Quality Assurance Job Description
A Quality Assurance Job Description is a worker is responsible for making sure a product meets the customer’s standard of quality. The job may take many forms based on the particular industry. Environmental factors are also determined by the job industry as well as the official title of the job. Quality Assurance positions carry many titles and responsibilities. Titles include technicians, analyst, specialist, samplers, inspectors, managers, engineers, testers, sorters, consultants and coordinators. Quality Assurance positions may require intervals of standing, bending and/or lifting. The precise description of a quality assurance job depends on the type of industry that the individual is working in. Jobs in quality assurance are available in such varied industries as the manufacturing, food, electronic, technical, food, clothing, glass and steel industries. Individual quality assurance personnel can hold jobs where they are responsible for inspecting, testing, sorting, sampling and weighing.
Quality Assurance positions may require basic computer literacy. Management positions may also require experience with Microsoft Office. A Software Quality Assurance position will usually require familiarity with the software being tested.
The number of industries and job titles that quality assurance employees hold is so varied because these are the people who are directly responsible for making sure that the products you are going to purchase are safe and well-made. Some inspectors may be responsible for checking for cuts or missing pieces. Others may check products to insure that the product has the correct colors and dimensions. Additionally, the amount of time and effort for each job differs. Some industries require a prolonged process that includes repeated testing, while other quality assurance personnel only have to give their products a swift visual inspection.
A Quality Assurance candidate should be detail oriented with better than average communication skills, both written and verbal. He or she should possess a professional demeanor as well as multitasking, problem solving and organization skills. The candidate should also be able to work well in a team setting and should be able to deal effectively with customer complaints.
When a problem is detected, quality controllers are responsible for marking and noting the problems. The rejection of the product may involve sending the products for repair, while other inspectors may be responsible for fixing the problems themselves.
Experience for this position may include working well in a team setting, product quality inspection experience, experience working in a fast paced environment and possibly, experience in a particular industrial setting. A Managerial Quality Assurance Candidate should have added experience including the ability to lead a team, the ability to compare past performance to present performance to determine areas which need improvement, the ability to inspect a product to determine if there is a need for improvement and the ability to make modifications, if necessary. As with many positions, fluency in more than one language is a plus.
As part of the approval or rejection process, controllers must keep careful records of their testing. This may be done either with pain-staking hand-written records or with the help of electronic equipment. Some quality assurance personnel may be required to submit daily, weekly or monthly reports analyzing the overall quality of the products they are responsible for over a given time period.
In many cases, a Quality Assurance position may be held by a person with a High School Diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer or require a Bachelor’s of Engineering or a related field. Most Managerial Quality Assurance positions will require a Bachelor’s of Engineering or related degree. In some cases, an employer may accept an equivalent amount of work experience. Preference may be given to candidates holding graduate degrees though these positions rarely require and advanced degree. Traditionally, most quality assurance positions have required on-the-job training and experience in the industry in which the quality assurance is needed. However, since an increasing number of quality control involves analyzing results from laboratory or technical data, many colleges now offer related associate’s degrees in fields such as quality control management. A degree in this field offers courses in math, communication and sciences in order to increase the analytical abilities of potential quality assurance personnel.
In 2010, the average salary for a Quality Assurance Technician was listed as $32,933. The average salary of a Quality Assurance Manager was listed as $73,680. The national average salary for quality assurance managers in the United States is approximately around 90,000 USD. Within Australia, similar roles attract an average annual salary of approximately 85,000 AUD and in the United Kingdom the average annual wage is approximately 48,000 pounds. These are base salaries and do not include bonus and other incentives. Average pay varies, depending upon the specific industry of employment.
Pay in an entry level, can be as low as $9 per hour, while those working in aerospace related industries can start at $22 per hour. For individuals looking for greater advancement and pay, The American Society for Quality offers certifications for people working in quality control. While the pay can provide a comfortable living for some, the employment outlook may become more competitive due to the increasing reliance upon computers and technology for quality control. Additionally, many factory inspection jobs that still require human contact are being given to regular line workers on the assembly line, because this saves the company money in the long term.
Helpful certifications include Six Sigma, Quality Auditor, Quality Engineer, Quality Improvement Associate, Quality Inspector, Quality Process Analyst and Quality Technician Certifications.
Most companies have a typical idea of what they are looking for in a QA tester. Here is an example of a Quality Assurance Job Description for a Quality Assurance software position:
Senior QA Analyst with professional experience in functional/regression testing design and execution. As a member of the Quality Assurance team you will be responsible for end to end testing for product releases.
- Designing and executing manual test plans and test scripts for complete modules and/or workflows.
- Converting business requirements into test plans and test cases.
- Working closely with software developers to develop test specifications and build test cases to rigorously test product functionality and investigate all potential product test failures.
- Bug fix verification and validation.
- Acting as a senior QA technical resource on project teams, overseeing the work of more junior QA Analysts and interacting with Developers, Implementators, Release Management and Sales.
- 5+ years manual functional/regression testing design and execution experience, including experience with Accounting systems/applications
- Demonstrated knowledge of SDLC
- Strong understanding and hands on experience with QA processes and methodologies
- 5+ years of test case and test plan design/maintenance
- Automated and performance testing experience
- Experience with designing and developing test cases based upon system specifications documentation
- QA testing on web-based applications
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- University degree in computer science or closely related field
- Proven track record of successful management of resources and timelines
- Team player and can work with minimal supervision
- Working knowledge of Java and any development experience an asset
- SQL 2005 database concepts and ability to analyze and write SQL query language
- assurance roles will vary between different companies, the general concept is the same.
Applicants, who satisfy a Quality Assurance job description, usually possess a good eye for detail and a strong desire for consistent enhancement, will find this career a very rewarding one.