WHAT DO QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYSTS DO?
Are you a person that can see every new scratch, ding or dent on your car? Can you feel when your computer is about to break? If you have an eye for detail, you might be ready for a career as a quality assurance (QA) analyst.
QA analysts look at products, systems and materials to make sure there are no defects, and make sure that it is made to company standards. QA analysts work in many different fields, from the food industry to transportation, ensuring quality products leave the manufacturer on the way to consumers. They read blueprints and use specialized inspection equipment such as gauges, calipers, voltmeters and others to measure the standards of quality needed to deliver safe goods.
When substandard items are detected, QA analysts will reject those pieces and make notes to make sure it does not happen again. Some may recommend procedure changes or line changes to ensure that quality is kept up.
HOW MUCH DO QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYSTS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for quality control inspectors in 2010 was $15.88 an hour, or $33,030 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
You can get started as a QA analyst with a high school diploma, but getting specialized training in your desired field will greatly help your chances of getting a job. For example, learning CAD for jobs that require reading blueprints, or taking science courses for jobs in medical or pharmaceutical labs will be very handy.
Many companies train on-the-job.
More sophisticated manufacturers will require more complex training. Certification is available through the American Society for Quality.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Dexterity: QA analysts need to be able to manipulate materials with their hands and take apart sample items to make sure they work properly.
- Math: Basic math and computer knowledge are needed when analyzing, calibrating or measuring materials.
- Mechanical Skills: QA analysts use specialized tools and materials when analyzing objects.
- Strength: QA analysts may need to lift heavy objects during the testing phase.
- Stamina: QA analysts are often on their feet for long periods of time.
- Technical Skills: QA analysts may have to read blueprints, understand voltmeters, technical drawings, manuals and other materials in the QA process.
THE FUTURE OF QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYSTS
QA analyst jobs will grow slower than the national average between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. This is mostly due increase in automated inspection processes.