Quality Control Technician

Quality Control Technicians ensure that your food will not make you sick, that your car will run properly, and that your pants will not split the first time you wear them. These workers monitor or audit quality standards for virtually all manufactured products, including foods, textiles, clothing, glassware, motor vehicles, electronic components, computers, and structural steel. As product quality becomes increasingly important to the success of many manufacturing firms, daily duties of Quality Control Technicians place more focus on this aspect of their jobs.

Quality Control Technicians work to guarantee the quality of the goods their firms produce. Specific job duties vary across the wide range of industries in which these workers are found. Quality Control Technicians may check products by sight, sound, feel, smell, or even taste to locate imperfections such as cuts, scratches, missing pieces, or crooked seams. These workers may verify dimensions, color, texture, strength, or other physical characteristics of objects. They may also generally verify that parts fit, move correctly, and are properly lubricated; check the pressure of gases and the level of liquids; test the flow of electricity; and do a test run to check for proper operation of a machine or piece of equipment. Some jobs involve only a quick visual inspection; others require a longer, detailed one. Quality Control Technicians may separate goods according to length, size, fabric type, or color, while samplers test or inspect a sample taken from a batch or production run for malfunctions or defects. They might weigh quantities of materials for use in production. They may also repeatedly test existing products or prototypes under real-world conditions. Through these tests, companies determine how long a product will last, what parts will break down first, and how to improve durability.

Quality Control Technicians are involved at every stage of the production process. Some examine materials received from a supplier before sending them to the production line. Others inspect components and assemblies or perform a final check on the finished product. Depending on their skill level, Quality Control Technicians also may set up and test equipment, calibrate precision instruments, repair defective products, or record data.