QA Technician Job Description
A quality assurance technician, or QA technician for short, is responsible for assuring consistent production quality by developing and enforcing good automated manufacturing practice (GAMP) systems, validating processes, performing audits, handling system improvements, providing documentation, and managing staff. Individuals in this role should be extremely thorough, detail-oriented, and enjoy following a workflow process. This role also calls for skilled problem-solvers. Hours vary based on the employer, but often calls for night and weekend shifts.
QA Technician Duties and Responsibilities
While the day-to-day duties of QA technicians are determined by their employer, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these may include:
Process Development and Improvement
This role requires developing quality assurance process plans. QA technicians do this by conducting analyses, identifying critical control points and preventive measures, establishing critical limits, and monitoring procedures, corrective actions, and verification procedures. The new processes are validated by measuring production and the quality attributes that were identified. Improvements are made as necessary.
Writing Process Documentation
Once a process has been fully vetted, QA technicians write and update quality assurance procedures. They supply quality documentation and reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends, including failed processes, stability studies, recalls, corrective actions, and revalidations.
QA technicians regularly perform inspections at their place of work. Depending on the industry, this may include inspections of products, equipment, and machinery. QA technicians then report any issues to ensure accordance with specific work instructions and safety guidelines.
Train New Staff
QA technicians educate coworkers on the proper quality control procedures, train new hires on quality control for product analyses, recordkeeping procedures, and proper inspection and quality control on production lines. Some might oversee and provide work direction to team members.
QA Technician Skills and Qualifications
QA technicians have a passion for details, processes, and organization. The ideal candidate for this role works well with different personality types, enjoys helping others, and can multitask even while paying close attention to details. Employers prefer candidates who possess the following abilities:
- Problem-solving skills – QA technicians are natural problem-solvers who are skilled at identifying potential issues throughout the production process and using their intuition to resolve those issues
- Strong Communication – QA technicians interact with many people, such as supervisors, production teams, product managers, and employees. It is important to be a strong, detailed communicator in a fast-paced environment in order for things to run smoothly.
- Detail Oriented – Successful QA technicians have the ability to focus on details while multi-tasking in a high-pressure, deadline-driven environment. A strong attention to detail is also crucial in any process documentation created by the QA technician.
Tools of the Trade
QA technicians often use the following skills in their work:
- Experience with Microsoft Office programs; particularly strong in Microsoft Excel.
Education and Training
It is preferred that QA technicians have an Associate’s Degree in a technical area, but this is not always required. The level of education necessary for the job heavily depends on what industry a person works in. Previous experience working as a QA technician is also preferred by most employers. Hands on training, especially for specific software that one will use and company protocols, is typically offered by employers.
Salary and Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual wage for QA technicians as $17.95 per hour, or $37,340 per year. This can vary based on what industry, state, or country one works in. Employment of quality control inspectors is projected to decline 11 percent from 2016 to 2026. Continued improvements in technology allow manufacturers to automate inspection tasks, increasing workers’ productivity and reducing the demand for inspectors.
There are many helpful resources available for those interested in careers as QA technicians. Please review the links below for valuable information and the latest industry news.
The Quality Technician’s Handbook (6th Edition) – An ASQ best-seller, THE QUALITY TECHNICIAN’S HANDBOOK, 6/ecovers the core skills that contribute to ongoing quality at the technician level. More comprehensive than competitive texts, it breaks down technical topics into easy-to-follow directions, many of them presented with step-by-step instructions and intuitive visuals.
Achieving your Assessment and Quality Assurance Units (TAQA) (Further Education and Skills) 2nd Edition – Previously known as Achieving Your TAQA Assessor and Internal Quality Assurer Award, this new edition of the focused and comprehensive text written for TAQA learners and all trainee assessors and quality assurers is another essential support text from bestselling author Ann Gravells. The content covers all assessor and quality assurance units and is easy-to-read and clearly structured.
Society of Quality Assurance (SQA) – SQA is an association of over 2,000 professionals who are dedicated to implementing Good Clinical Practices (GCPs), Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) with industry, governments, academia and consulting.
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