10 Software Quality Assurance Careers That Make Calculus Worth It | BestColleges (2023)

  • STEM professionals are in-demand in the field of software QA.
  • The different types of software QA roles available can fit different people's interests.
  • You can earn a high salary in software QA depending on your role.
  • You can earn qualifications in various ways to start your career in software QA.

Software quality assurance, also known as software QA or SQA, is a fast-growing technical field with many job opportunities.

If you're interested in STEM, studied computer science, and have an eye for detail, you might enjoy working in software QA.

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Keep in mind: Entry-level SQA jobs are often fairly generalized, but as you grow in your QA career, you can take on more advanced and specialized projects.

10 Quality Assurance Careers

Entry to Associate Level: Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer

Average Annual Salary (January 2023): $63,620
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

A quality assurance engineer is a specialized position. Software QA engineers are responsible for building the software testing process.

They develop the tests for existing pieces of software. Then, they assign these to software testers who run tests and report any glitches or issues found, ensuring that the software can be adjusted to run smoothly.

Entry Level to Associate Level: Software QA Tester

Average Annual Salary (October 2023): $42,250
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science, a degree in a related field, or non-degree certificate training in software QA

Software QA testers ensure that an existing — often recently built — piece of software is running smoothly in all aspects. This job requires both technical and organizational skills so you don't miss any glitches in the code. Plus, many people often begin their QA careers by working as entry-level software testers.

Associate Level: Software QA Analyst

Average Annual Salary (January 2023): $60,560
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science, a degree in a related field, or non-degree certificate training in software QA

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As a software QA analyst, you'll become highly familiar with the software testing process and the different forms it can take.

Software QA analysts evaluate the software testing process and predict potential software complications. It's useful for QA analysts to have prior QA testing experience before beginning the analyst role.

Associate to Senior Level: Software QA Developer

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $120,730
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

As a software QA developer, you'll do similar work to that of a QA engineer but with a few key differences. While a QA engineer designs and builds the tests for software testers to run, a QA developer takes an active role in running the tests.

They ensure that the tests work as the testing process is underway. Some companies refer to QA developers as "automation engineers" to differentiate them from QA engineers.

Senior Level: QA Team Coordinator

Average Annual Salary (January 2023): $60,140
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

As a QA team coordinator, you'll need organizational and interpersonal soft skills as well as technical skills. Coordinators ensure that each team member on a QA project has appropriate responsibilities and completes them within the necessary timeframe.

A team coordinator must understand the software development and testing process while also strongly grasping the ins and outs of project management.

Senior Level: Software Test Manager

Average Annual Salary (November 2022): $126,730
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

As a more advanced software QA role, a senior software test manager manages and organizes a company or organization's entire software testing process.

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A senior test manager sets a company's software testing agenda. They do so by choosing the number of QA software engineers and testers needed for a project and then deploying the tests, projects, and assignments to the company as a whole.

Entry to Associate Level: Software QA Business Analyst

Average Annual Salary (Jul. 2022): $49,230
Job Outlook (2021-2031): 9%
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

As a role that combines business with technology, working as a software QA business analyst involves both the technical and financial side of software projects.

A QA business analyst determines the effectiveness and financial feasibility of the software testing process. And they try to identify any changes that can be made to the QA side of a software project. They do so to increase the financial efficiency of a project without harming the final outcome.

Entry to Associate Level: Network QA Engineer

Average Annual Salary (Dec. 2022): $62,960
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

QA engineers build specialized testing processes specifically for network-based software. This process often differs greatly from traditional QA engineering and becomes more complicated.

Rather than work with an individual piece of software, network QA engineers assess the bigger picture. Because of this, network QA engineers need to have a broader understanding of networks and the testing process.

Entry to Senior Level: Software QA Consultant

Average Annual Salary (Jan. 2023): $82,480
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

For a flexible job in software QA, consider software consulting. Software QA consultants are often hired by different companies on a contractual basis to troubleshoot specific software QA issues.

Many smaller companies, like startups, hire consultants for shorter, time-limited projects. Working as a consultant gives you variety in your work and the ability to accept or decline projects as you see fit.

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Associate to Senior Level: QA Project Manager

Average Annual Salary (Jan. 2023): $84,660
Required Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field

A software QA project manager is an advanced, management-level job. The position requires not only advanced technical and organizational skills but also knowledge of the business side of tech and interpersonal relations.

A project manager oversees every aspect of a software QA project from a management perspective, ensuring that developers, testers, and all other members of the team work smoothly and complete necessary tasks on time.

How to Find a Software QA Job

If you have a bachelor's in computer science or another type of qualification in software quality assurance, you can take advantage of many tools when beginning your software QA job search.

You'll need to design a CV and prepare for practical demonstrations of your technical skills, sometimes in the form of short online tests, for potential employers.

Your college or bootcamp may offer career services and counseling, as well as the opportunity to attend career fairs. Any of these services can help you connect with potential employers.

Employers also post software QA job opportunities on a wide variety of online job boards and search tools, including some of the largest sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions About Software QA Careers

What is the highest-paid software quality assurance job?

