What is a CQE 

A CQE or Certified Quality Engineer is a Professional who has gained peer recognition based on their understanding and application of the Quality Principles outlined by the American Society for Quality, ASQ.

Certified Quality Engineer

According to the ASQ, Certified Quality Engineers are professionals who have demonstrated that they are proficient in the knowledge and application of certain Quality Ideas/Principles.

Notice I said professionals here, and I say that because anybody can become a CQE. Having a pre-existing degree in Engineering is not required to become a Certified Quality Engineer.

CQE’s, regardless of industry, utilize their skills in a few if not all of the ASQ BoK Pillars:

The Benefits of Becoming A CQE

Jim Rooney, ASQ past chair and certification expert, explains the value of achieving certification, as well as how a certification differs from a certificate, and finally how to choose which one is right for you.

Rooney also offers tips for studying and passing a certification exam.

What Industry to CQE’s Work In

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

  • ManufacturingIndustries
  • Automotive
  • Aviation, Space & Defense
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
  • Biomedical (Medical Devices)
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Energy Industry (Oil & Gas, Nuclear, Chemical, etc)
  • Engineering & Construction Firms


4 Steps to Become A Certified Quality Engineer

Step 1: Ensure that you’re Qualified to take the Exam

You must be eligible to become a Certified Quality Engineer, and there is 1 major requirements:

8 Years of OTJ Experience, with a minimum of 3 years in a “Decision Making Role”.

There is a big caveat here, ASQ will exchange a 4 year of on-the-job experience for a Bachelors degree.

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

 I’ve written a whole article about the CQE Application Process along with a separate Application FAQ Page.

If you’re interested in learning about the Application process or have any questions I would strongly recommend checking them out.

These pages also include a bit more discussion on the Qualifications needed to sit for the exam.

When you’re ready to apply, or just interested in checking out the process more, here is the ASQ CQE Application.

You’ll have to decide first if you want to become an ASQ member, and I would highly recommend becoming a member.

Why? – It’s cheaper to become a Member!

  • Non-Member Certification Cost: $420
  • Member Certification Cost (including Membership fee): $355

Step 3: Create a Study Plan

The most important and time consuming process to becoming a Certified Quality Engineer is studying for the exam.

Before you start studying though, I always recommend that you create a study plan.

I highly recommend that you check this page out.

It walks you through the 2015 CQE Body of Knowledge, and how I broke that down into a weekly & daily study plan.

You’ll also find a free copy of that study plan there!

Step 4 – Start Studying!

Once you’ve created a study plan, it’s time to execute on that plan.

One thing you’ll need is a study guide to teach you everything you need to know.

The #1 study guide that I always recommend is The Certified Quality Engineer Handbook.

It is published by ASQ and was written specifically for those looking to become Certified Quality Engineers!

The next resource I always recommend is The ASQ CQE Study Guide which is a bank of over 500 exam questions that is meant to supplement the handbook and help you prepare for the exam.

I’ve also created a number of free online pages for many of the various topics within the Body of Knowledge.

These are my personal notes on each topic and they’re all free to you:

 CQE Recertification

Once you’ve passed the exam and become certified, ASQ requires that you recertify every 3 years either by passing the exam again or by completing a recertification journal.

Learn more about CQE Recertification here.

Also, check out the FAQ page which has a few Exam related questions. That FAQ page will also contain answers to other general questions about the Certification process.