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Become A Product Quality Engineer

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Working As A Product Quality 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

  • $81,059

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Quality 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 Quality 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 Quality Engineer jobs

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Product Quality Engineer Career Paths

Product Quality Engineer
Quality Assurance Manager Production Manager Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Engineering Director
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Senior Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Production Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Customer Quality Engineer Senior Quality Engineer Quality Supervisor
Plant/Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Quality Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Quality Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Engineer Senior Project Manager Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Operations Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager Director Of Quality
Vice-President Of Quality
15 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Quality Manager 4.0 years
Product Engineer 3.6 years
Process Engineer 3.5 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Quality Lead 3.1 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 5.0%
Internship 3.8%
Top Employers After
Manager 2.7%

Product Quality Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.0%

Female

21.2%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

68.7%

Asian

15.5%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.5%

German

15.0%

French

12.5%

Portuguese

7.5%

Swedish

5.0%

Dutch

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Arabic

5.0%

Chinese

2.5%

Sanskrit

2.5%

Kannada

2.5%

Amharic

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Hindi

2.5%

Polish

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Tamil

2.5%
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Product Quality Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

8.6%

Purdue University

8.6%

Arizona State University

5.7%

Lehigh University

5.7%

University of Texas at Austin

5.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.8%

University of Cincinnati

4.8%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.8%

Ohio State University

4.8%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.8%

Wayne State University

4.8%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

University of Phoenix

4.8%

Northeastern University

4.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Virginia

3.8%

Michigan State University

3.8%

Colorado State University

3.8%

Cornell University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

19.6%

Mechanical Engineering

16.6%

Electrical Engineering

14.7%

Industrial Technology

8.0%

Industrial Engineering

6.7%

Project Management

4.0%

Chemical Engineering

3.8%

Management

2.9%

Biomedical Engineering

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.4%

Chemistry

2.1%

Finance

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Operations Management

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.5%

Masters

32.1%

Other

10.2%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

2.6%

Doctorate

0.8%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Product Quality Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Product Quality Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 10, 2011 $155,000
Senior Product Quality Engineer Gopro, Inc. San Mateo, CA Aug 24, 2016 $130,000
Product Quality Engr 3 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Mar 07, 2016 $128,232 -
$135,100
Senior Product Quality Engineer Belkin International, Inc. Vista, CA Apr 14, 2016 $121,248
Quality Product Engineer Rocket Software Waltham, MA May 18, 2016 $120,910 -
$122,110
Product Quality Engr Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 18, 2016 $120,000 -
$140,000
Quality Product Engineer Aryston, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Dec 30, 2013 $119,105
Product Quality Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 03, 2015 $115,000 -
$129,900
Quality Engineer-Mobilevideo Products Skype, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 01, 2011 $115,000
Quality Engineer Mobile Video Products Microsoft Corporation Palo Alto, CA Jan 30, 2012 $115,000
Senior Product Quality Engineer Belkin International Inc. Vista, CA Jun 09, 2014 $110,000 -
$120,000
Product Quality Engineer Leader Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials CMP, Inc., A Subsidiary of The Dow Newark, DE Apr 27, 2016 $105,123 -
$152,652
Senior Product Quality Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 30, 2011 $102,500
Senior Product Quality Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Mar 01, 2010 $100,000
Product Quality Engineer Philips Medical Systems (Cleveland), Inc. Highland Heights, OH Jul 31, 2016 $91,795 -
$128,300
Senior Product (Customer) Quality Engineer RF Micro Devices, Inc. Greensboro, NC Sep 03, 2013 $91,602
Quality and Productivity Engineer (Instructor) Bank of America N.A. Charlotte, NC Oct 01, 2009 $91,000 -
$121,000
Product Quality Engineer Nutanix, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 18, 2014 $91,000
Product Quality Engineer-HPS Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Dec 24, 2012 $90,150
Product Quality Engineer Palantir Technologies Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 01, 2014 $90,000
Product Quality Verification Engineer Third Wave Systems Eden Prairie, MN Aug 08, 2016 $89,900
Specialist, Product and Process Quality Engineer Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation San Diego, CA Aug 21, 2011 $88,899 -
$127,100
Product Engineer-Quality TRW Automotive, Inc. Washington, MI Jul 20, 2015 $79,102
Quality Product Engineer Rocket Software, Inc. Waltham, MA Jan 10, 2016 $78,600
Product Quality Engineer Third Wave Systems Eden Prairie, MN Jul 13, 2016 $78,395
Product Quality Engineer Philips Medical Systems (Cleveland), Inc. Highland Heights, OH Jul 31, 2013 $77,700 -
$128,300
Product Quality Engineer Philips Medical Systems (Cleveland), Inc. Highland Heights, OH Oct 01, 2012 $77,700 -
$128,300
Product Quality Engineer Texas Instruments Incorporated Stafford, TX Sep 06, 2010 $76,800
Product Quality Engineer Control Components Inc. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Jul 09, 2016 $76,579
Product Quality Engineer W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Elkton, MD Oct 01, 2010 $76,014

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Top Skills for A Product Quality Engineer

SupplierQualityProductQualityCorrectiveActionISONewProductDevelopmentFmeaQualityIssuesProcessAuditsPpapApqpQualitySystemControlPlansReliabilityContinuousImprovementProductLinesRDataAnalysisPfmeaSigmaMRB

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Top Product Quality Engineer Skills

  1. Supplier Quality
  2. Product Quality
  3. Corrective Action
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain robust partnerships to ensure Supplier Quality Assurance on a global basis.
  • Developed and presented product quality metrics to assist in manufacturing product and process improvements.
  • Reviewed suppliers SPC programs, recommended corrective action required to upgrade suppliers systems.
  • Ensured improvement and effectiveness of Quality Management System through conducting internal ISO audits.
  • Facilitated with production engineers on new product developments, engineering trials with manufacturing.

Top Product Quality Engineer Employers

Product Quality Engineer Videos

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A Day in the Life - Quality Engineer

A Day in The Life - Product Engineer

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