Before food can be sold in grocery stores or to restaurant suppliers, it needs to be checked for taste, quality and safety of consumption. This process is overseen by food quality assurance inspectors or technicians who are responsible for ensuring that a company's products are of the highest possible quality and won't make consumers sick. They may use hand calipers to check the measurement of a manufactured food item, or they may even taste samples of products to ensure consistency between batches. When problem items are found, food quality assurance professionals remove those items and work to address any problems in harvesting, manufacturing or packaging.
Food Quality Assurance Educational Requirements
There is no minimum education level for food quality assurance professionals, but a high school degree may be required by many employers. On-the-job training is common in this line of work, especially for visual quality assurance throughout the manufacturing process. However, there are some positions where a college degree can be especially helpful. Courses or degree programs in food technology, manufacturing, science or biology can all be beneficial in this field. With one of these degrees, graduates can also decide to pursue a similar career like that of compliance monitor, quality engineer or quality maintenance technician.
Food Quality Assurance Job Market
Between 2012 and 2022, statistics predict that there will be an upward trend in the demand for food quality assurance professionals. An 11 percent raise is predicted, which is above average for careers in the country. This substantial job market increase is good news for aspiring professionals in the field as it translates into the creation of more jobs and less competition among candidates for hire.
Food Quality Assurance Salary
The average median salary for a food quality assurance professional in 2012 was $34,460 or roughly $16.57 per hour. As with any pay scale, however, those employees who have more than a high school diploma or several years of experience in the field can expect to earn substantially more. Anyone with a college degree and a food technology background may also be eligible for a higher salary.