What Does a Quality Controller Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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A quality controller inspects products at every stage of production to determine if they conform to standards. This includes tests for internal standards like color consistency and reliable performance as well as safety checks. Any applicable safety regulations are incorporated into the inspection to keep a company’s products within the law. Quality controllers work in manufacturing settings as well as processing facilities. Some government agencies also use quality controllers, primarily in environmental health and safety agencies.

In the case of a manufacturing or processing facility, quality controllers work at every step of the line. They inspect raw ingredients and materials and follow them as they move through the production process. At the end of the line, they test samples to make sure they are of the best possible quality before releasing products for final packaging and distribution. The regular checks increase the chances of finding a problem before a defective product reaches the general public. A high school diploma may be all that is required to become a quality controller, while in other cases an advanced degree is necessary.


Some quality controllers work in food processing. They make sure raw ingredients conform to company standards and are handled safely as they move down the line. Before foods are shipped out, random samples are tested to check for bacterial and other contamination, to make sure they are safe for consumers. If the quality controller identifies a problem, it is possible to recall a lot. Managers may also meet with personnel to discuss how the problem occurred and ways to prevent similar problems in the future.

Manufacturing facilities that produce a variety of finished products also need quality control. Technicians make sure everything contains all the right parts, and that they fit together smoothly and evenly. The quality controller can check for safety issues like rough edges, improperly wired electronics, and other concerns. Standardization is also an important aspect of evaluation, as is aesthetic appearance. A quality controller looking at model horses, for example, checks to be sure each model is complete and accurately painted.

At government agencies, a quality controller can perform regular tests of air, water, and soil to identify health and safety issues. Regulatory inspections of food preparation facilities, factories, and other environments can also be part of the job. Some agencies require a college degree for this work, while others may provide appropriate training at work to high school graduates. Government representatives may have the power to fine companies, issue recalls, and take other steps to protect the safety of humans and the environment.


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