Quality control (QC) technicians are a crucial part of almost all manufacturing operations. Contrary to what some believe, they are not only involved as a final check before a product goes out the door; they are also responsible for verifying the quality of the basic materials received (as using a flawed material in the production process will inevitably result in a flawed end product) as well as every step in the manufacturing process.
Essentially, their job is to bring any quality issues to the attention of whoever is in charge of that manufacturing step, and make sure it gets fixed before too many items are produced with a given flaw. They need a keen eye for detail and will use many finely-calibrated tools to perform their duties, such as micrometers, inspection lamps and highly accurate scales.
Depending on what industry the QC technician is working in, they may need to have any of a number of different qualifications. For example, ISO certifications are fairly common in this field as are QSC certifications. Basic skills with a computer are almost always a must, and most types of QC technicians need to have adequate levels of personal mobility so that they can easily move around a manufacturing facility and access the various stages of the production process or assembly line.
There can also be a significant level of specialized knowledge required, again depending upon the industry involved. For example, in the metals industry, they may need a strong knowledge of alloys, tempering techniques or welding. In the pharmaceutical industry, knowledge of chemistry, biology or various lab equipment may be required.
Most QC technician positions require at least a bachelor's degree, and most employers prefer previous experience in the quality control field. Most importantly, QC technicians need to have excellent communication skills. If they are shutting down a production line, they need to be able to communicate not only with management about why they are shutting it down, but also with the engineers and techs along the line so they understand how to rectify the problem that is stopping production.
Quality Control (QC) Technician Tasks
- Support factory quality engineers and managers with customer and supplier issues.
- Calibrate and maintain all gauges and test machines.
- Perform routine testing to ensure quality and adherence to regulations and standards.
- Conduct risk assessment and corrective action solutions.