How Do I Become a Quality Assurance Manager?
For businesses to make sure their products and services meet the highest standards, they need to employ quality assurance managers. Keep reading to find out more about the skills you’ll need to enter this field and discover if quality assurance manager jobs are the right fit for you.
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Degree | HND
What do quality assurance manager jobs involve?
Quality assurance managers are responsible for quality control within an organisation, ensuring that the product or service being provided meets internal and external requirements. These requirements can range from legal compliance and health and safety regulations to customer expectations.
Your daily duties will vary depending on the industry you’re in, as well as the nature of your role. Activities you may be involved in include establishing quality procedures and specifications, reviewing customer requirements, highlighting areas of weakness and suggesting ways to improve, testing products and processes, determining training needs and looking at ways of improving general efficiency. Depending on the size of the organisation, you could also find yourself managing a team of quality control technicians.
What is a quality assurance manager’s salary?
Salaries for this role can vary, depending on the sector, location and organisation you’re working for. Starting salaries are usually between £23,000 and £30,000 per year, with this increasing as you progress through your career.
More experienced professionals can see their salary increase to between £40,000 and £55,000 per year, with some senior managers achieving even more.
These figures are intended as a guideline only.
What skills do I need?
Quality assurance manager jobs require excellent planning and organisation skills, and you’ll need to pride yourself on your problem-solving abilities. Relevant technical skills are essential, but these will vary depending on the industry you’re working in.
You’ll need good IT and maths skills and a solid understanding of statistics and analysis.
If you’re going to be working in a larger organisation with a team, it’s important to have leadership skills and be able to motivate those around you.
What qualifications do I need?
Most employers will require you to have a minimum of an undergraduate degree or HND to enter this field, as well as relevant experience in that industry.
Graduates from any subject can be accepted, but some areas may be more helpful than others. Degrees that include quality management modules can give you a good head start. Certain sectors, such as science, technology and engineering, may require more industry-specific qualifications.
Some employers will offer postgraduate training schemes, offering you the chance to fast-track your career progression, gaining experience while also working towards an additional qualification.
What are the hours and conditions?
Working hours may differ from one sector to another. For some, it’ll be normal office hours, working Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. However, others may require you to work in shifts, covering 7 days a week. In these roles, it’s common to work outside of normal office hours, with early starts and late finishes the norm.
Where you are based will also vary according to the sector you’re in. You might find yourself based mainly out of an office, but could also spend time in a factory production line or quality control lab.
There are excellent opportunities available within quality assurance for those willing to put in the time and effort. With enough relevant experience, you could move into a senior management position, or opt to become a freelance consultant. Many people will move into management roles in other areas of the business, such as health and safety or production.
A good way to broaden your career horizons and boost your earning potential is to gain a professional qualification or seek membership of a trade body, such as the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) or Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Areas of specialism
Quality assurance managers are required across multiple industries, meaning there are lots of opportunities to specialise in a specific field, from engineering and manufacturing to financial services and education.