What is a quality engineer?
A quality engineer is a professional who ensures that the quality standards of products and services are met.
They usually have an engineering or related degree and collaborate with design teams to create and execute quality control methods, such as testing, inspection, and documentation. They must have excellent analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate well with team members and clients.
As part of the quality team, a quality engineer creates and maintains standards for manufactured products while monitoring and reporting any defects at early stages.
There are different types of quality engineers, such as quality assurance engineers, quality control engineers, software quality engineers, and reliability engineers. Each type has specific duties and skills, depending on the industry and product they work with. For example, software quality engineers test software applications and ensure they meet user requirements.
To become a quality engineer, you typically need a degree in engineering or a related field and relevant experience in quality management. You also need strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate effectively with team members and clients.
Quality engineer skills
- Corrective Action
- Continuous Improvement
- Quality Standards
- Product Quality
- Quality Issues
- Quality System
- Process Control
- Supplier Quality
What's the work style of a quality engineer?
You work with different industries and products as a quality engineer, learning about various processes and technologies.
This diversity keeps your work exciting and helps you develop your professional skills as you apply and update your knowledge of quality engineering methods and practices.
You also enjoy seeing the positive impact of your work on product quality and customer satisfaction. You use your critical thinking skills to find and fix complex problems, helping your organization and the industry achieve their goals.
You face the challenge of balancing the needs and expectations of multiple stakeholders, which makes your work as a quality engineer both demanding and fulfilling.
What are the benefits of becoming a quality engineer?
- You are in high demand in various industries that need quality engineering expertise
- You can make a positive impact on product quality by improving processes and solving problems
- You can work with cross-functional teams and collaborate with different professionals
- You can learn about different manufacturing processes and technologies and apply them to your work
- You can travel for work or attend conferences and training sessions to enhance your skills and knowledge
What is the average salary of a quality engineer?
In the United States, quality engineers earn an average of $79,672 per year or $38 per hour. The salary range for quality engineers is between $61,000 and $103,000 per year.
What does a quality engineer do?
A quality auditor’s job is to ensure that the company’s products and services meet the business requirements and internal regulations. They evaluate the effectiveness of the operational functions and production processes to deliver high-quality outputs with the highest regard for the safety and security of the production staff.
They conduct quality tests on the outputs, prepare reports on their findings, and devise strategies to improve stability using standard testing parameters. A quality auditor must have excellent communication and organizational skills, as they may also suggest ways to generate more resources and increase revenues.
Roles and responsibilities of a quality engineer
Some of the typical tasks that quality engineers perform in their roles are:
- Lead internal and customer 8D projects using the 6-Sigma DMAIC method to solve problems.
- Manage and train QA lab staff, ensuring reliable food safety and manufacturing quality support.
- Guide Apple/Asian SQEs and supplier QA, ensuring all quality requirements are met and achieved.
- Lead cross-functional teams in addressing and resolving problems using Kaizen event, 8D, and 5-why to find the root cause.
- Lead project to develop and implement quality and environmental management systems to obtain & maintain ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certification.
- Manage aerospace resolver manufacturing transfer from out-of-state acquisition.
- Collaborate with engineering and production on the engineering changes and specifications, PPAP, PFMEA, and DFMEA.
- Assist in implementing quality standards and audit procedures to renew ISO certification.
- Develop a supplier management framework to convert to the AS9100 quality management system.
- Compile and review PPAP and APQP documentation, including dimensional measurement data for customer submission.
- Manage projects, perform quality assurance functions, including CAPA, and initiate process improvement solutions for the global engineering services division.
- Use MiniTab to run the design of experiments.
- Create the test scenarios in gherkin format using cucumber.
- Use statistical tools such as MiniTab to evaluate the components.
- Create the feature file and step definitions using ruby and cucumber.
What are the job opportunities for quality engineers?
There are many different career paths for quality engineers. Quality engineers can also move to higher roles or even top positions, such as quality managers or supervisors, if they have enough experience and success.
