Thinking of applying for the job as a quality assurance manager? This article will provide you the information on this job title: the job description, skills needed, salaries, education, and several more. Before we look into the information of this job, let’s have a closer look at what quality assurance entails first.
Quality is a difficult term to be interpreted generally. It refers to how aspects of the products meet the expectations in terms of the functions, design, reliability, and several other criteria relevant to the nature of the product. Different products or services may comprise of different quality to be considered of. Despite being difficult to be defined, this does not eliminate the importance of setting up minimum requirements or standards for service and products delivered by the organization. Aside from the services, the quality of the performance and operations internal to the company should also be looked into. Quality assurance is a fundamental aspect in any organization or company. It refers to the certainty that the product or service delivered by the company meets the customers’ expectations and works well as they should. This term is not only revolved around the internal requirements established inside the organizations but also pertaining to the quality for services or any processes of production or delivery offered to their customers or other relevant stakeholders.
Hence, the person who primarily works in maintaining and managing the quality assurance of an organization or company is known as a quality assurance manager.
What is a Quality Assurance Manager?
The main task of a quality assurance manager is to ensure that the products and services delivered by an organization meet the standards and requirements created. The standards established may vary between an organization from the others depending on the type of services or products offered by them. Although the same service is delivered by two different companies, the standard may even differ depending on the internal organization and planning. Hence, it is the quality assurance manager’s role in coming up with the standards as well as ensuring the accessibility, reliability, and performance offered meet the requirements established before delivering the service to the customers or any stakeholders involved.
The common task of a quality assurance manager, no matter which field they belong to, is to reduce waste produced by the organizations to sustain profit and efficiency. They are in charge to document and record the processes conducted while simultaneously making sure the minimum requirements are met. Aside from the quality assurance related, they are also the ones to provide assistance for staff in the quality assurance department, since their job title is also as a manager. They have to train, manage, supervise, and also assess the performance of the quality assurance teams. That aside, they also are the ones in charge of hiring new candidates for the organization’s quality assurance team. In simpler words, they are the human resource figure for the quality assurance team members.
Nowadays, quality assurance manager’s jobs are nonphysical and they work heavily on collecting data, using computers, as well as communicating with many relevant parties. Their tasks demand indoor settings and mostly work in normal business hours.
Quality Assurance Manager Job Description
A quality assurance manager is the leading figure of the quality assurance department in an organization. Hence, their responsibilities are not only to ensure the quality offered in the organizations but also to lead and manage the team responsible for the quality assurance or quality control in a company.
The following are several examples of a quality assurance manager’ tasks and responsibilities:
- Presenting, negotiating, and setting up specifications on internal quality operations
- Hiring new team members for the quality assurance department
- Deciding the needs of training or coaching
- Developing quality assurance processes and standards in an organization
- Implementing the processes for quality assurance for the reliability, functions, and quality before the services or goods are delivered
- Sustaining the quality assurance standards are met
- Managing activities related to quality
- Ensuring improvements are made regularly
- Maintaining the progress of works and processes related to quality improvement
- Establishing specific metrics pertaining to the quality of business
- Monitoring the performances based on the metrics and standards established
- Ensuring the standards of quality established are met
- Providing training for staffs in the quality assurance department
- Monitoring the schedules and operations of the related department
- Evaluating the performance and milestones of the department
- Pinpointing the issues, defects, or malfunctions that occurred in the services or goods delivered by the organization
- Coming up with decisions and solutions for when issues or malfunctions occurred
- Providing feedback to improve the performance and work quality
- Supervising and arranging the processes for product testing
- Being part of the product testing team
- Ensuring compliance with local policies and regulations
- Mediating the information from quality assurance teams to the other relevant staff or the appropriate department
Other examples of more specific tasks may be related to the field the quality assurance manager works in. Another factor that may add up the tasks is the demand or requirement by the organization itself.
Quality Assurance Manager Skills
In becoming an efficient quality assurance manager, there are several skills that are highly needed to accomplish their jobs. Some of the examples listed below are the skills derived from resumes as well as examples from the job description posted by employers. While it is important for a quality assurance manager to be equipped with technical skills to fulfill their essential responsibilities in assuring qualities of the organization’s operations, it is equally crucial to be complemented with several other examples of soft skills to boost performance.
