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Quality Control/Assurance Analyst (QC or QA)

QC analysts ensure that a product complies with a strictly defined set of regulations and meets the requirements of the client or customer. Quality control scientists can be found across a wide range of industries such as the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, medical device and biopharmaceutical industries as well as manufacturers of engineered products. They test materials and finished goods, report on production quality to government agencies or company executives, or recommend adjustments to the production process.

If you are interested in a career as a QC/QC analyst, visit Qualifax (www.qualifax.ie) to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role 

  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Quality Control Manager

What the job involves

  • Develop testing methods
  • Perform inspections and tests on finished products
  • Identify and troubleshoot problems
  • Evaluate new technologies and methods to make recommendations regarding their use
  • Write technical reports 
  • Write quality control operating procedures
  • Supply quality control data necessary for submission to regulatory bodies 
  • Inspect and analyse raw materials
  • Monitor testing procedures to ensure that all tests are performed according to established protocols
  • Investigate or report negative test results
  • Interpret test results and compare them to established specifications 
  • Identify quality problems and recommend solutions
  • Ensure that lab cleanliness and safety standards are maintained

How your career can develop

An experienced quality control analyst can, with experience and further qualifications, progress to Quality Manager or senior laboratory analyst status.

Why it matters?

In 2013 a horsemeat scandal hit Europe where food advertised as beef actually contained horsemeat. This horsemeat scandal raised major concerns about how we test products. As a result more vigorous testing and reporting has been put in place, highlighting the importance of quality control. 

Skills

  • Ability to keep detailed records
  • Passion for detail
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively with a wide range of people
  • An organised approach to tasks
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Good interpretative skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Knowledge of chemistry

Typical employers

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Clinics
  • Aerospace and aviation firms
  • Food companies
  • Metallurgy labs
  • Food companies
  • Agri-chemical companies
  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Regulatory authorities

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting        €28,000 to €55,000 for Drug Safety Associates
  • Senior PVO/Manager   €50,000 to €100,000

Typical qualifications 

A science degree is the usual entry point. Postgraduate qualifications are common for experienced QC analysts. Degrees in the following disciplines are also common entry points:

  • Analytical chemistry 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Biomedical science
  • Biotechnology
  • Food technology
  • Forensic science
  • Genetics

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course or general science certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at Careersportal.ie

Futher information