Quality Assurance Engineer
How to Become a

Quality Assurance Engineer

The complete career guide to be a Quality Assurance Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $98,150
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A quality assurance engineer is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a product or program function properly as per specifications. You will support the development stages of a product and test various aspects to catch errors before they happen.


What is a Quality Assurance Engineer?

Duties

An experienced quality assurance engineer has to take care of the following tasks:

  • Identify systematic procedures and planning that is required to have confidence in the satisfactory performance of every component.
  • Conduct a thorough check of all corrective actions implemented to assure the introduction of the new product is in line with applicable reliability guidelines.
  • Give technical assistance to project management teams and oversee the maintenance and update of project controls.
  • Report any irregular trends in product quality observed through data analysis to senior leadership for timely resolution.
  • Evaluate and track documentation connected to product quality wherever assigned, which includes operation details and test protocols, for approval once in compliance with quality standards.

Day In The Life

As a quality assurance engineer, you play a very important role in ensuring that every kind of product from software programs to television sets, go through the process of safety and quality checks. This is vital for retaining customer satisfaction and minimizing negative effects on business output. On a day to day basis, your work will involve working alongside the quality assurance team to examine customer claims of product defects or malfunctions. In addition, you have to lead communication with and between other departments in the company, such as engineering or human resources, concerning issues related to product quality, as well as supervise the training of inspection and production personnel in assessing product performance.

Many professionals in this field have to often work on improving the tests done, to ensure that products designed and manufactured meet the necessary specifications. To do this effectively, you will track various quality related data such as open defect issues, through statistical computer applications. If you have a strong background in engineering and are passionate about addressing issues in product quality, this may be the perfect opportunity for your career path.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

When it comes to your work schedule and environment, you will likely be working out of a factory or testing center. This is also dependent on the type of quality assurance engineering you specialise in. For instance, testing computer software would take place at your desk but if you are testing products such as microwaves, you might be smashing a unit to test its resilience. In essence, it is your job to address any way a customer may use specific products and ensure that there are safeguards to reduce the eventuality of accidents.

Growth Of The Job

With more and more companies utilizing development approaches to uphold business goals, there is steady growth in jobs for quality assurance professionals in the industry. It is no longer an afterthought to monitor test cases or code inspection. Instead, organizations want to confirm that their products comply with the appropriate standards for quality, security and safety.

Typical Employers

Quality assurance engineers can choose from a host of potential employers, which basically includes any company that manufactures or produces a unique product. Since the range of products is so vast, you can pick from big corporations like Apple and IBM, to other players in the market that make electronic goods, clothing, furniture, etc.


How To Become a Quality Assurance Engineer

To start with, you need to have an undergraduate degree in any kind of engineering to get ahead on career prospects in this field. However, a degree is not often enough to tap into promising opportunities, since most early professionals enrol in apprenticeships that endorse the ‘earn while you learn’ policy. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with the work first-hand, and observe the operations of an experienced quality assurance engineer in the field.

To be successful in this line of work, you need to have a curious and highly analytical mind for being able to point out consumer or supplier quality issues. To be able to problem solve effectively when it comes to products, professionals in this career have to develop a hands-on problem-solving skill both as an individual and as a member of a larger team. Further, you must be confident in your ability to meet tight deadlines with multiple priorities and minimum supervision.


Quality Assurance Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$70,960

Average

$98,150

High Range

$150,830

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$34/hr

Average

$47/hr

High Range

$73/hr

How do Quality Assurance Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Quality Assurance Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $98,150, or $47 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $70,960 or $34 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #71 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Quality Assurance Engineer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Quality Assurance Engineers

  • 7.3%   Doctorate
  • 28%   Masters
  • 48.1%   Bachelors
  • 6.7%   Associates
  • 7.6%   College
  • 2.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

136,900

2024 Est. Jobs

142,300

Job Growth Rate

3.9%

Est. New Jobs

5,400

How does Quality Assurance Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 5,400 jobs for a total of 142,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #482 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Quality Assurance Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 28,900 -2,800 -3%
Engineering services 12,200 1,400 1%
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 8,900 2,900 3%

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