Quality control professionals inspect manufacturing equipment

5 Quality Control Career Possibilities

By Freddie Rohner, iHire, LLC

The quality control (QC) field requires problem solvers and communicators who have a strong attention to detail, exceptional analytical abilities, and a dedication to continuous improvement. As a specialty that spans numerous industries, QC offers many opportunities and career paths to individuals who are interested in helping businesses and organizations enhance efficiency, reduce mistakes/defects, mitigate safety issues, and ensure compliance with a range of federal, state, and local regulations.

Which option is right for you? Read on to learn about the many possibilities available to QC professionals and find the opportunity that fits you best.

 

Manufacturing

When most people think of QC they usually imagine a manufacturing facility with inspectors closely examining finished products for defects before placing an “inspected by #34” sticker on the items that are acceptable for sale. While it’s true this type of assessment is performed in certain operations, QC in a production environment is far more complicated and requires collaboration with many other departments, from purchasing/procurement to supply chain management, R&D, manufacturing, and logistics personnel.

Interested in learning more about QC for the manufacturing industry? Visit these additional resources:

Truity – QC Inspector Career Profile

O*Net Online – QC Systems Managers Summary Report

 

Pharmaceuticals

QC is an important element of any operation, but in the pharmaceutical industry it can be the difference between life and death. In addition to the general QC skills mentioned above, working in a pharmaceutical QC laboratory requires knowledge of scientific testing techniques and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). In a pharmaceutical production environment, QC associates are responsible for ensuring adherence to strict FDA regulations. They must document that these standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been followed, and they are required to maintain a record of each step for every process.

Interested in learning more about QC for the pharmaceutical industry? Visit these additional resources:

Biotech Careers – QC Technician

About Bioscience – Bioscience Careers: QC Associate

O*Net Online – QC Analysts Summary Report

 

Software Development

In the software development realm, QC is confined to the testing and review phases of the software development lifecycle with the expressed purpose of confirming whether or not products meet all necessary specifications and requirements. When it comes to software development, there is a firm distinction between QC and quality assurance (QA). QC is dedicated to detecting issues while QA is focused on preventing them before they happen. Professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in software development QC must be committed to closely examining products and following a strict process that includes several review activities (requirement, design, code, deployment plan, test plan, and test cases) and multiple testing processes (unit, integration, system, and acceptance).

Interested in learning more about QC for software development? Visit these additional resources:

Software Testing Fundamentals – Software QC

O*Net Online – Software QA Engineers and Testers Summary Report

 

Banking

Because they deal with large amounts of money and have access to the personal information of thousands of customers, banking institutions require extremely robust QC operations. In addition to auditing processes designed to ensure security for the bank and its customers, other QC-based approaches are being incorporated to improve performance, increase efficiency, and outpace competitors in the very crowded trading, finance, and banking services realm. Many techniques more commonly associated with manufacturing are being implemented for this purpose, including statistical process control, Lean Six Sigma, and total quality management. Experts in these approaches/disciplines are in demand and can take advantage of this evolution to transfer their skills and knowledge to a career in banking/finance.

Interested in learning more about QC for the banking industry? Visit these additional resources:

Jawaher A. Bin Jumah, René P. Burt & Benjamin Buttram – An Exploration of QC in Banking and Finance

Alvin Wali – QC Audits: Real-World Case Studies

 

Construction

Similar to the pharmaceutical industry, it’s no exaggeration to state that QC in the construction field can be deadly if not handled properly. Indeed, seemingly minor mistakes can have drastic consequences if not caught early and rectified immediately. Inspection and reporting is a vital function on the jobsite and one that requires a keen eye for detail and wide-ranging knowledge of construction processes, building codes/regulations, and project specifications as well as special customer requirements. Inspector and QC engineer positions are highly competitive, so extensive experience and additional training are needed to transition into these type of roles.

Interested in learning more about QC for the construction industry? Visit these additional resources:

Zane Satterfield – QC in Construction Projects

Noel Mades – The Duties and Responsibilities of a QA/QC Engineer

O*Net Online – Construction and Building Inspectors Summary Report


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