What It Takes to Get the CQE - Certified Quality Engineer Certification
It is increasingly becoming necessary for professionals who want to enhance their value in the job market to attain standard certifications. In most cases, it doesn't really matter what sort of basic academic qualification one has: so long as he or she doesn't have the standard certifications, the employers seem to have reservations about him or her. Thus, for instance, you may have a Bachelors or even a Masters degree in a certain engineering field, but so long as you lack the standardized certifications that define what exactly you can do practically, you will be a hard sell. It is against that background, then, that you may be interested in getting the Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) certification. We will now proceed to answer the question as to what exactly it takes to get the said Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) certification.
Work experience requirements
Like most other certifications of its type, the Certified Quality Engineer certification is given to people who have a certain amount of experience. By default, you need some eight solid years of genuine practical experience, for you to qualify to be given the certification. These are, of course, not just eight years of experience in anything, but rather, more specifically, experience in certain specific fields that are defined in something known as the CQE 'body of knowledge'. Worth noting is the fact that at least 3 of these need to be years in which you were involved in real decision making work. You can, however, still get the CQE even without eight years of experience, if you have the levels of education that give you certain exemptions.
While no particular educational qualification is stated as a requirement for the attainment of the CQE certification, certain qualifications do yield certain advantages (in terms of experience requirement exemptions) for people seeking to get the CQE certification. For instance, if you have an advanced degree (say a Masters or a Doctorate), you would only need three years of experience, as five years are waived. If you have a Bachelors degree, you get a four year waiver. A diploma qualification attained from, say, a technical school gives you a year's waiver, whereas an associate degree qualification gives you a couple of years' qualification. In the absence of any of these, you need eight solid years of experience to be given the CQE (after passing the relevant exam). Even with the waivers brought about by education, you will still need to do an exam. Simply put, for anybody to get the CQE certification, he or she needs to pass the exam: on top of having the relevant experience.
As we have just mentioned, to be given the CQE certification, you need to pass a special examination. This, in turn, means that for you to pass the examination, you need to study. Actually there is quite a lot of material to be covered by people who want to pass the CQE examination. What you can do is either enroll for interactive training offered at a very reasonable cost on the website of the body behind the CQE certification or buy the books and then plough through them. You are likely to have even better outcomes if you combine both approaches: undertake the online study and read the recommended books. There are also independent trainers who provide training towards the CQE.
The examination for the CQE involves answering some 160 questions, which are in the multiple choice format. It is not really an exam that just tests your memory - as it is, in fact, an open book exam to which you are allowed to go with reference books. So, practically speaking, it is designed to test your assimilation of the information that constitutes the Certified Quality Engineer 'body of knowledge' and your ability to apply that knowledge. It is when you manage to pass this examination, then, that you are awarded the Certified Quality Engineer certification.