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What Is a Quality Control Technician?

A quality control technician working.
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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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A quality control (QC) technician is a person who makes sure that a product and its manufacturing process meet a company's quality and safety standards. These technicians are usually charged with making sure that the manufacturing process operates effectively and safely. They ensure that materials and manufacturing machinery are in proper order and help train production personnel to follow quality and safety practices. A quality control technician is also responsible for making sure that the workers follow the guidelines they are taught. When a failure does occur, a quality control technician is typically expected to make sure that an unsafe product does not reach consumers by correcting the error or keeping the product off the market.

Quality control can involve multiple tests during manufacturing to make sure no mistakes occur. This type of technician generally tests manufacturing materials and equipment before the manufacturing process, and conducts tests during manufacturing to make sure everything is running smoothly. Catching a mistake during the manufacturing process gives workers time to correct the problem, and avoids wasted time and raw materials. Quality control workers are also expected to observe production personnel to make sure they are doing things correctly. After manufacturing has completed, the QC technician usually inspects the final product to make sure that it meets quality standards.

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On a large production line, a company will often have multiple quality control inspectors that supervise specific segments of the production process. A safety technician is a quality control technician whose job focuses mainly on keeping the production process and final product safe. In contrast, a quality control engineer is the worker who makes sure that the process and its mechanical parts are efficiently designed, maintained, and repaired in order to ensure safe operation and a quality product. A product inspector looks at the final product on the production line and makes sure that it meets quality and safety standards set by the company and government.

Performing the duties of a quality control technician often requires a skilled hand at recording data. Quality control personnel use data spreadsheets to understand how to best tweak the system for the highest level of quality and efficiency. These technicians often have a degree in math and are skilled at inputting data into computer spreadsheet programs.

Quality control is important in manufacturing because it makes sure that products are safe and that no one is hurt in the process of making them. Many governmental authorities have established quality standards for certain industries — especially food and children's toys. Quality control workers are a company's barrier against unleashing a dangerously defective product or carrying out an inferior manufacturing process. A failure in the quality control process can mean injured customers or workers, contaminated products, or faulty product construction.

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anon348320
Post 4

I work in a similar place. We make plastic cups used in restaurants all across the country. I'm fairly new and still getting used to the fast paced job. We have to check for many of the same contaminants you mentioned as well as print quality issues. There's a lot of paperwork and personal accountability. Much different than working the floor. Any general tips for a new guy?

QCReject
Post 3

That's a well put together general description of the Quality Technician's role.

As one of the old timer Quality Techs, I get asked a lot about what it takes to get into the business. The answer depends on the exact field they're trying to break into, but they all require a good head for paperwork, a solid grasp of the techniques being applied, and especially thick skin as Production and Quality are almost always a tightrope act.

Vaclav
Post 2

@jessica500- Sounds like you had an interesting job. Since you did industrial quality control, did it pay well? You mentioned it being stressful sometimes and having a lot of responsibility, so I am assuming the pay was pretty decent.

jessica500
Post 1

I once worked in a plastics factory in the quality control department. I had to do quality inspections on all different types of bottles in the plant.

I usually took around 12 samples from each batch to perform tests on. I used to look for rough plastic, dirt, metal pieces, etc. Our goal was to try to keep the plastic free of defects and to make sure it was safe to put products in.

We made bottles for food, medicine, and pool chemicals. The food and medicine bottles were really the top priority. I enjoyed my job but it was stressful at times because of the strict standards.

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