5 Steps to Become A Certified Quality Engineer

What is a CQE?

The Certified Quality Engineer is a professional who understands the principles of product and service excellence evaluation and control applying the Quality Principles outlined by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

ASQ CQE Exam, Career in CQE, Certified Quality Engineer, CQE certification, CQE Certification Cost, CQE Recertification, The Certified Quality Engineer Handbook, Third Edition

Reasons to Choose CQE for Your Career

Quality engineers use numerous methods to identify and correct ineffective quality control procedures. This can involve developing quality control systems, testing products and analyzing the results to maximize product quality.

Career Overview:

A Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) holds certification issued by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). She or he has the knowledge and experience to design and execute quality control systems. Statistical effects from quality testing or other measures can help the engineer locate problems in the manufacturing process or the quality assurance process.

Certified quality engineers usually supervise other quality assurance professionals as well. According to salary survey, ASQ-certified most quality assurance engineers earned between $55,000 and $100,000 as of 2019.

Industries that employ CQE’s:

Following is a list of industries that historically have maintained a Quality System and therefore employ Quality Engineers.

  • Manufacturing Industries

  • Automotive

  • Aviation, Space & Defense

  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

  • Biomedical (Medical Devices)

  • Industrial Equipment

  • Energy Industry (Oil & Gas, Nuclear, Chemical, etc)

  • Engineering & Construction Firms

Should I Become a Certified Quality Engineer?

  • Quality engineers use various methods to identify and correct ineffective quality control procedures. This can involve developing quality control systems, testing products, and analyzing the results to maximize product quality.

  • CQEs might work in a climate-controlled office but also will likely spend time in manufacturing plants or laboratories observing quality control procedures and material as it is being used. This variety in settings might give them the chance to travel as well as experience variation in their projects, though it could also show them to noise and possible hazards, depending on the industry. Work hours might have to be flexible to match the work shift that needs their expertise.

ASQ CQE Career Requirements:

  • Degree Level: Many employers favor candidates with a bachelor's degree.

  • Degree Field: Engineering, science or a related field.

  • Certification: Voluntary CQE certification may offer increased job opportunities.

  • Experience: 8 years of experience or a combination of experience and post-secondary education.

  • Essential Skills: Ability to analyze data, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, exceptional organizational skills and leadership abilities, experience with quality principles and standards, perception of quality system development, knowledge of quality improvement techniques and tools.

5 Steps to Become A Certified Quality Engineer

Step 1: Get Experience Required for Certified Quality Engineer Certification

Candidate must have the following experience for Certified Quality Engineer Certification:

  1. Candidate must have eight years of on-the-job experience in at least the one areas of the Certified Quality Engineer The Certified Quality Engineer Handbook, Third Edition.

  2. Candidate must have at least three years of decision-making position experience.

    (You must have worked in a full-time, paid intern, co-op or any other coursework cannot be applied approaching the work experience requirement.)

‚ÄčTaking post-secondary education to reduces the number of years candidates need to qualify for certification (8 years):

  1. Having a diploma from a technical school degree reduces the eight-year experience requirement by one year

  2. Having an associate's degree reduces it by two years, and having a bachelor's degree reduces it by four years

  3. A master's or a doctorate reduces the ASQ's experience requirement by five years

Step 2: Apply for the Exam and Become a CQE Member

Are you ready for apply for CQE exam? Here you can choose, either become an ASQ member or not if you want to remain a non-member then you will have to register with ASQ, which is free but requires an email address.

You have to decide first if you want to become an ASQ member or not, and I would highly recommend becoming a member.

You can save $100 certification fees if you become a member:

  • Non-Member Certification Cost: $498

  • Member Certification Cost: $398

  • Retakes Fees: $298

Step 3: Prepare for the CQE Certification Exam

The examination for CQE certification measures knowledge of subjects relevant to quality engineering. These topics are documented in the organization's Quality Engineer HandbookThe Certified Quality Engineer Handbook, Third Edition also includes a list of sources that were used to create the test.

Following are the ASQ Quality Engineer Handbook, Third Edition topics:

  • Management & Leadership

  • The Quality System

  • Product and Process Design

  • Product and Process Control

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Quantitative Methods & Tools

  • Risk Management

Step 4: Take the Exam

After preparing for the exam, you can choose an exam date and apply to attend the exam. You can apply for the exam online or can be download, completed and mailed to the ASQ. After application, your application for the certification has been approved, and you will be informed of the examination location.

There are 175 multiple-choice questions in the test. You have to complete an exam within 330 minutes. The ASQ emails the results within 6-7 business days. To pass the test and become certified, you need to score at least 550 points out 750 possible points.

Step 5: Recertification

CQE certification must be renewed every three years to ensure that you maintain the same level of knowledge demonstrated in your first exam. To become recertified, CQE's must obtain 18 recertification units within the prior three years or Retake the certification exam at the end of the three years recertification period. Recertification Units can be earned by completing activities such as professional development, conducting courses or working in the field.

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