The following are some examples of skills needed to become a great quality assurance manager:
- Quality assurance
- Product quality
- Training materials
- Training programs
- Regulatory compliance skills
- Quality improvement
- Auditing skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Leadership skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Time management skills
- Communication skills
- Analytical skills
- Creativity skills
These are several examples of skills that need to be possessed by a quality assurance manager to perform their responsibilities efficiently. However, these skills may be narrowed down further depending on the sector or industry to which the organization belongs to. For example, a quality assurance manager working in the health industry may need to possess more specific supplementary skills related to the mentioned industry. This usually should be listed in detail from the job description of the employers who are hiring.
Quality Assurance Manager Salary
The following are the salaries for the quality assurance manager based on the locations in US and from the experiences.
- Average base salary in US
According to PayScale, the average salary earned by a quality assurance manager is $81,083 in a year. The base salary ranges from $52k to $123k while the bonus that may be earned is from $989 to $16k. The profit-sharing on the other hand ranges from $513 until $10k as for the commission, it could reach up to $12k. As for the total pay, on the other hand, which is the combination of the base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit-sharing, commissions, and any other case earnings, it could range from $48k to $129k.
Quality assurance managers working in San Francisco, California may earn an average of 55.6% more than the local average. The other places with higher pay are in Boston, Massachusetts, which is 32.9% higher and Houston, Texas is 10.7% higher than the national average. As for the places with lower pay than average, the examples are in Orlando, Florida (13% lower), Portland, Oregon (11% lower), Miami, Florida (13%), and several more.
- Pay by Experience level
In terms of pay by experience level, it could be categorised into five different classes, namely entry level, early career, mid-career, late career, and experienced. Entry level with less than 1 year of experience may earn an average of $58k while with 1 until 4 years of experience, or early career category, they can expect to earn approximately $66k. Mid-career, who are quality assurance manager with 5 to 9 years of experience earns an average total of $78k. with 10 to 19 years of experience, or also known as late career, they may earn an average of $91k. For the last category, experienced with more than 20 years of experience, you may expect to earn an average of $94k.
Data retrieved from Payscale (www.payscale.com)
Certifications for Quality Assurance Manager
A quality assurance manager should be well-versed with various topics since they are one of the internal specialists in an organization. There are many certifications offered across the country which are related to this job title. Attaining these certifications will not only provide you with fundamental insights for your job but also be an important bonus point for your career. A quality assurance manager may review and acquire the certifications which are related to the emphasis of their job scopes.
These are some of the certifications related to the quality assurance manager:
- Certified Test Engineer (CSTE)
- Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA)
- Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST)
- Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ)
- International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
- Certified Quality Manager (CQM)
Nowadays, it is easier to access the certification courses since some relevant courses or certifications are offered even online.
Tools and Software for Quality Assurance Manager
Getting the most reliable quality assurance tools or software is crucial to ensure quality control. There are several examples of tools and software commonly used in quality assurance management in companies. For instance, Microsoft Office Suite, AltexSoft, MasterControl, SpiraTest, Novade, and many more.
These software or tools are used to observe the processes to sustain quality. Some of the functions of these tools are to provide clear visibility of quality status operating in an organization and to smoothen the processes for deviations, corrections, and preventions. Utilizing tools and software may also ease the work of detecting any defects occurring and providing a real-time update of the reports. That aside, most are equipped with features allowing accessibility for information on quality for all parties related.
Quality Assurance Manager Education and Career Requirements
Usually, a quality assurance manager’s qualification is a bachelor’s degree while some others may have a master’s degree. The most common majors sought by employers are business administration, industrial engineering, human resources management, elementary education, psychology, accounting, assisting services, communication, and so forth.
Several examples of educational institutions that offer relevant courses for a future quality assurance manager are University of Pennsylvania, San Diego State University, Northwestern University, Boston University, University of Minnesota, and many more.
While education qualifications may be and additional points to be successfully hired, extensive training and experience may be another factor to be considered. In most cases, to become a quality assurance manager, experience in related jobs such as customer service representative, training manager, assistant manager, supervisor, training specialist, team leader, or manager is required. These are several instances of previous career experience that may increase your eligibility to become a quality assurance manager. The common requirement of experience in applying for a quality assurance title ranges from three to five years of experience in the related field. Being knowledgeable or experienced in industry standards is another additional value required to improve your candidacy as a quality assurance manager.