What Is a Quality Assurance Technician? Jobs, Skills, Salary

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A quality assurance technician helps companies meet quality standards and stay in compliance with the law. Find out what they do, how much they make, and where they work.

[Featured image] A quality assurance technician in a white shirt takes notes while working in front of a laptop computer.

A quality assurance technician helps companies maintain standards and comply with the regulations governing their industry and business. These roles are essential for companies that want to meet established standards and guidelines so their customers receive quality goods and services. If you're a natural problem solver with an eye for detail, this career may be a good fit for you.

Read more: Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: Choosing the Right Career Path

What is a quality assurance technician?

A quality assurance technician's primary job is to ensure the products and services a company offers meet corporate, industry, and government standards. In this critical role, you may examine products, inspect the equipment, talk with employees, and write reports.

You may notice that some companies use the terms quality assurance technician and quality control technician interchangeably. This occurs because the roles share similar responsibilities. However, they may have different levels of responsibility within an organization. A quality assurance technician typically has a broader role within the company and may oversee facets like the production process or testing equipment. In contrast, a quality control technician may focus more on the quality of specific products.

Read more: Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: Choosing the Right Career Path

What does a quality assurance technician do?

Quality assurance technicians' daily tasks consist of performing quality checks at various stages of development. You will find that the responsibilities can vary and include the following:

  • Verify employees are following standards set by the company, industry regulators, and government agencies.

  • Ensure the company's processes and systems comply with local, state, and federal laws.

  • Inspect products and services during all stages of production.

  • Write reports to share observations about compliance and recommend changing the systems and processes as necessary.

  • Calibrate quality control measures to make sure they function properly.

  • Identify ways to improve existing processes and systems to improve quality and consistency.

  • Train employees to understand regulations, follow procedures, and work within systems.

Where do quality assurance technicians work?

Quality assurance technician jobs can be found across various fields, including manufacturing, technology, food service, and science. Some quality assurance technicians choose to specialize in a particular product and work in a related field. For example, a quality assurance technician in the food service industry may work in a restaurant as an expeditor, in a chain restaurant's corporate office, or in a food manufacturing facility as a food inspector. In each role, you're responsible for making sure the finished product (in this case, food) meets quality standards.

You can find quality assurance technicians at work in many different types of companies. The list below underscores the wide range of their work.

  • Agriculture: In agricultural companies, quality assurance technicians may inspect farms and ranches to verify that the food produced uses proper equipment and sanitary conditions. They also may confirm details like the weight and nutrient content printed on food labels.

  • Manufacturing: A quality assurance technician may examine products after they come off the assembly line to verify that they are safe for the consumer. They also may inspect the equipment and systems used in the production process to ensure they work correctly and comply with regulations. 

  • Restaurants and food service: Quality assurance technicians work in all levels of the food service industry, from manufacturing facilities to corporate offices and restaurants. Typically, their job is to ensure the food they serve is consistent and the food they produce is safe for consumption.

  • Services: Businesses sometimes rely on quality assurance technicians to monitor the quality of their services. In these roles, they may contact clients to discuss their experience with the company or train employees to follow specific procedures when performing services.

How to get quality assurance technician jobs

To become a quality assurance technician, you’ll likely need some education and work experience in a position that requires similar skills. Some companies hire quality assurance technicians with a high school diploma or GED, offering job training for entry-level roles. Others may expect you to have a bachelor's degree related to the industry you plan to work in. For example, a computer science degree may be helpful if you plan to work as a software quality assurance technician or a QA automation tester.

Quality assurance technicians work in many different departments outside the factory floor. You can find jobs in customer service, marketing, product design, training, and more. As you browse jobs, you may notice that many employers ask that you have at least a year of experience in the industry you are seeking to work in. Your experience working as a customer service representative can come in handy for a job that has you evaluating the scripts and flowcharts used in a customer service department.

Quality assurance skills

The following list includes quality assurance skills you should know or have in order to pursue this career:

  • Collaboration

  • Written and verbal communication

  • Data analysis, data collection, data visualization

  • Attention to detail

  • Organization

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

You also may need some industry-specific skills. For example, someone conducting quality testing in a factory inspecting equipment may find it helpful to understand how machines operate. Someone working in pharmaceutical manufacturing will likely need to know current Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

Read more: What Is a QA Tester? Skills, Requirements, and Jobs in 2023

Quality assurance technician salary

The median salary for a quality assurance technician is $44,195. Salaries for these positions can vary and range from $40,000 to $55,000 per year [1]. Some companies may offer bonuses or commissions that can increase your salary.

Read more: Quality Assurance Specialist Salary: Your 2023 Guide

Maintaining quality standards and compliance with laws and regulations is essential to companies, and you can find many career options within the realm of QA. These include product testers, samplers, weighers, supervisors, and executives. The following list demonstrates the range of quality assurance jobs alongside their average base salary.

  • Construction and building inspector - $64,480 [2]

  • Industrial engineering technologist - $61,210 [2]

  • Fire Inspector - $65,800 [3]

  • Logistician - $77,520 [2]

  • Quality assurance analyst - $124,200 [5]

  • Quality control inspector - $43,900 [4]

  • Software tester - $124,200 [5]

Prepare for your career as a quality assurance technician with Coursera

If you're ready to start a career as a quality assurance technician, you may begin by exploring different fields. A course like Foundations of Software Testing and Validation from the University of Leeds or Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety from George Washington University can provide an overview of what quality assurance professionals in industries like software and health care do.

You might also consider earning a certificate for completing the Six Sigma Yellow Belt Specialization. Six Sigma is a popular quality management strategy. The courses you'll take will explore tools used to define, measure, and analyze, as well as provide an overview of the Six Sigma process and principles that you can apply in a quality assurance role.

Article sources


Glassdoor. "How Much Does a Quality Assurance Technician Make? https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/quality-assurance-technician-salary-SRCH_KO0,28.htm." Accessed February 22, 2024.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.