Perhaps you’re a hiring manager who needs to hire a new employee and need to write a quality assurance job description.
Or, maybe you have an eye for detail and know you’d make a good QA tester, but you need more information to decide to pursue it as a career.
We have gathered all of the information about the quality assurance industry, including the current job outlook, the skills you’ll need, how much the job pays, and the career path.
Overall Outlook for QA Jobs
Unfortunately, the job outlook for quality assurance is weak, with a projected decline of -11% from 2016 to 2026.
Compared to other forms of employment, this is an industry on the decline. Companies turning to automation to perform quality assurance duties is the reason for the poor outlook.
For now, there are positions available in any number of industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods.
What Does a Quality Assurance Inspector Do?
People who work as quality assurance inspectors or technicians serve an essential role in companies that produce goods and services.
They are responsible for performing inspections and making sure anything produced by a company meets quality standards. If they find any fault in a product, they will flag it so that it doesn’t make it into stores or other companies that rely on their goods for manufacturing.
There are various titles for people who work in quality assurance, such as inspectors, samplers, and testers. People who work in the food industry will test the food to make sure it tastes right and that it’s safe for people to eat.
Some qualifications will depend on the industry that’s hiring. Scientific and engineering companies will require some degree of technical or scientific expertise, so a college or associate’s degree will be beneficial.
If it’s a job where inspections are pass/fail, a high-school diploma will be enough. Vocational training is another path to follow as is getting a certification from the American Society for Quality. Being Six Sigma certified is something that will also put you above the rest.
It would be best if you had good dexterity because you will often have to pull the product off of assembly to inspect the part. Math skills are also useful for making calculations, calibrating machines, and performing measurements.
Being able to read and understand schematics, blueprints, and technical manuals is also a necessary skill.
It can be physically demanding because quality assurance inspectors need to stand for long periods. Heavy lifting may also be required.
What Do QA Inspectors Make?
Currently, the average salary for quality assurance inspectors is $52,363. At the high end, QA inspectors earn $86,000 per year. At the low end, they earn $35,000 per year.
Note that this compensation doesn’t take into account bonuses, profit sharing, or benefits. Bonuses for QA inspectors range from $255 to $5,000, and profit-sharing ranges from $245 to $5,000.
For hourly QA inspectors, the average wage is $16.94 per hour. The top hourly rate is $26.15 per hour, and the bottom rate is $11.70 per hour.
Note that the hourly wage and salary depend on where you live, how much experience you have, and the type of industry in which you work.
The highest paying industries in 2018 were professional, scientific, and technical services at an average of $41,370. The lowest average salary was $30,210 in administrative and support services.
Career Paths and Advancement
If you’re curious about career advancement, QA inspectors who excel can expect to become senior-level inspectors. Depending on the company, senior QA inspectors may also perform supervisory roles involving managing a team of quality assurance inspectors.
In this guide, we outlined the job outlook, essential qualifications, salary expectations, and career paths for the QA industry.
Whether you’re in the market for a QA inspector job, or you need to write a quality assurance job description, you should now have all of the information you need for your intended purpose.
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