Quality Control Analysts are considered Investigative careers according to the Strong Interest Inventory®. This inventory, first released in 1927, has been refined and revised since its inception. It has been specially designed to help people identify their interests and preferences, and identify educational and vocational pursuits that are consistent with those preferences. Investigative careers appeal to people who have a foundation and interest in mathematics and the sciences. They involve data analysis, as well as a knowledge and interest in the natural world. People with these preferences are free-thinkers, enjoying a flexible work environment and the ability to work independently on problems they choose to tackle.
Quality Control Analysts are responsible for conducting tests to determine and maintain the quality of goods at different stages of the production process, including testing various raw materials, bulk products at the intermediate stage of production, and completely finished products. In some cases, they may also take environmental samples or stability samples to ensure production is taking place in a suitable environment. They analyze these samples visibly and chemically in order to ensure their quality. Once the samples are taken and carefully analyzed, quality control analysts interpret the tests results and compare them to established specifications. Based on these comparisons, they determine if a given product is fit to be released or not. Quality Control Analysts not only document their procedures, but they also calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment, investigate questionable results, and monitor the testing procedures themselves to ensure that all tests are performed according to established specifications. In some cases, they may also be responsible for training other analysts, evaluating analytical methods, or coordinating testing with other vendors or analysts.
While 43% of Quality Control Analysts hold a bachelor’s degree, 21% hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and 21% have completed some college. Quality Control Analysts need a basic understanding of chemistry and mathematics, as well as of computers and electronics and production and processing. They also must communicate quickly, concisely, and confidently in English, while being able to think critically about and solve complex problems. Because so much of their job hinges on communication with other Quality Control Analysts or larger manufacturing operations, they have to be able to read and understand large amounts of information in a timely fashion.
Quality Control Analysts’ salary has a nationwide average of $45,300 per year, though their median income in New Mexico is over $70,000. Florida and Michigan are some of the least lucrative states to practice this profession, with median salaries of Quality Control Analysts at $35,000 and $30,000 respectively. The employment rates of Quality Control Analysts are stable or projected to increase in every state, with Utah leading the way with nearly 40% projected growth before 2024. Close behind are Maryland, Idaho, and Kentucky, all over 20%.
Below are some employment trends Quality Control Analysts:
- Median Quality Control Analyst Salary: $21.47/hour; $44,650 annually
- Employment: 78,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2022): Average (5% to 8%)
- Projected job openings (2014-2022): 38,100
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org