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Become A Product Assurance Engineer

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Working As A Product Assurance Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Assurance Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Product Assurance Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Product Assurance Engineer Career Paths

Product Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Automation Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Project Leader Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Manager, Quality Engineer
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Manufacturing Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Lead Quality Supervisor
Assistant Manager Of Quality
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Manager, Quality Engineer
Quality Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Senior Design Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Test Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Product Assurance Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Graduate Engineer 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Product Assurance Engineer
Engineer 6.9%
Technician 2.6%
Top Careers After Product Assurance Engineer
Manager 4.5%
Engineer 2.7%

Do you work as a Product Assurance Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
Show Salaries
$67,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$129,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
ManTech International
Highest Paying City
Santa Cruz, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Product Assurance Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Product Assurance Engineer in the United States is $93,468 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $67,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $129,000.

Real Product Assurance Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Product Assurance Engineer Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Camarillo, CA Mar 01, 2011 $110,000
Product Assurance Engineer EAPT Solutions, Inc. Piscataway, NJ Jul 02, 2015 $109,000 -
$110,000
Software Product Assurance Engineer IGT Reno, NV Nov 12, 2015 $108,534 -
$120,496
Product Assurance Engineer EAPT Solutions, Inc. Piscataway, NJ Aug 30, 2012 $108,368
Product Assurance Engineer ZL Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Aug 26, 2016 $97,500
Software Product Assurance Engineer IGT Reno, NV Feb 19, 2016 $93,829 -
$104,779
Product Assurance Engineer/Manager Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. Livermore, CA Sep 13, 2013 $90,705
SW Product Assurance Engineer Plantronics, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA Nov 17, 2014 $88,400 -
$130,000
Lead Product Assurance Engineer Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Roseland, NJ Nov 13, 2012 $86,210
Software Product Assurance Engineer Plantronics, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA Mar 12, 2012 $85,000
Product Assurance Engineer Celigo Inc. San Mateo, CA Mar 14, 2016 $85,000
Software Product Assurance Engineer IGT, Inc. Reno, NV Mar 17, 2015 $83,450 -
$104,779
Lead Product Assurance Engineer Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Jul 25, 2010 $83,018
Lead Product Assurance Engineer Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Roseland, NJ Mar 24, 2011 $82,400
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 08, 2015 $77,563
Software Product Assurance Engineer IGT Las Vegas, NV Jan 20, 2015 $76,648 -
$104,779
Software Product Assurance Engineer Plantronics, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA Mar 09, 2015 $74,900 -
$130,000
Software Product Assurance Engineer Plantronics, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA Sep 03, 2015 $74,900 -
$130,000
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Atlanta, GA May 20, 2015 $73,237
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Atlanta, GA Apr 07, 2015 $73,237
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 28, 2014 $72,363
Software Product Assurance Engineer III IGT, Inc. Reno, NV Jan 02, 2012 $69,853 -
$104,779
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Portland, OR Oct 01, 2014 $69,451
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 28, 2014 $69,056
Product Assurance Engineer Vertisystem Inc. Las Vegas, NV Jan 15, 2012 $67,579
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Bothell, WA Aug 19, 2014 $67,350
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Bothell, WA Aug 23, 2014 $67,350
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Bothell, WA Aug 22, 2014 $67,350
Product Assurance Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Bothell, WA May 23, 2015 $67,350

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Top Skills for A Product Assurance Engineer

  1. Test Cases
  2. Test Procedures
  3. Product Assurance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and utilized detailed Test Plans, Test Cases, and Level-of-Effort proposals per protocol changes and appropriate regression analysis.
  • Created and implemented hardware and software design test procedures and provided results and recommendations to engineering.
  • Selected by Management to act as Product Assurance Representative for Patriot Missile configuration investigation board and Patriot production engineering review committee.
  • Conducted compliance and certification audits for Supplier Quality System Requirements and oversight for the incorporation of engineering change notices.
  • Investigated customer reports of unsatisfactory product performance and recommended corrective action.

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Top 10 Best States for Product Assurance Engineers

  1. Texas
  2. Colorado
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Idaho
  9. Michigan
  10. Washington
  • (2,098 jobs)
  • (641 jobs)
  • (492 jobs)
  • (5,467 jobs)
  • (1,203 jobs)
  • (595 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (839 jobs)
  • (868 jobs)

Product Assurance Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.8%

Female

22.2%

Unknown

4.0%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Asian

14.2%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.8%

German

12.5%

French

12.5%

Japanese

6.3%

Carrier

6.3%

Russian

6.3%

Korean

6.3%

Tamil

6.3%
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Product Assurance Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.6%

University of California - San Diego

7.8%

University of Nevada - Reno

6.3%

Arizona State University

6.3%

Villanova University

6.3%

Northeastern University

6.3%

San Jose State University

4.7%

Wayne State University

4.7%

George Washington University

4.7%

Purdue University

4.7%

Stevens Institute of Technology

4.7%

Syracuse University

3.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.1%

City University of Seattle

3.1%

University of Kentucky

3.1%

Southern Methodist University

3.1%

University of Central Florida

3.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.1%

Oregon State University

3.1%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.1%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

22.0%

Business

13.4%

Mechanical Engineering

10.5%

Computer Science

10.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.7%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Computer Information Systems

3.8%

Mathematics

3.3%

Industrial Engineering

3.3%

Management

2.9%

Engineering

2.9%

Project Management

2.9%

Industrial Technology

2.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.4%

Management Information Systems

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Systems Engineering

1.4%

Political Science

1.4%

Management Science

1.4%

Music

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.1%

Masters

25.8%

Other

7.1%

Certificate

5.6%

Associate

4.9%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.4%
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