Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Quality Engineers in Tacoma

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Quality Engineers in Tacoma

Current Environment

Quality engineering is the discipline of engineering concerned with the principles and practice of product and service quality assurance and control

For software development companies, a quality engineer ensures the management, development, operation, and maintenance of IT systems and enterprise systems maintain a high-quality standard.

The role is also essential for optimizing product quality, as defined by Dr. W. Edwards Deming.


The field of quality assurance in the United States was in direct response to a quality revolution in Japan following World War II. Japanese manufacturers converted from producing military goods for internal use to producing civilian goods for trade.

At first, the reputation of exported Japanese products was not good, and their goods were shunned by international markets. This led Japanese organizations to explore new ways of thinking about quality, implementing a “total quality” approach by changing the focus from improving products to improving organizational processes.

Now, quality assurance is part of most companies that are building products, including digital products and services.

Will COVID-19 Affect the quality engineering Field?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment and the job market. While it has radically upended life as was previously known in almost every way, there are renewed efforts at work that are frantically working to return businesses and institutions to what was once considered to be normal as quickly as possible – or at least to what will become the ‘new normal’.

2021 has seen a mix of responses as economies start to open up once again now that the distribution of the vaccine has increased. There is much to be hopeful about. The role of the quality engineer will continue to be important in helping companies—big and small—to prepare for the future as they learn new technologies and utilize them to stay afloat and even get ahead.

Early on in the pandemic, the field of engineering was impacted fairly significantly. However, experts projected that the fall out would be relatively short-lived

One prediction is that while quality engineers were already embracing the use of technology in their field and work, the global pandemic—like many impacted industries —will rapidly adopt the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a response to the pandemic.

How will Recruiting quality engineers Help Your Company?

How will Hiring quality engineers Help Your Company?

The hiring of a quality engineer can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great one will be drawn to details, help with delegation, and help with communication internally and externally. In essence, an expert in this role can help your company by simply living up to their title by ensuring that completed work meets set standards for quality from end-to-end.

Quality engineers often evaluate products and services through testing and statistical analysis. Companies try to create new and improved products and services; quality engineers help in this process by checking for efficiency and quality while still helping companies maintain competitive prices.

quality engineer Details


Quality engineers problem-solve and communicate possible solutions to improve the quality of a range of products. They also must work with a wide range of staff members, including design, development, and/or manufacturing process of products, in order to discuss improvements and ways to implement changes.

Organizations that are committed to producing high-quality products employ quality engineers to manage the production process. Ultimately, they ensure a company’s production lines work efficiently and effectively to satisfy their customers.

Specific quality engineer responsibilities may include tasks like:

  • Developing quality control systems
  • Auditing quality systems
  • Administering management information systems
  • Finding ways to increase productivity
  • Decreasing waste
  • Optimizing resources
  • Writing action plans
  • Ensuring compliance with regulations and policies
  • Conducting audits

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in Tacoma, Washington.


Quality engineers must have a background in engineering. To get started, associate’s degree programs in engineering are available, but most engineers, including industrial and quality engineers, need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Aspiring quality engineers can pursue a degree in industrial engineering. Some industrial engineering programs may offer a minor in quality engineering.

Although it may not be required, master’s degree programs in quality engineering are more common. These programs are usually offered as Master of Science (MS) degrees and may be available in online formats

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) also provides Quality Engineer Certification (CQE). To qualify, students need to have at least 8 years of work experience. Some work experience may be replaced with education. For example, those with a bachelor’s degree can waive 4 years of work experience, while those with a master’s degree can waive 5 years of experience. This professional certification may allow quality engineers to advance their careers and/or demonstrate competency in decision-making and quality evaluation and control.

Top Schools – US News & World Report rankings

Top Schools

  • Massachusetts institute of Technology

  • Stanford University

  • University of California Berkeley

Salary Range

quality engineers in the U.S.


Total quality engineers Employed in the U.S.





quality engineer Salary Comparison


There was already a shortage of skilled engineering professionals before the global pandemic and recession of 2020. As things open up, there will be all the more need for skilled quality engineers, thus the economic principle of supply and demand will likely lead to salaries continuing to increase.

