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What is the role of a quality engineer and why should you become one?

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​Almost everything we come into contact with each day is designed, built and maintained by engineers. It will then come as no surprise that the UK engineering sector employs 19% of the total population, with people working in various sectors such as including life sciences.

With so many career options within the life sciences industry, choosing the right path for you can seem like a big decision. To help you, we’re going to explain the duties and responsibilities of a quality engineer. Quality engineers are responsible for the quality assurance and control related to products and services. Put simply, they make sure that manufacturing processes run smoothly with the correct tools, machinery and materials.

The future of life sciences is bright, and there are many reasons why you should search for a quality engineering job in this sector. Read on to find out if this rewarding role could be right for you.

Duties and responsibilities

There are many engineering jobs to choose from, so why follow the quality engineering path? Often called quality assurance (QA) engineers, these professionals carry out quality audits and compliance assessments to make sure product quality remains high. They work alongside validation engineers to create quality standards, ensuring that products are safe and reliable before they’re distributed. Some day-to-day tasks of a quality engineer include:

  • Produce reports on performance metrics

  • Oversee audits of all quality system categories

  • Identify cost and technical improvements

  • Provide timely and accurate reporting on project activities

  • Manage New Product Introductions and Product Transfers

Make a difference

Few jobs are more intellectually stimulating and rewarding than engineering, and this is one of the main reasons why people pick it as a career path. Engineering Ireland found that 77% of people agree that engineering is a rewarding career for the younger generation. Since quality engineers work in life sciences, IT, renewable energy and many other sectors, their daily tasks can vary considerably. But regardless of whether they are overseeing the processes in the design of medical device equipment or zero-carbon energy systems, quality engineers have the ability to improve our quality of life and change our world for the better.

There is a shortage of engineers with the right skills

Engineering UK reports that the number of people choosing to study engineering at higher education has seen a gradual incline over the last 10 years. Yet that increase has been outstripped by the demand for this talent .37% of engineers believe that the skills shortage will send bigger shockwaves through the sector than automation or new materials will.

Being in high demand means you have more choice when it comes to selecting the right company and industry. And since women are underrepresented in this industry, female quality engineers who have the right skills will find the opportunities are there for the taking.

The option to choose between permanent and contract

Quality engineers are essential to any manufacturing team, and within life sciences, they play a key role in making sure that drugs, treatments and medical devices are developed in line with regulatory standards and requirements. As with many life sciences jobs, quality engineers have the choice between permanent and contract. There are pros and cons of each, and the final decision will ultimately come down to what is right for you. The changes to IR35 may impact your decision, and so could the surge in the contract job market due to the outbreak of Covid-19. While the ripple effects of the COVID-19 have been damaging for most, engineering employees can take advantage of the changes to the recruitment landscape and carve out a career that supports a better work-life balance.

Let us help you find your next quality engineering job

Choosing an engineering career is also choosing to invest in your future. Like any other role in the industry, quality engineers have unlimited opportunities for growth and development. At Orion Group, we manage the placement of thousands of contractors and permanent personnel every year, helping them find a rewarding career. We are a leading life sciences recruitment specialists and help our candidates with more than just finding a job. You’ll receive professional support throughout the process, and our consultants will take the time to understand your personal needs.

View our quality engineer jobs and start your application.