Careers in quality can vary from one organization to another. Nevertheless, a few primary job classifications are consistent, regardless of industry or organization:
- Analysts initiate and/or coordinate quality-related data from production and service activities and report these data using statistical techniques.
- Associates are involved in quality improvement activities or projects but not necessarily full-time.
- Auditors systematically inspect and examine a quality system to ensure compliance to requirements.
- Inspectors audit and report on materials, processes and products using variable or attribute-measuring instruments and techniques, to ensure conformance with the organization’s quality standards.
- Quality engineers design, install and evaluate quality-assurance process-sampling systems, procedures and statistical techniques; design or specify inspection and testing mechanisms and equipment; analyze production and service limitations and standards; recommend revision of specifications when indicated; and formulate quality assurance policies and procedures.
- Quality managers oversee the administration of quality, process and/or business improvement efforts. They typically have authority over a clearly defined area of the organization and a number of direct reports.
- Specialists perform specific functions within a quality initiative, such as statistical analysis or testing. They have extensive experience or training.
- Technicians perform basic quality tasks to track, analyze and report on materials, processes and products, ensuring they meet organizational standards.
For more information on these and other careers in quality, visit ASQ’s Career Center.
Also, take a look at Quality Progress’ annual salary survey results.
Certification provides formal recognition of an individual’s demonstrated proficiency within, and comprehension of, a specified body of knowledge. Certification differs from registration or licensure because it’s a form of peer recognition. Certified quality professionals share a common vocabulary and have working knowledge of the same set of tools.
ASQ provides certifications for a number of quality careers, including technicians, auditors, inspectors, engineers, and Six Sigma Green, Black, and Master Black Belts. To earn ASQ certification, candidates must:
- Have a specified level of education and/or experience.
- Provide proof of professionalism.
- Pass a standardized examination in the certification area.