Nationally, annual compensation ranges between $61,000 for entry-level and $154,000 for seasoned quality engineers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,067,000 quality engineers (also classified as industrial engineers) employed in 2019, with just 11.4% of those employed being women. It is estimated the 15.6% are Asian, 5.6% Black or African American, 8.5% Hispanic or Latino, and 76.7% are white.

The median annual wage for quality engineers was $106,000 compared with $94,500, the median annual wage for all engineers.

For more detailed compensation information for quality engineers in [city_name], download our free compensation/salary report below.


The average annual salary for quality engineers in Washington was 104k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $50.05.

For more detailed compensation information for quality engineers in Tacoma, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in Tacoma

Tacoma is a picturesque city in Washington on the banks of Puget Sound, located just north of its neighbor and “big sister” Seattle. But Tacoma is definitely a city with its own identity. Due to its thriving job market and progressive culture, Tacoma is also known as the City of Destiny.

Its natural beauty, ocean-front location, focus on arts and culture, and its proximity to the impressive Mount Ranier give Tacoma a ton of character.

Here are a few additional “pros” for living and working in Tacoma.


    • The crown jewel of Tacoma is Point Defiance Park, which some compare to  NYC’s Central Park as far as size and stuff to do.  The park has 760 acres of trails, gardens, forests, playgrounds, and waterfront activities like boating and swimming.
    • It’s also home to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
    • Museums: The city boasts several world-renowned museums: the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Washington State History Museum.
    • Tacoma Arts Live features three theaters, the Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Philharmonic, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, and Puget Sound Revels.
    • Tacoma gets good reviews on its food scene, and most locals would point to Ruston Way for the best seafood restaurants, or cross the Tacoma Narrow’s Bridge to the charming city of Gig Harbor for more waterfront dining options.
    • The cost of living is lower than in neighboring Seattle. This calculator estimates that Tacoma is 34% cheaper overall than Seattle, and the median home cost is 56% less.

While there are many good things people report about living and working in Tacoma, there are a few complaints.


    • When comparing Tacoma to Seattle schools, the school data shows that Seattle has better statistics for Pre-K-12 schools. Tacoma has more students per teacher and a lower high school graduation rate, and while 28% of students go on to get a 4-year degree, 62% achieve the same in Seattle.
    • The Tacoma Aroma. What?? It’s a rancid, unpleasant odor that occurs occasionally in the tidal flats. Describe it as that kind of sulfuric, rotten egg smell. It’s a byproduct of industrialization in the area.

Current Weather

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Demand for quality engineers in Tacoma

Demand for quality engineers in Tacoma

In quality engineering, objectives are implemented in a collaborative process. This process requires the interaction of largely independent actors whose knowledge is based on different sources of information. Making a quality hire for your quality engineering openings should be front and center for your company as you think about moving forward.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not report the specific job outlook for quality engineers but did report a job outlook for the broader category of industrial engineers. These engineers had a job outlook of 8% from 2018 to 2028, almost double the outlook for all jobs overall (4%).

The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for quality engineers in Tacoma, Washington below.

How to Hire the Best quality engineers

Finding and hiring the best quality engineer candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.

The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in Washington. If working in Tacoma is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.

Characteristics of quality engineers

Quality engineering is a field that is evolving as products and manufacturing become more complex. And in the field, there are specializations and nuances. The lack of understanding of the subtle differences in skillsets and the latest technology can cause recruiters to misidentify candidates and as a result, create a backlog in hiring.

  • Find candidates who have studied both engineering and understand the unique skills needed for a quality assurance role.
  • Look for candidates who revel in analyzing and solving problems.
  • Find candidates who communicate well, both written and oral.
  • The best candidates enjoy being focused, self-motivated, and innovative.
  • Consider candidates who will best fit your engineering and project environment.
  • Partner with a recruiting agency that specializes in project engineering to find the best candidates that can do the job, and become a valued member of your team.

How to Screen Candidates

You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?

It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.

Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best quality engineers

Free Interview Guide