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ASQ

Quality Insider

Quality Pros’ Salaries on the Upswing

Four-year analysis from ASQ points to economic turnaround in 2010

Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 15:19

(American Society for Quality: Milwaukee) -- Signs of economic turnaround are evident in the quality profession, according to the 24th Annual Salary Survey conducted by Quality Progress (QP), the monthly flagship publication of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The overall average salary for U.S. full-time quality professionals is now $85,289, a steady increase from $83,442 in 2009 and $81,064 in 2008. The salary increase is seen this year, just as apparent demand for quality management is surging, as evidenced by ASQ’s online Career Center. For all the survey details, visit the QP website at www.qualityprogress.com.

As in past surveys, the 2010 survey results also show that respondents’ salaries increase as their experience in the quality field increases:

• Quality professionals with more than 20 years of experience earned an average of $94,756.
• Professionals with 10 to 20 years of experience earned on average $86,993.
• Those with 10 or fewer years of experience earned on average $71,129.



Specific job categories combined with years of experience significantly affect salary increases. For example, managers with more than 20 years of quality experience earn, on average, $4,000 more than managers with 10–20 years of quality experience, and more than $12,000 than managers with 10 or fewer years of quality experience.

A first-time comprehensive analysis of the last four years of salary surveys also shows some positive labor trends. Only 3.1 percent of respondents to the 2010 survey said they were unemployed, retired, or laid off, compared to 4.9 percent of 2009 respondents. Also, according to the 2010 respondents, fewer companies made moves such as furloughs, layoffs, or hiring freezes to weather the sputtering economy.

Certifications can mean cash

This year, 59 percent of survey respondents reported that they have one or more ASQ certifications, and 25 percent said they hold two or more ASQ certifications. While certifications and training enable quality professionals to gain new skills and proficiencies, they can also greatly increase quality professionals’ earning power.

• According to the reported salaries, ASQ-certified managers of quality/organizational excellence earn a higher average salary than their counterparts without this certification. In the United States, the difference is $7,938. In Canada, the difference is $3,274.
• ASQ-certified auditors in the United States make, on average, $15,451 more than auditors without this certification. In Canada, the difference is $12,839.



The value of Six Sigma training has held up well during the past several years. In particular, those in the United States with Master Black Belt training earned $20,000 more than those with Black Belt training.

“We are encouraged that quality professionals are gaining ground in terms of the recognition they are receiving for contributions to improving their organizations’ bottom lines,” says Paul Borawski, CEO of ASQ. “It’s clear that ASQ certifications and training provide a professional credibility and marketability that is helping quality professionals gain a competitive edge in a volatile economy.”

This recent survey underscores that although quality professionals have not been immune to the economic recession, there are an expanding number of opportunities for professional growth.

For 24 years, ASQ has released its Annual Salary Survey, an indicator of the health of the quality profession using salary results. The survey breaks down salary information, submitted by ASQ members, into 24 categories such as job title, education, years of experience, and geographic location. A total of 5,348 responses were received this year, the vast majority coming from professionals who work in the United States and Canada.

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ASQ

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better. With millions of individual and organizational members of the community in 150 countries, ASQ has the reputation and reach to bring together the diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s corporations, organizations, and communities to meet tomorrow’s critical challenges. ASQ is headquartered in Milwaukee with national service centers in China, India, and Mexico. Learn more about ASQ’s members, mission, technologies, and training at http://asq.org