Quality assurance -- or control -- managers oversee the quality control procedures and measures during the manufacturing process to ensure products meet industry standards. They also develop testing methods, conduct quality tests, study data from these tests and recommend methods for improving product quality. If you want to become a quality assurance manager, you need a bachelor's degree. In return, you can expect the typical quality assurance (QA) manager salary to average $106,852.
A QA manager salary ranges from $94,608 to $123,450, on average. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor's degree in mechanical, chemical or industrial engineering, depending on the industry in which you work. You might need a chemical engineering degree if you work in a food plant, for example. Employers may also prefer hiring someone with five or more years of experience, as quality assurance manager is not typically an entry-level position. Other essential qualifications for this job are physical strength and stamina and analytical, math, statistical, mechanical, supervisory and problem-solving skills.
New York Pays Best
In 2018, average annual salaries for quality assurance managers varied significantly in all U.S. regions, according to Indeed. They earned an average of $90,897 in New York State and $114,567 in New York City. In the West, they made $65,206 to $89,523 in Hawaii and California, respectively. If you worked as a quality assurance manager in the South region, you'd earn an average of $73,000 or $100,526 in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., respectively -- the lowest and highest salaries in that region. In the Midwest, you'd make $75,393 in Illinois and $78,815 in South Dakota.
Living Standard Matters
Quality assurance managers earn more in California, New York and Washington, D.C., because it's typically more expensive to live in these locations. For example, if you earned $85,000 in Portland, Maine, your quality assurance pay would have to be $103,971.23 in the Los Angeles area to enjoy the same living standard of living. In Washington, D.C., you'd need to earn $108,788.14 to maintain your living standard, or approximately 28 percent more over a quality assurance manager salary in Portland. You may also earn more working for a large company, which has the revenue and budget to support the higher salary.
Slow Job Growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast in increase in jobs for quality assurance managers. Employment numbers for industrial production managers are expected to remain flat through 2026. There will probably be fewer new jobs in the manufacturing sector, but employment should remain relatively steady in other industries.