Studying in a certificate program prepares students to implement quality control processes. Certificate programs are offered through technical or vocational schools and graduates are prepared to sit for the exam. Refresher certificate programs are offered to experienced students who are preparing for the exam. A high school diploma or GED is necessary for application. Field experience is encouraged.
Quality Engineer Certificate Program
Quality engineers evaluate and control the design and manufacture of products and services to ensure safe, productive workplaces and superior products. Graduates of a certificate learn to implement measurement systems and identify and correct system deficiencies. Lectures offer theory and practice exams to help students prepare for the certification examination. Course topics include the following:
- Control and improvement tools
- Experiment design and analysis
- Leadership and management
- Risk management and reliability
- Quality control systems testing
- Variable relationships
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Quality control inspectors are expected to see little to no change in employment opportunities over 2014-2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average annual salary was $36,000 in 2015, according to the same source.
Continuing Education Information
Certificate holders may go on to associate's or bachelor's degree programs in quality engineering or quality assurance. An undergraduate degree may improve job prospects and decrease the experience requirements necessary for the exam offered by the American Society for Quality.
Certification in Quality Engineering
A Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) must pass the exam administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Eight years of on-the-job experience, with a minimum of three years in a decision-making position, are necessary to qualify for the quality engineer certification exam. An engineering certificate can replace one year of experience, and undergraduate and graduate degrees can waive 2-5 years of experience. The exam itself takes five hours and includes 160 questions in six main areas. The ASQ requires CQEs to get re-certified every three years through testing or schooling.
As a starting point in a career as a quality engineer, students can take a certificate program where they will learn project management, experiment analysis and testing.