How to Become a Quality Assurance Manager in 5 Steps

A quality assurance manager supervises and coordinates the activities of a product or service and ensures that it meets client and company standards. Find out the education and experience that could start you in this field. Schools offering Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Quality Assurance Manager?

When a product is made, a quality assurance manager is responsible for ensuring that there are no defects. Their primary tasks are to ensure that products are safe and follow the product specifications and that only quality products are made available to consumers. They may be involved with inspecting food, automobiles, toys, electronic devices, clothes and any other product. Quality assurance managers begin as inspectors and, after acquiring years of experience, may advance to the role of a manager. They are responsible for supervising inspectors and may also hire and train new inspectors. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of 2014, 66% of qualify control inspectors worked in manufacturing, which suggests a similar percentage of quality assurance managers also work in manufacturing. The table below provides some details about careers in quality assurance management:

Degree RequiredBachelor's
Education Field of StudyQuality Assurance, Business, Statistics
Key ResponsibilitiesMake sure products are not defective, oversee other inspectors, hire and train new inspectors
Licensure RequirementsVoluntary certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024)*0% (for all quality control inspectors)
Median Salary (2015)*$36,000 (for all quality control inspectors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Research Quality Assurance Manager Career Duties and Education

Quality assurance managers supervise quality systems delivering goods or services to customer, company or client specification. They control, direct and create the production process of products and services to fulfill this role. Quality assurance managers are at the management level and they supervise a staff of inspectors, technicians and analysts working on a variety of products and services for a company. Their work consists of inspecting production assembly lines to conducting marketing surveys. Quality assurance managers must have a Bachelor of Science in Business, Statistics or Quality Assurance and at least six years of experience in the field.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in quality assurance, business or statistics. Students take courses, such as calculus, statistics, business communications, human resources management, computers, economics and ISO systems. They must also practice strong communication and analytical skills.

Step 3: Do an Internship or Co-Op

Future quality assurance managers should consider doing an internship or co-op during their college years so they can gain professional hands-on experience, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employers usually prefer to hire quality assurance managers with some professional experience.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

Quality assurance managers should consider getting certification in order to master the principles of quality control, applications and analytical thinking, according to ASQ. The American Society for Quality offers a variety of certification levels that can help individuals market their skills to employers, gain a higher salary and advance their knowledge in the latest quality assurance practices.

Step 5: Work as a Quality Assurance Manager

Quality assurance managers usually work in manufacturing companies and industries where they analyze a variety of electronic data and have different work schedules. You can enter this career through entry-level work as quality assurance inspectors or a management position after a few years in the field, according to Salary.com. Internship or co-op experience is helpful to advancement as a quality assurance manager.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Quality control inspectors typically work under the supervision of quality assurance managers and are responsible for inspecting products to make sure they meet the desired specifications. An inspector may advance to the role of a quality assurance manager with an associate degree and enough experience.

Fire inspectors must review plans and structures to ensure that they are up to code and have required fire safety features, such as alarms, sprinklers and emergency exits. Fire inspectors usually have prior experience as firefighters or in law enforcement, and must complete a training academy program and on-the-job training.

Construction and building inspectors may only need a high school diploma. They inspect existing buildings and those under construction to ensure all safety requirements and building codes are met.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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