Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist Salary
Job Description for Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist
Quality assurance specialists work in a variety of fields, including manufacturing (in which this position mostly entails physical labor) and firms that provide a service, such as consulting (where QA specialists develop strategies and techniques to ensure that all clients receive a similar high level of quality and helpfulness). Regardless of the industry in which they work, QA specialists have a keen eye for detail and a strong understanding of their company's manufacturing or service processes.Read More...
QA specialists work closely with members of other branches of the company and at times will report to the board of directors or executives. In communications with these individuals, the QA specialists develop reports documenting any problems or future issues in the quality of products and create a plan of action regarding how to combat and/or address these difficulties.
The requirements to become a QA specialist vary by company but do include base skills and education. For instance, most companies will require a bachelor’s degree in a business related field, such as management or finance. In addition, a company may ask the individual have experience in their field prior to their hiring, so that the applicant is already familiar with production techniques of the industry, etc.
Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist Tasks
- Support quality related customer complaint investigations and trending activities.
- Carry out annual product reviews.
- Support the development and implementation of improved quality reporting measures.
- Perform training in all aspects of Quality Management Systems.
Common Career Paths for Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist
Though it's uncommon, some Quality Assurance Specialists move into roles as Quality Assurance Directors, where pay is an average $109K per year. Quality Assurance Managers or Quality Managers are common next-step roles for Quality Assurance Specialists moving up in their careers; annual pay for Quality Assurance Managers is $20K higher on average, and it's $24K higher for Quality Managers.
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Popular Skills for Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist
Survey results imply that Quality Assurance Specialists deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in GMP Compliance, Regulatory Compliance, Internal Audit, and Quality Improvement / QA are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Those familiar with Quality Assurance / Quality Control also tend to know Regulatory Compliance, Data Analysis, and Microsoft Office. People who know Quality Improvement / QA usually also know Data Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Quality Assurance Specialists — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $44K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $55K. Quality Assurance Specialists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $60K. Quality Assurance Specialists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are no higher than those with 10 to 20 years on the job.
Pay Difference by Location
For Quality Assurance Specialists, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 40 percent above the national average. Quality Assurance Specialists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Minneapolis (+23 percent), Boston (+22 percent), Philadelphia (+19 percent), and Chicago (+11 percent). Trailing the national average by 14 percent, San Antonio is the market with the smallest paychecks. On the whole, employers pay 2 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Phoenix and St. Louis.
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