Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Kieran Magee from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Kieran Magee

Farm Manager - Dry Stock

Teagasc

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  Kieran Magee
Someone who wants to be where I am today shall need bucket loads of ambition and not be afraid of hard work.  They will need to not be afraid of starting at the very bottom of that big high ladder but at the same time have the eagerness and determination to get to the top of that ladder because the opportunities are there.

Education is very important.  It may only seem like a silly piece of paper but it's that Cert, Diploma or Degree that gets you that job and not the man/woman beside you.

The one thing that is vital in not alone this job, but any job, and alot of people don't seem to have it, is common sense. It's something so simple but really important. if you have no cop-on then nobody wants to know you.
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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Occupation Details

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QC (Quality Control / Assurance) Analyst

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k > 60 
Quality Analyst
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 60 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Brightwater / Morgan McKinley

Last Updated: July, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2016 reports a shortage of scientists and technicians in the following areas:

Scientist: analytical development chemist; formulation scientist; microbiologist; R&D (especially with industry specific backgrounds); QC manager; QC analyst; QA specialist

Technician: QA/QC/validation technician; quality technician inspector. There also appears to be an issue with geographic mobility and the attractiveness of some locations outside the greater Dublin area.

-2%
Occupational Category

Chemical, Biological & Physical Scientists

Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists

Number Employed:

7,000

Part time workers: 3%
Aged over 55: 8%
Male / Female: 45 / 55%
Non-Nationals: 12%
With Third Level: 95%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Checks and tests materials and finished goods towards ensuring that they meet production standards.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 2

Michael Bohane
QA Manager  
Michael Bohane works as a QA Manager for Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland based in Waterford. Following his Leaving Cert he did a BSc and then a MSc in Biochemistry in UCC. He also did a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Practice (QP Qualification) allowing him to function as a QP and release product to market.
Go to Interview  
 
Fergus O'Connell
Quality Officer  
Fergus works as a Senior Quality Officer in Teva Pharmaceuticals in Waterford. He completed his Leaving Cert with three Science subjects and went on to University College Cork to complete a degree in Microbiology. He started in Teva as a QA (Quality Assurance) Analyst and worked up to his current position.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Quality control analysts are responsible for testing materials and finished goods towards ensuring that they meet production standards. Develop testing methods is also part of their role.

Quality control involves performing inspections and tests on finished products. Following testing, products may be rejected if they do not meet the standards required. Identifying and and troubleshooting problems is an important part of the role. The next stage of the job is to report on production quality to the relevant parties and recommend adjustments to the production or assembly process.  Evaluation of new technologies and methods, and making recommendations regarding their use.

Quality control analysts will also be required to write technical reports and quality control operating procedures.

 

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Conduct routine and non-routine analyses of in-process materials, raw materials, environmental samples, finished goods, or stability samples.

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Interpret test results, compare them to established specifications and control limits, and make recommendations on appropriateness of data for release.

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Perform visual inspections of finished products.

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Compile laboratory test data and perform appropriate analyses.

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Complete documentation needed to support testing procedures including data capture forms, equipment logbooks, or inventory forms.

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Calibrate, validate, or maintain laboratory equipment.

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Participate in out-of-specification and failure investigations and recommend corrective actions.

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Supply quality control data necessary for regulatory submissions.

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Receive and inspect raw materials.

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Investigate or report questionable test results.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Chemistry:  Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Entry Routesheader image

Quality assurance analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in quality management or a related field, such as chemistry or biology.

Quality assurance / management degree programmes will include modules on quality management, auditing, planning, process control, customer service, Six Sigma methods and ISO quality systems.

Courses in computer-aided design (CAD), and the natural or biological sciences can also help prepare quality control analysts for  the industrial trades or the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

FE Route

Numeous Further Education courses are available at Level 5 & 6 that will prepare participants for entry to Higher Education degree programmes in this area e.g.

Getting Experience 

Some employers prefer candidates with at least 2 years of experience working in the field. Common job tasks performed by analysts include writing test cases and plans, calibrating lab equipment, and maintaining accurate records.

Internships are a great way to get experience working in the field. Check out the careers area of company websites for details of internship programmes. Start here.

Completing a research project as part of your degree provides experience in this area. Many quality control analysts inspect products and production methods to ensure that the best methods are being used and best quality achieved. Performing this job tasks requires researching potential methods and outcomes. 

Certifications include the Certified Quality Inspector, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Quality Auditor credentials. Earning the Certified Quality Auditor credential identifies an individual as able to analyse a quality system and determine the adequacy of the criteria established for quality evaluation and control systems. Earning this certification requires passing an exam.

 

Last Updated: April, 2016


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..QA Tester - from:  iCould [UK] Video
Go..Quality Control Technician - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: BioPharmaChem Ireland
  Address: 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 6051500
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Smart Futures
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3171
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
MedTech
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing
Electrical & Electronic Engineering

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