Career Development

What Does a Supplier Quality Engineer Do?

Find out what a supplier quality engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a supplier quality engineer.

Supplier quality engineers are responsible for ensuring that the products and services provided by suppliers meet the standards set by their company. They work closely with suppliers to ensure they’re producing high-quality goods, monitor supplier performance over time to ensure it stays consistent, and investigate any issues that arise to determine how best to resolve them.

Supplier quality engineers may also be tasked with developing new processes or procedures to improve the way their company works with suppliers in the future. This might include creating checklists or other documentation to help ensure consistent communication between all parties involved.

Supplier Quality Engineer Job Duties

Supplier quality engineers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing supplier applications to determine whether suppliers meet company requirements for doing business with them
  • Monitoring supplier performance to ensure that they are meeting quality standards and deadlines
  • Coordinating with other departments within the company regarding issues with suppliers
  • Conducting audits of supplier facilities to ensure that they meet safety and environmental standards
  • Analyzing data to identify potential problems with suppliers and suggest corrective action
  • Reviewing production records to ensure that the quality of products meets standards
  • Reviewing suppliers’ invoices to ensure that they are accurate and complete
  • Providing training to suppliers regarding processes they need to follow in order to meet company standards
  • Preparing reports detailing findings from audits, evaluations, and other activities related to supplier management

Supplier Quality Engineer Salary & Outlook

Supplier quality engineers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of supplier quality engineers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for products and services will drive demand for suppliers, who in turn will need to ensure that their products and services meet quality standards. In addition, the increasing complexity of products and services will require supplier quality engineers to monitor quality across a variety of product types and processes.

Related: Supplier Quality Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

Supplier Quality Engineer Job Requirements

There are several requirements for obtaining a position as a supplier quality engineer, which may include:

Education: A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for a supplier quality engineer. Some companies prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in engineering, quality assurance or a related field.

Training & Experience: Most of a supplier quality engineer’s training will take place on the job. They will learn the company’s standards and procedures while working with the team. They may also receive additional training in the form of a short course or seminar to learn the basics of the industry.

Certifications & Licenses: While not required, supplier quality engineers can earn certifications to demonstrate their expertise and increase their earning potential.

Supplier Quality Engineer Skills

Supplier quality engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the knowledge and expertise you have in a specific field. For example, if you work as a quality engineer, you may have extensive knowledge of the quality standards and regulations of a company. You can use this knowledge to ensure the company’s products meet these standards and regulations.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for supplier quality engineers to have, as they often work with other individuals in their workplace. These skills allow them to convey information to their colleagues in a clear and concise manner. They also use their communication skills to convey information to suppliers, which is necessary to ensure the quality of the products they provide.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for quality engineers, as they are responsible for identifying and resolving any issues that may arise during the production process. Quality engineers use their problem-solving skills to identify the source of the problem, create solutions and implement them to ensure the quality of the product.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes in a process or product. As a quality engineer, you may be responsible for identifying any issues with a product or process and finding a solution. Attention to detail can help you identify the source of a problem and find a solution quickly.

Leadership skills: Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to work efficiently. As a quality engineer, you may be responsible for overseeing the work of other engineers, so it’s important to be a good leader. Leadership skills can also help you manage projects and motivate your team to complete their work on time.

Supplier Quality Engineer Work Environment

Supplier quality engineers work in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, offices, and laboratories. They may travel to supplier sites to conduct audits or to resolve quality issues. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, but overtime may be required during periods of high production demand or when suppliers are located in other time zones. The work can be stressful, as supplier quality engineers are under pressure to ensure that products meet high quality standards. They must be able to work well under pressure and have excellent problem-solving skills.

Supplier Quality Engineer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how supplier quality engineers work. Supplier quality engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Automation

The need for more automation is a trend that is quickly gaining traction in the manufacturing industry. This is because it allows manufacturers to produce more products with less human intervention, which can lead to significant cost savings.

As suppliers begin to adopt this trend, they will need to hire quality engineers who are familiar with automation systems. These engineers will be responsible for ensuring that the automated systems are working properly and producing high-quality products.

More Focus on Quality Control

As businesses become more globalized, the need for supplier quality control has increased. This is because businesses want to make sure that the products they are selling are of high quality and meet the standards of their customers.

Supplier quality engineers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in quality control procedures. They can then use this expertise to help their clients ensure that their products meet the highest standards. In addition, supplier quality engineers can also focus on developing new methods for improving product quality.

Greater Attention to Compliance

As businesses become more complex, the need for compliance becomes increasingly important. This means that suppliers need to be able to ensure that their products are compliant with all applicable regulations.

To meet this demand, supplier quality engineers need to have a deep understanding of compliance requirements and how to ensure that their products meet these requirements. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with other members of the business team, such as legal and marketing professionals, to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

How to Become a Supplier Quality Engineer

A Supplier Quality Engineer career path can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of companies and products, as well as the chance to make a positive impact on the quality of products that consumers use every day.

To become a successful Supplier Quality Engineer, it’s important to have a strong technical background in engineering and mathematics. You should also have experience working with manufacturing processes and systems. Additionally, it’s helpful if you have knowledge of quality control methods and techniques.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of supplier quality engineering. One of the best is to get further education, which can lead to positions that are not otherwise open to those without an advanced degree. For example, a supplier quality engineer with a master’s degree in business administration may be promoted to a management position. Alternatively, a supplier quality engineer with a PhD in engineering may be promoted to a research position.

In addition to further education, experience and expertise are important for advancing in this field. As a supplier quality engineer gains experience, he or she may be promoted to a senior position or a position of responsibility in a company. Alternatively, a supplier quality engineer with a great deal of expertise in a particular area may be promoted to a specialist position.

Supplier Quality Engineer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that the success of our products and company is only as good as the quality of the materials and components we source. That’s why we’re looking for an experienced Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE) to join our team. The SQE will be responsible for maintaining and improving the quality of our suppliers and materials, ensuring that they meet our high standards for quality, safety, and compliance. This role will also be responsible for conducting audits, managing supplier corrective action plans, and driving continuous improvement initiatives.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all supplier quality issues, driving resolution in a timely and effective manner
  • Monitor supplier performance against key quality metrics, identifying trends and areas for improvement
  • Conduct audits at supplier facilities to assess compliance with company standards and contractual obligations
  • Work with suppliers to develop and implement corrective action plans to address identified quality issues
  • Review and approve supplier change requests, ensuring that all required documentation is complete and accurate
  • Serve as a liaison between suppliers and internal customers, facilitating communication and collaboration to resolve quality issues
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of industry best practices and emerging trends in supplier quality management
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with suppliers, promoting a culture of continuous improvement
  • Participate in new product development projects, providing input on supplier selection, qualification, and validation
  • Train and mentor junior staff members on supplier quality procedures and tools
  • Prepare and present reports on supplier quality performance to senior management
  • Manage supplier quality data and records in accordance with company policies and procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, quality, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in supplier quality or related area
  • Working knowledge of ISO 9001 or AS9100 standards
  • Experience with auditing suppliers
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Certification in Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing
  • 7+ years experience in supplier quality or related area
  • Experience in the aerospace or automotive industry
  • Working knowledge of statistical analysis software, such as Minitab
  • Familiarity with APQP/PPAP process


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