Lesson 1 Careers There are a number of career opportunities in Quality Assurance.

There are a number of career opportunities in Quality Assurance. Typically, these positions are held by graduates of university food science programs. In a typical hierarchy, technicians report to a laboratory supervisor who in turn reports to the QA manager. In some food companies, the technicians do not necessarily have a college degree.

With the widespread use of more specific, high-tech analytical techniques, however, it is becoming more important for a QA technician to have a minimum 2-year college degree emphasizing the sciences.

Examples of QA personnel careers are:

Microbiology lab technician Responsible for the day to day activities in the microbiology lab. Knowledgeable in sterile technique, mathematics and accurate reporting of data.

Chemistry lab technician Responsible for the day to day chemical analysis of food in the chemistry lab. Knowledgeable in basic chemistry, physics, mathematics and accurate reporting of data.

Inspection lab technician Knowledge of the sanitary handling of food samples, mathematics and record-keeping.

Customer service Responsible for handling customer complaints and tracking down test results and/or product. Knowledge of specifications and broad legal responsibilities. Helps to be people-oriented.

Specifications Responsible for accurate, organized record-keeping so that, if needed, product can be traced and verified.

Laboratory supervisor In charge of the lab personnel and their daily activities. Responsible for scheduling both personnel and testing.

QA personnel must have a solid background in the following subject matters:

Mathematics

Algebra

Chemistry

English and Composition

General Sciences (Physics, Biology, Sanitation)

Information Technology (becoming more important)

College and university degrees that lead to careers in QA are:

Food Science

Chemistry

Microbiology

Nutritional Sciences

Associate of Science (two-year technical program)