Quality control technicians ensure the quality of nearly all manufactured parts and products through meticulous inspection and testing. Quality control technology certificate programs are short-term intensive programs that train students in quality control techniques and practices and prepare them for careers in quality control and assurance. They are typically 20 credit hours in length, and, like many certificate and diploma programs, require incoming students to have a high school diploma or GED.
Students learn how to supplement their sensory perception with sophisticated testing methods in order to identify imperfections within manufactured products. Upon completion of the program, students may be eligible to take the American Society for Quality Control's certification examination, which is necessary to become a Certified Quality Technician.
Quality Control Technician Certification
Coursework will focus on the development of practical career skills, while still providing students with a foundation in the theories and fundamentals of quality control and assurance. Course topics may include:
- Quality systems and assurance
- Inspection and testing methods
- Metrology and calibration
- Blueprint reading
- Statistical quality control
- Methods for quality improvement
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that career opportunities for quality control technology professionals will see little or no change in employment (0% job growth) from 2014-2024. This is due in part to the growing role that technology plays in the field. Fewer quality control professionals are able to do the work once performed by many. Today's quality control technologists will need training in the latest technologies in order to remain competitive.
Salary.com reports that median annual earnings for quality control inspectors were $35,533 a year in September 2016. Quality control supervisors earned a median salary of $53,771 in that same year. An advanced degree may be needed for some upper-level positions.
Continuing Education Information
Depending upon the institution, credits earned for a quality control technology certificate may be applied towards an associate's or bachelor's degree in a related technology or engineering field. A master's degree in engineering or business administration can be helpful for quality control professionals looking to increase their career prospects. Other certificate programs are also available that are tailored to specific industries.
Individuals who graduate from a certificate program in quality control may be eligible for entry level employment and certification with the American Society for Quality Control. However, in order to be as competitive as possible in the field, students may want to continue their education and earn a bachelor's or even master's degree in a related field.