Manufacturing industries use quality control inspectors, analysts and managers to ensure that all quality standards are being met before, during and after the completion of any process or product. Quality control courses seek to prepare students for a career in this in-demand field by teaching the mechanical and technical skills required for the job, as well as related mathematical concepts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), quality control training typically places an emphasis on math and numerical skills, since knowing how to measure, calibrate and calculate specific measurements is an important component of quality control work. Classes in quality control also teach students how to read and understand documents such as blueprints and manuals.
Skills learned in quality control courses
Due to advances in technology, the BLS states, core job functions learned in quality control courses have evolved. According to data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and BLS, some of the associated skills and technologies include:
- Read blueprints and understand specifications: This skill is important for any quality control worker since blueprints and other materials lay the foundation for manufacturing or production jobs.
- Learn to use the tools of the trade: Quality control courses teach students how to use the many tools required for this profession, including electronic inspection equipment, voltmeters, ammeters and ohmmeters, among others.
- Study basic and complex measuring techniques: The BLS states that quality control professionals must learn to comprehend and take a range of measurements to ensure accuracy and compliance, often using tools such as rulers, gauges, calipers, or micrometers.
- Learn to use industry-specific computer software: According to O*NET Online, quality control analysts must learn how to use and understand computer software such as Laboratory information management system (LIMS) software, LabWare LIMS and Test automation software.
O*NET's breakdown of quality control-related skills includes:
- Proficiency in associated technical equipment
- Mathematical work
- Attention to visual and data detail
Applying quality control training to the job
According to the BLS, professionals in quality control tend to fall into one of two categories:
- Material inspectors who use their experience and expertise to evaluate the physical features of all materials used in any production job.
- Mechanical inspectors who use the skills they learn during quality control training to inspect machinery and all of its moving parts.
Whatever their interest, students in quality control training will typically study a wide range of skills and disciplines that could help them professionally. For example, learning to read blueprints could be applicable to another industry like construction management or engineering.
"Quality Control Inspectors," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/quality-control-inspectors.htm#tab-1
"19-4099.01 - Quality Control Analysts," O*NET Online, May 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-4099.01