What Is a Quality Control Specialist? - Job Description, Skills & Responsibilities

Learn what a job as a quality control specialist would encompass. Discover the skills and responsibilities necessary for the job, along with educational requirements and salary information. Schools offering Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Quality control specialists check finished products to ensure that standards of production have been met. An associate's degree is required for this job, and individuals with strong math and technical skills will find them useful. The table below includes more general information about the career.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree preferred, associate's degree for entry-level positions
Education Field of Study Chemistry, biochemical engineering, life science
Key Skills Math abilities, technical and analytical skills, attention to detail, critical-thinking skills
Certification Not required, but available through the American Society for Quality
Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% for life, physical and social science technicians, all other*
Average Salary (2019) $46,709**

Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Glassdoor.com

What Is a Quality Control Specialist?

A quality control specialist is someone who monitors the quality of products created in a number of different scientific, pharmaceutical, and technological industries. These professionals can also be called quality control analysts, laboratory analysts, or quality assurance technicians, to name just a few other job titles. They typically work in lab settings.

What Does a Quality Control Specialist Do?

Responsibilities for quality control specialists are dependent on the industries they work in, but generally include examining products and materials, checking for defects, and accepting or rejecting them based on the results. They perform lab tests, gather and analyze the data compiled by adding it to industry-specific computer programs, and then make recommendations for production adjustments. A quality control specialist will also need to review and prepare operational reports.

Additionally, these professionals are responsible for evaluating technologies involved in making products to ensure they meet set standards. As a result, quality control specialists need to maintain laboratory and technical equipment used to assess products as well as ensure their work area is up to industry-specific requirements.

What Skills Should a Quality Control Specialist Have?

A quality control specialist will benefit from having strong math, technical, and problem-solving skills. Because someone in this career will be performing routine visual inspections, good eyesight would also be beneficial. Attention to detail is necessary, along with critical-thinking skills, because both can be helpful in spotting defects and then figuring out ways to fix them. Good written and oral communication skills are a requirement for this position, too.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Many quality control specialist jobs require a bachelor's degree in a related major such as life sciences or chemistry, though entry-level positions are available for those with an associate's degree.

While no license or certification is required, improving skills by training in industrial trades or completing lab work can increase the chances of getting work in your chosen industry. In addition, you can receive certifications, such as the Certified Quality Technician and Certified Quality Engineer credentials, from the American Society for Quality, which can make you look more qualified and increase job advancement prospects.

How Much Can I Make?

The average salary earned by a quality control analyst in 2019 according to Glassdoor.com was $46,709. Glassdoor.com also reports the lowest earners in the field made around $33,000 while the highest earners made around $74,000. Those in the industry who are paid hourly reported making a median wage of $20.18 per hour according to Payscale.com.

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