Q Grader Salary

What is a typical Q Grader salary?  A Q Grader certificate is awarded for the assessment of competencies and knowledge and is not tied to the holder’s position.

Any coffee professional from the C.E.O. of a large coffee company, coffee buyer, exporter or barista may be a Q Grader by the exams.  Sometimes, Q Graders are unemployed or consumer enthusiasts with no coffee related income.

As a result, survey of salaries used to determine averages would also need to distinguish between positions.  Also consider the same certificate is issued by CQI worldwide.  This requires adjustment for cost of living in every city.  In short, there is no standard “Q Grader” job role and thus, no meaningful way to track its annual income.

We can still draw some conclusions.  In 2014, The Specialty Coffee Association of America published the first, “Barista and Roaster Compensation Report.”  Among the report’s findings, it proved a strong correlation between certificate status and compensation.  On average, certified roasters earned 6% more than uncertified counterparts and baristas, 19% more.  It seems reasonable to infer a similar benefit to Q Graders and perhaps better.

The Q Grader certificate program is older than programs offered by either SCAA or SCAE and has strong brand recognition.  The later point is particularly true in coffee producing countries and consuming countries of Asia.  Asian consuming countries were early adopters of the Q Grader system.  It remains an authoritative standard recognized in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and more recently, China.

Q Grader job posting

The most compelling evidence of economic benefit from a Q Grader certificate comes from the coffee industry.  Job posting requirements now include “Q Grader certificate” with increasing frequency.  Job listings that do not explicitly mention a Q Grader status may require competencies addressed by the program.  In this situation, a Q Grader applicant may use the certificate as proof of competency.

So when answering the question, “what is a Q Grader salary?” there is no numerical value but there is a simple answer. A Q Grader’s salary is likely higher than other coffee professionals without the certificate.  How much so will depend on you and where you live.