Quality control technician, quality assurance inspector
Quality control assistants check that control systems and products meet recognised standards.
Salary Range: £12,500 to £25,000
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree, which includes quality control options, for example:
- production management
- business and management
- manufacturing engineering
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could do an apprenticeship that covers quality control as part of the training.
The exact apprenticeship you do will depend on the industry you work in. For example, in engineering, you might complete an advanced apprenticeship in operations and quality improvement. In food production, you may take a food technologist advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could apply directly for jobs if you have a a lot of experience in other areas, like engineering or health and safety.
You can get relevant qualifications through the Chartered Quality Institute, and as part of management courses with the Chartered Management Institute.
Some knowledge of British quality standards and working methods will be useful when applying for jobs in quality control.
You can find out more about working in quality control through the Chartered Quality Institute.
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to analyse quality or performance
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- active listening skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- dealing with customer feedback and complaints
- assessing and rating suppliers
- designing, reviewing and updating quality control policies
- training new staff
- producing reports
You could work in a laboratory, in a factory or in an office.
With experience and training you could move into supervisory, management or research jobs.