Virtually every product that exists in the marketplace has gone through some process to determine if it meets quality standards. From quality assurance processes in the food and beverage industry, to large scale testing mechanisms ensuring the safety of transportation systems, any product that makes it to market has passed through a rigorous system to ensure it is produced within accepted safety parameters.
We’ve all seen the little piece of paper fall out of an article of clothing with the phrase “QC by ….” or the sticker on the inside of a car door with “Inspected by …” If quality control and quality assurance specialists are the last in line before products hit the market, then quality engineers are the first in line to ensure that processes and protocols are set so that standards are consistent. Their names do not show up on the final product, but their stamp of knowledge, expertise and oversight in creating quality systems is prominent in the end product.
Quality Engineers can be found in a wide variety of business settings from aerospace to automotive, and from manufacturing environments to machining centres. As varied as the business environments are, the paths employees can take to enter this evolving field are even more numerous. Degree programs exist in the quality assurance sciences as well the opportunity to obtain Control Quality Certifications through the American Society of Quality. We find that experience in a particular field and product line is as important as a specific degree. Having the perfect combination of education and experience will open many doors in the quality engineering field.
Take as an example one of Aerotek’s contract employees, Noel X. Rivera. He began his first contract position at the age of 18 simply needing a job. He now finds himself as a supplier quality engineer for an automotive electronics company and says his job requires him to “... review parts from our supplier to ensure the quality for our production team, as well as approve parts needed to kick off new products.” We rarely meet people like Noel as consumers, but we are thankful for his dedication to providing assurances and processes that products we use and purchase everyday are met with high standards.
As technology advances and more products enter the marketplace with even more pieces and parts, our reliance on quality engineers will continue to grow. The discussion, debate, and suggestions for best practices can be found in places like the Quality Engineering Journal at Taylor & Francis Online. Discussions range from best practices in reporting to new systems for analysis and engineering. Strip away the technical lingo, and what you are left with is the basic belief that while quality may be subjective in nature, it is without question objective when it comes to marketplace safety and consumer satisfaction.
Aerotek and our clients value quality, and if you also lean toward making sure every box is checked “complete”, you might be a great fit for one of our open quality engineer jobs. We invite you to create a free Aerotek career account, or check out our job board.