coupled with specialized training and previous fire fighting or related experience, fire inspectors use this knowledge to identify and remedy fire hazards and ensure that sites meet all applicable fire codes. Fire inspectors also test and inspect fire alarm and suppression equipment and conduct fire safety outreach and education programs. Fire inspectors may be subject to state and professional certification and licensing requirements, depending on their employers. The BLS expects that jobs in this field will increase 10% from 2016-2026; fire inspectors earned median pay of $56,670 in 2017.
Construction and Building Inspector
Construction and building inspectors monitor under-construction and completed sites for violations of local, state, and federal building codes and related regulations. They look at structures in their totality, like a bridge, and their component parts, like electrical systems. Specializations include coating, electrical, mechanical, and elevator inspectors.
Construction and building inspectors usually have a high school diploma and draw on many years of relevant experience, such as in the field of construction; there are also a number of postsecondary education options ranging from a diploma to a bachelor's degree, although experience is still highly valued by employers. They also have valid driver's licenses. On-the-job training is typical, and construction and building inspectors may also be subject to state and local licensing and certification requirements. Workers in this field can expect job growth of 10% from 2016-2026, per the BLS. This occupation paid a median salary of $59,090 in 2017, also per the BLS.