The main function of a quality control inspector is to ensure that certain prescribed standards are being met and maintained throughout the production process. A quality control inspector makes sure that the food we eat is of a particular standard, the car we drive runs properly, and the clothes we wear do not tear so easily. The quality control inspector virtually monitors all the goods used for domestic or industrial use. The success of the manufacturing units depends on the quality of the goods produced by them. Therefore, the role of a quality control inspector is extremely important. The function of the quality control executive spreads across the various stages of manufacturing process. For instance, a material's inspector may check the product on procurement. Some check the finished product depending on the expertise. Inspectors may be required to set up and test equipment, repair the minor faults in substandard product, and record data as well.
Inspectors mark, tag, note problems, or reject a product. Defective items are rejected outright and sent for refurbishing while they rectify small problems themselves. The supervisors are notified and the problem is taken care of. The inspectors have to work in close tandem with the industrial managers to ensure minimum defects in the final product. The quality control inspectors test in real world conditions repeatedly. They certify the product that has gone through all the quality tests simply by tagging it, screwing a serial number or a nameplate on it or stamping it. They prepare an inspection report using statistical measures to maintain a certain report.
The academic qualification needed for a QAQC job depends a lot on the profile of the checker, if the work requires a simple pass or fail of products, then a diploma from high school is sufficient combined with a basic in-house training. This also depends on the kind of product one checks. A complex technical or an electrical product will need specialized education.
The chances of finding a great job in this field can be improved by doing a course in industrial trade that includes computer related designs in high school or in vocational institutions at the secondary level. The knowledge of QAQC software applications will help in placements and defining a job profile too. Some colleges even offer associate degrees in quality control management. To be associated with the pharmaceutical or the medicine field one needs to do certain laboratory related studies. This not only increases their knowledge but also improves analytical skills.
A QAQC job needs a skill set of great communication, good hand and eye co-ordination, and very good vision. One should be able to analyze and interpret data, reports, and blueprints. This will help to conclude specifications, formula, inspection processes, and other methods of making adjustments.
The quality control executive needs to be good at interpersonal relationships but extremely firm and should have good perceptive ability.
QAQC training is usually based on the responsibilities given to the new recruit by the employer. The training for new checkers include the use of special meters, quality control methods, gauges, blueprint reading, safety norms, knowledge of instruments, computers, and reporting methods and techniques. There is certain post secondary QAQC training too that the employers usually prefer to train while on the job.
QAQC training is more formal now with the advent of International organization of standardization. Certification from these organizations helps one to pursue and advance within the occupation.
The complicated and the complex positions of testing are usually filled by experts or experienced individuals. Experience and thorough knowledge of assembly line and manufacturing process are the preferred candidates for the responsible positions.
Around 500,000 jobs were held by quality control inspectors in the year 2006, but the jobs are set to recline in demand till 2016 due to ever increasing dependence on automated testing and redistribution of work from the inspectors to the production employees. In some industries however, where one need to depend on the look, feel, smell, taste, and appearance, the quality controllers are still very much in demand and the requirement is even set to increase.
The median hourly salary of a quality control inspector is about $14.50. The lowest 10% earn about eight dollars while the top 10% earn up to twenty four dollars or a little more hourly.
Though the QAQC jobs may be on a decline in certain mechanical based industries due to automation and redistribution of work, it is still very much in demand in industries that need the human touch and feel. With great perception and color discrimination abilities you can surely achieve your dreams as a quality control inspector.