However, here are some of the job roles that you can take on (with an average salary):
- Quality Inspector - $33,197
- Quality Control Inspector - $35,018
- Quality Engineer - $79,672
- Quality Assurance Manager - $99,894
- Quality Manager - $91,357
Best certifications for quality engineers to earn in 2023
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Having the PMP certification on your resume shows your potential employers that you have a solid foundation of knowledge that enables you to practice project management competently.
To qualify for a PMP credential, you must meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to follow a code of professional conduct.
The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination that tests your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility.
Six Sigma Green Belt
An IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (ICGB) is a professional with good knowledge of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology and who leads or supports improvement projects, usually in a part-time role. A Lean Six Sigma Green Belt thoroughly understands all aspects within the phases of D-M-A-I-C. They know how to use and interpret Six Sigma tools and how to apply the standard principles of Lean.
Six Sigma Black Belt
An IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (ICBB) is a professional with good knowledge of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology and who leads improvement projects, usually in a full-time role. A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt thoroughly understands all aspects within the phases of D-M-A-I-C. They know how to use and interpret Six Sigma tools and how to apply the standard principles of Lean.
Certified Six Sigma Greenbelt (CSSGB)
A Six Sigma Green Belt works under the guidance of a Six Sigma Black Belt, analyzes and solves quality problems, and participates in quality improvement projects. A Green Belt is someone with at least three years of work experience who wants to show his or her knowledge of Six Sigma tools and processes.
Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)
The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who can lead and drive process-improvement initiatives in various service and industrial settings, from small businesses to multinational corporations.
This certification enables one to facilitate and lead team efforts to establish and monitor customer/supplier relations, support strategic planning and deployment initiatives, and help develop measurement systems to determine organizational improvement.
A Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence also has the skills to motivate and evaluate staff, manage projects and human resources, analyze financial situations, determine and evaluate risk and employ knowledge management tools and techniques in resolving organizational challenges.
Certified Chemical Engineer (CCE)
The Certified Chemical Engineer (CCE) certification program acknowledges the qualifications and competencies of chemists and chemical engineers with a certain basic level of education and/or experience and who have engaged in professional career development and continuing education in the past one to three years. This certification program validates their skills and knowledge in their field.
Certified Quality Process Analyst (CQPA)
A paraprofessional who supports and works under the direction of quality engineers or supervisors, analyzes and solves quality problems, and participates in quality improvement projects is a Certified Quality Process Analyst (CQPA). A Certified Quality Process Analyst can be someone with work experience or a recent graduate who wants to show his or her knowledge of quality tools and processes.
Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)
A Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) has a basic knowledge of quality tools and their uses and participates in quality improvement projects but does not necessarily have a background in quality.
Certified Quality Technician (CQT)
A quality technician works with quality engineers or supervisors to help them solve quality issues, create inspection plans and instructions, choose appropriate sampling plans, write procedures, train inspectors, conduct audits, analyze quality costs and quality data, and use basic statistical methods for process control.
Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)
A quality auditor is a professional who knows how to audit a quality system based on the standards and principles of auditing and the auditing techniques of asking, examining, evaluating, and reporting. The quality auditor checks all the parts of a quality system and measures how well it follows the criteria of industrial management and quality evaluation and control systems.
Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)
A quality engineer is a professional who knows how to evaluate and control the quality of products and services. This includes but is not limited to designing and running quality control systems, applying and analyzing testing and inspection procedures, using metrology and statistical methods to find and fix quality control problems, understanding human factors and motivation, using quality cost concepts and techniques, and knowing how to create and manage information systems and audit quality systems for finding and correcting deficiencies.
The final say
Typically, quality engineers are responsible for ensuring that manufacturing processes are efficient and accurate, documenting any findings that may pose a potential risk, performing quality tests based on the parameters, and implementing necessary modifications to ensure the highest level of quality is achieved.
To spot irregularities and malfunctions, quality engineers need to be good at problem-solving and observation.
Also, they need to communicate effectively with the clients so they can get feedback and make adjustments, address complaints, and fix any inconsistencies.