Quality assurance is the act of ensuring that products and services meet their required quality standards. A quality assurance inspector works by measuring set existing product quality standards against the standards set by management.
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Quality Assurance Inspector Job Duties
Quality assurance inspector work primarily involves sampling, measuring and verifying that manufactured products meet predetermined quality standards. These quality standards can include International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. The quality assurance inspector may also manage several technicians who perform this kind of work.
Types of Quality Assurance Inspection Work
Quality assurance inspectors measure existing products against the standards they are given by the quality engineer, the customer's contract or standards imposed by the government. Quality inspectors often record their findings in Specification Control Charts per measurements taken by themselves and others. They may schedule equipment calibrations, and they may also verify those calibrations. Quality Assurance inspectors may monitor the Specification Control Charts to watch for trends of a production line's output moving away from the expected quality levels. They will provide reports to quality engineers, who then create plans to improve product quality. Quality assurance inspectors may monitor incoming material, may be involved in a product process, or may check outgoing product before it is shipped to the customer.
Where Quality Assurance Inspectors Are Employed
At least 80% of quality assurance inspectors are employed in manufacturing facilities. Quality assurance inspectors may also work at shipping and distribution firms to ensure that products were not damaged during transit or while being stored.
Qualifications for Quality Assurance Inspector Jobs
Quality Assurance Inspectors usually have an Associate's degree in Engineering. They may have a four-year degree in Engineering. On-the-job training for inspecting each product is standard. Quality engineers have a Bachelor's of Science degree in Engineering, usually in Industrial or Mechanical Engineering. Engineering technicians who work as quality control inspectors, testers and samplers usually have an Associate's degree in Engineering Technology.
Quality Assurance Certifications
The American Society for Quality, or ASQ, offers training and certifications in Quality Assurance. Six Sigma training programs, such as Six Sigma Green Belt and Six Sigma Black Belt, also focus on improving product quality. Six Sigma training is available through the Institute of Industrial Engineers and through many colleges.
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