what is a quality engineer?

As a quality engineer, your primary role is to maintain and improve the quality of manufactured products. You monitor, test and report the products’ quality. You monitor and test the systems to ensure they meet the technical standards. You can work in various industries, from software to manufacturing and textile. The role involves determining the quality standards against which a company tests its products. If there is an issue with the products, you document the problem and collaborate with other engineers to resolve the problem.

In most companies, you train workers on new processes and the latest equipment to improve products. That's why a quality engineer requires exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to explain industrial processes clearly. To identify problems in products, you require experience in engineering and industry knowledge. It is also crucial to be familiar with the industry quality standards and the tools and techniques used for quality analysis, like root cause and statistical analysis.

As a quality engineer, you analyse complaints sent through customer feedback systems. Your job is to check the issues mentioned by customers and recommend changes to the manufacturers. Documenting the reported errors and working with other engineers to fix them is important. You also change production processes to match the requirements of the industry.

Would working as a quality engineer suit your analytical thinking skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a quality engineer role.

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average quality engineer salary

According to ONS, a quality engineer earns a salary of £37,000 per year. As a beginner starting your career, you receive a compensation package of £32,210 yearly. With experience and qualifications, your salary increases to over £50,000 annually.

what factors increase the salary of a quality engineer?

As a quality engineer, your compensation package relies on your experience and qualifications. With entry-level experience, you earn a low salary, but your compensation package increases as you improve your skills and expertise. You also earn more with additional qualifications. For instance, if you have a master's degree, you earn more than quality engineers with minimal qualifications.

The industry you work in determines your earnings. When you work in engineering, the products you create determine the qualifications required. For instance, working in aerospace and vehicle assembly requires quality engineers with specialised skills. Some manufacturing industries also require additional skills due to the complexity of the tasks. Working for large companies has numerous perks due to the unlimited resources available. They also handle extensive projects like large-scale manufacturing.

The location also influences your earnings. Some regions have a higher compensation package for quality engineers due to the demand for the role. For instance, working in large cities attracts higher salaries.

manufacturing- inbound
manufacturing- inbound

types of quality engineers

Some of the types of quality engineers include:

  • quality assurance engineers: you help companies develop products that meet customer expectations. By performing standard checks for smooth service delivery, you ensure the products don’t have defects or mistakes. Your role improves product credibility and customer confidence.
  • new product development quality engineers: as a new product development engineer, you are part of the team that develops new and innovative products in a company. Your job is to review and design prototypes, perform tests and complete product designs.
  • research and development quality engineers: as a research and development quality engineer, you help design new products by testing their viability. You coordinate tests and experiments and troubleshoot problems related to designs and materials. You provide quality support for developing new products and implementing design changes.

working as a quality engineer

Working as a quality engineer is an exciting career that allows you to add value to products developed by a company. Let’s explore some of the duties and responsibilities of quality engineers.


education and skills

Here are the steps to becoming a quality engineer in the UK:

  • bachelor’s degree: you require an undergraduate degree to become a quality engineer. Pursue an undergraduate degree in process or quality engineering to join the profession. You can also complete a degree course in your relevant industry, like mechanical or chemical engineering. A bachelor’s degree takes over four years and includes work placement or internships to equip you with relevant skills. If you desire managerial roles, pursue a master’s degree to improve your job prospects.
  • experience: your work experience determines your salary and competency in the role. You can gain experience through internships and entry-level positions in the company.

quality engineer skills and competencies

You require the following skills to work as a quality engineer:

  • process knowledge: as a quality engineer, you require extensive knowledge of quality engineering principles. For instance, it is important to understand the manufacturing processes and methods of testing and measuring to suggest appropriate ways of improving quality. A quality engineer also needs process knowledge to understand the implementation of quality systems for organisations.
  • technical skills: as a quality engineer, you improve products and production processes to ensure high-quality services to clients. That means you identify sources of defects in products and solve the problems to avoid producing low-quality products. Your technical skills help you understand product specifications and the process control measures to apply.
  • analytical mindset: as a quality engineer, your work requires vigilance to focus on the fine details. Pay attention to all aspects of the products to find defects. Your ability to identify defects and find effective solutions improves the quality of your products. You also require an analytical mind to distinguish between important and unimportant findings and make quick decisions.
  • communication skills: as a quality engineer, you require excellent communication skills to convey your findings to the relevant teams. Your communication skills are also useful for collaborating with various professionals to improve and speed up processes.
manufacturing food hands washing
manufacturing food hands washing

FAQs about working as a quality engineer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a quality engineer.

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