QA Manager Job Description
QA managers develop and direct quality assurance procedures so that a company’s products meet internal and external standards before shipment to customers. QA managers work in a variety of industries ranging from manufacturing to software development, play a vital role in establishing processes and standards, and ensure that QA teams adhere to these guidelines.
QA managers tend to have extensive experience in quality control and assurance, along with excellent team leadership and coordination skills to drive their teams to success. This role is essential to producing reliable and durable products and maintaining a positive reputation among consumers.
QA Manager Duties and Responsibilities
While the day-to-day duties of a QA manager can depend on their organization and industry, we found that most job postings share several core duties:
Establish Quality Assurance Procedures
One of the most significant responsibilities of a QA manager is to establish and enact quality assurance procedures and methodologies throughout the manufacturing and development processes. QA managers assess current production and inspection systems and develop new solutions to enhance quality control, frequently working with production managers and other leaders to enact and improve these procedures.
Direct Quality Control Personnel
QA managers direct and coordinate quality assurance and quality control personnel, instructing them on new or revised procedures and systems and providing oversight during the QA process. The QA manager may directly assist with these processes and work closely with team members to ensure that they are correctly utilizing QA methodologies and systems. They also take corrective actions when they identify issues on the team.
Report Quality Issues to Production Management Personnel
To support manufacturing and production activities, QA managers report recurring quality issues to production managers and other personnel. This helps ensure that manufacturing errors and production issues don’t negatively impact delivery timelines or cause delays within the manufacturing process. QA managers frequently work with these production managers to devise and implement solutions.
Maintain Quality Assurance Records
QA managers maintain detailed records of quality assurance activities and issues. Many QA managers present these reports to supervisors and business leaders periodically to highlight production issues or devise improved processes and procedures. Additionally, these reports provide comprehensive records of quality assurance activities and help businesses determine what’s working and what needs to be corrected within the production and manufacturing environment.
Analyze Production and Quality Control Reports
QA managers support and enhance performance by analyzing and assessing quality control and assurance data. In this aspect of the role, the QA manager finds patterns and areas for improvements based on QA data over time and utilizes these reports to improve processes and performance. The QA manager determines whether their teams are meeting targets, delivering expected performance levels, and maintaining overall workflow throughout the production cycle.
Identify Opportunities to Enhance Efficiency
Finally, QA managers support overall production and manufacturing efficiency by identifying opportunities to enhance productivity. While this duty relates to many of the job’s other tasks, many QA managers take a more active, hands-on role in implementing cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing solutions both in quality assurance procedures and production activities as a whole.
QA Manager Skills and Qualifications
QA managers need a high level of attention to detail as well as the ability to lead teams and improve procedures. Companies tend to hire QA managers with at least an associate’s degree and the following skills:
- Quality assurance – a solid foundation in quality assurance is a necessity in this role, since QA managers need to thoroughly understand processes in order to develop improved and effective procedures
- Team coordination – QA managers direct and oversee personnel within their departments, so effective leadership, coordination, and motivation skills are vital
- Process enhancement – effective QA managers constantly find ways to streamline processes and boost efficiency, so they should have extensive knowledge of process improvement and enhancement
- Organization skills – this role requires a high degree of organization to successfully direct and oversee all quality assurance procedures and coordinate production processes
- Communication skills – effective verbal and written communication is also important in this role, as QA managers provide reports to production managers and business leaders to influence decision-making
QA Manager Education and Training
Generally, QA managers need at least an associate’s degree in a related subject, but a bachelor’s degree in a field such as quality assurance or manufacturing management can help applicants secure a position. Many QA managers begin in a different role within an organization’s quality assurance structure before gaining experience and advancing to a management role.
Additionally, a master’s in business administration can prepare QA managers for this role’s leadership responsibilities. While not required, certification through the American Society for Quality can provide advancement and career opportunities.
QA Manager Salary and Outlook
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide specific salary data for QA managers, both Glassdoor and PayScale have gathered data from individuals working this job. However, because this role exists in a variety of industries and company sizes, there is significant variance in average salaries. Glassdoor provides an estimated annual salary of $96,342 based on 5,155 salaries, while PayScale’s average annual salary is $75,495 based on 5,852 reported salaries.
The BLS estimates that employment for industrial production managers will have little to no change through 2026, while employment for quality control inspectors will decline 11 percent in the same period.
We searched the web and found many resources if you’re interested in learning more about a career as a QA manager:
American Society for Quality – ASQ is a professional organization for quality control and assurance professionals that offers resources, certification, and opportunities to connect with others in the field
Quality Assurance: Applying Methodologies for Launching New Products, Services, and Customer Satisfaction – author D. H. Stamatis discusses effective quality assurance practices and procedures in any industry
“9 Ways to Lead as a QA Manager” – read about the leadership aspects of the QA manager’s role and discover tips for effective team coordination and process enhancement
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager – industry experts Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood explore project management for leaders who coordinate and manage projects in a variety of industries
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