Quality assurance officer

quality assurance scientist
Manufacturing and production

Career outlook for quality assurance officer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You’ll need to be good at analysing products, situations and data, as well as problem solving to find better ways of working. Writing processes and making recommendations is only part of your job; you’ll also need to be good at motivating people to put them into practice.  

For example, you might analyse new products to check they’re safe to use. Or you might use quality assurance software to check your company’s work meets customer expectations. If anything falls short, you’ll recommend what to change. 

Sometimes your work will be motivated by meeting legal standards – and keeping your organisation on the right side of health and safety law. At other times, your focus will be on the standards set by the business itself. Laws and industry trends change all the time, so you’ll need to keep up to date and react quickly when changes happen. 

What you’ll do

  • Conduct quality audits and inspections on new products and services 
  • Provide feedback after audits and recommend ways to improve 
  • Make sure all products and processes comply with safety standards 
  • Investigate complaints to identify how an issue occurred and suggest ways to stop it happening again  
  • Manage a team of quality control technicians 
  • Work with colleagues to develop new procedures for product analysis 
  • Keep up to date with product trends  

Working conditions


Your working hours will depend on the sector and business you work in. For example, if you work in manufacturing, you may need to fit in with factory shift patterns. If you work as a consultant, or for a company with several sites, you might travel regularly.


You could work in just about any specialism in the public or private sector. Your working environment will depend on your industry – you could work in a laboratory, warehouse, office or anything in between.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Evaluating
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.


You can develop the necessary skills for this role through a variety of routes.

Although there is no set entry route, a qualification in a relevant area, such as business management, would be useful, especially if it included quality assurance modules.

Also, certain sectors may require industry-specific qualifications so HND’s/degrees in the following subjects could be useful, depending on your chosen industry:

  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Food science and technology
  • Science technology
  • Textile technology
  • Production
  • Materials science
  • Printing and clothing technology


You can gain skills and qualifications in the workplace through options such as:

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are chosen as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 but include hands-on learning at a local employer or college. They are the same level as a Higher.

You might want to consider an FA in areas such as:

  • Business skills
  • Engineering

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) mean you learn on the job. You get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider an MA in areas such as:

  • Engineering
  • Management

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) are designed for industry and you'll spend most of your time learning on the job but you'll also go to uni or college. You'll get a job, get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider a GA in areas such as:

  • Business management
  • Engineering

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institution websites for specific entry information.  

Useful subjects for this job would be:

  • Maths
  • Physics

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that show a range of transferable skills.

You may want to consider joining the CQI (Chartered Quality Institute) who offer recognised professional qualifications as well as access to networking opportunities and events.

Technology is always evolving so you will be required to keep up to date with new developments within the industry.