Quality Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Quality Engineer, or QA Engineer, is responsible for determining production standards for a company’s products by establishing quality control systems and setting product requirement rules. Their duties include identifying the specifications for an ideal product, determining an appropriate level of variation and monitoring quality assurance rates.

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Quality Engineer duties and responsibilities

Quality Engineers help create solutions as part of an engineering team. They work to find defects, determine the causes of those defects and provide solutions to defected problems. The Quality Engineer has several other duties and responsibilities, some of which include:

  • Determining quality improvement factors
  • Implementing methods to inspect, test and evaluate the reliability of manufacturing processes, products and production equipment
  • Making sure processes adhere to quality standards 
  • Preparing reports by collecting, analyzing and summarizing data
  • Working in accordance with deadlines for delivery of products or software
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What does a Quality Engineer do?

Quality Engineers are typically employed at companies and organizations that develop physical or digital products. They’re involved with the process of product design and development, creating protocols for production teams to follow  that result in high-quality products. The role of a Quality Engineer is to implement effective quality controls, teach production staff how to use them and supervise outcomes. Quality Engineers design automated testing systems and quality control workflows to improve the efficiency of the quality assurance process. They collect data about instances of product errors and investigate possible solutions by troubleshooting the manufacturing or design process.

Quality Engineer skills and qualifications

Quality Engineers should have a variety of practical skills for their position. The main skills and qualifications of a Quality Engineer are as follows:

  • Strong knowledge of relevant software, quality assurance methods, tools and quality manufacturing processes
  • Math skills
  • Communication skills
  • Knowledge of the organization’s product 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to handle stress 

Quality Engineer salary expectations

A Quality Engineer makes an average of $76,835 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and geographical location. Common benefits for this role include health insurance, relocation assistance and a 401(k).

Quality Engineer education and training requirements

The minimum educational requirement for Quality Engineers is a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering, with a master’s degree being beneficial for job growth. Quality Engineers also need certification as a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE), which includes training in quality management systems, leadership and management, customer relations, communication skills and supplier management. 

Quality Engineer experience requirements

Quality Engineers need 8 or more years of quality engineering experience before they can have senior-level roles. Having a master’s or bachelor’s degree can substitute for some experience: a bachelor’s degree can act as a substitute for 4 years of experience, and a master’s degree can act as a substitute for 5 years of experience.

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Frequently asked questions about Quality Engineers

 

What are the daily duties of a Quality Engineer?

On a typical day, Quality Engineers work closely with design and production teams to solve problems. They respond to questions about how to achieve quality goals and implement changes to reduce the instance of human or machine errors. When working on a new project, Quality Engineers meet with clients to discuss their quality expectations, including details about performance and visual appearance. They design documents that clearly outline these specifications and communicate them to the production team. Quality Engineers observe the production process and identify how to automate certain steps to create more consistent quality and improve efficiency.

 

What is the difference between a Quality Engineer and a Product Engineer?

Quality Engineers and Product Engineers often work together to produce new products. Product Engineers are in charge of a product’s general design. They create the theoretical specifications of an ideal product, then communicate with Quality Engineers about how to make sure every single product that leaves a manufacturing plant is similar to that ideal prototype. 

Product Engineers determine the resources needed to take a product idea and turn it into a reality. The Quality Engineer then takes a Product Engineer’s work and applies it to large-scale mass production. They oversee the flow of products that the Product Engineer designed, managing variables that could impact the final product such as manufacturing conditions, machine behaviors and human error.

 

What are the qualities of a good Quality Engineer?

Good Quality Engineers are highly analytical people who love solving problems. They have high standards for themselves and others and work to be as consistent as possible. They not only establish clear rules for producing perfect products, they follow through with enforcing them and discovering factors that prevent their production team from achieving consistency. 

Successful Quality Engineers are good at predicting the outcome of changes to a production line, allowing them to problem-solve efficiently. Because Quality Engineers are in charge of documentation for initial quality standards and the actual quality of products during productions, good Quality Engineers are also excellent at written and verbal communication.

 

Do Quality Engineers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Qualiy Engineers do have different responsibilities depending on the industry. While all Quality Engineers uphold product specifications, the processes for achieving this are different based on the product itself. For example, Quality Engineers for software companies will use digital techniques and code testing methods to automate high-quality software products, while Quality Engineers producing a consumer product will use physical measurement and human testing.

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