How much you earn in a software QA job depends on your level of experience, industry, employer, and geographic location. But senior-level software QA jobs tend to make more than entry-level positions.

Many senior software QA roles, like senior developers, test managers, and other positions that require managing a broader team of software QA professionals, make well above six-figure salaries on average.

That said, you'll likely need to spend several years in entry- and associate-level positions before you're qualified for one of these roles.

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What is the best software quality assurance job?

The best software quality assurance job for you is a personal decision that depends on multiple different factors. In addition to salary and benefits, consider what aspects of SQA interest you, the type of work environment you prefer, and what sort of work-life balance you want.

For instance, if you prefer to work remotely, want a job with flexible hours, and enjoy the design-related aspects of SQA, the best job for you will differ from the best job for someone who wants to work in an office and collaborate with coworkers.

Can I become a software quality assurance professional with an online degree?

There are many online degree and certificate programs you can enroll in to become trained or certified in software quality assurance as a professional.

These can include online bachelor's degree programs in computer science, information technology, or related STEM fields from accredited colleges or universities.

And if you already have a bachelor's degree, you may also consider a software QA-focused program at an online tech bootcamp. Especially because more highly respected bootcamp programs are switching to online or hybrid program formats.

How much money can I make as a quality assurance professional?

Working in software QA can earn you a comfortable living. Even early career software QA professionals, like software testers, can make close to six-figure salaries and above.

But keep in mind that pay will depend on your company and location. However, after a few years of experience working as a software QA professional, you'll be qualified for more senior roles and a higher salary.

For instance, software testing managers earned a median annual salary of $159,010 in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the fastest way to become a software QA professional?

For those who don't have previous training in software QA or a related field, taking courses through a bootcamp or other non-degree certification program is the fastest way to enter the field.

These programs can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete. And many reputable bootcamp programs offer career counseling and services or job and internship placement opportunities. So check your bootcamp's placement opportunities before you enroll.

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Is Software QA a hard job? ›

The work of a QA specialist involves; verifying product requirements, performing risk assessments, improving the quality of the product, testing, planning, and analyzing test results. It's not too demanding or challenging, though. Unlike other office jobs that are often exhausting and can lead to professional burnout.

Is quality assurance a good career? ›

Yes, quality assurance is a good job.

Quality assurance positions are typically well-paid, have nice career opportunities, and rarely suffer from professional burnout. The role of quality assurance is to uncover critical bugs help to deliver software quickly, which makes this role a key contributor to the team.

What is the job of a software quality assurance? ›

What Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers Do. Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures. Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers. Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.

What skills are required for software quality assurance? ›

Core skills needed for becoming a good QA engineer
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Good communication. ...
  • Good time management. ...
  • Problem solving skills. ...
  • Strong listening skills. ...
  • The ability to write a test plan. ...
  • An understanding of test automation tools and manual testing practices. ...
  • Strong understanding of the Software Development Life Cycle.
May 16, 2022

What is the highest salary of QA? ›

The salaries of Senior QA Engineers in the US range from $45,320 to $187,200 , with a median salary of $105,000 . The middle 57% of Senior QA Engineers makes between $105,000 and $131,670, with the top 86% making $187,200.

Is QA a high paying job? ›

Highest reported salary offered as Qa Engineer is ₹70lakhs. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹29lakhs per year. The top 1% earn more than a whopping ₹50lakhs per year.

Does quality assurance require coding? ›

The role of a QA is not as technical as a developer; thus, QA may not need to learn coding or write code. Software Designer Engineer in Test (SDET) − SDET is a professional who is responsible for the inner working of the software product. They look after the database, programming languages, etc.

What are top 3 skills for quality assurance specialist? ›

Communication. Statistical analysis. Problem-solving. Industry-specific technical knowledge.

What is the basic salary for QA? ›

What is the starting salary for a Quality Assurance Specialist in India? Average starting Salary for Quality Assurance Specialist in India is around ₹2.9 Lakhs per year (₹24.2k per month).

What are the 4 types of quality assurance? ›

The four types of quality assurance are pre-production inspection (PPI), during production inspection (DPI), pre-shipment inspection (PSI), and container loading/loading supervision (LS).

What are 4 points of quality assurance? ›

The 4 stages in the quality assurance process are: Plan, implement, check, and adjust.

Is QA software Easy? ›

Software assurance QA testing is easy to learn and not code intensive. You will have to learn some coding, but not to the same extent as a software or web developer. Software QA test training typically takes six to ten weeks, whereas web development training takes anywhere from 12-26 weeks.

Which is better QA or developer? ›

While a Developer and QA Engineer share the same goal, it is their paths that make all the difference. The developer works towards making the best possible app and the QA finds ways to break the application. No, the QA has no ulterior motive.

How do I become a QA tester with no experience? ›

The qualifications that you need to become a quality assurance tester (QA tester) with no experience include a computer-related degree, the ability to undergo training, and computer coding skills.

Who earns more QA or developer? ›

A QA Engineer can, on average, earn between ₹1.9 LPA and ₹8.65 LPA. A software developer can, on average, earn between ₹2.15 and ₹10 LPA. A senior software developer can, on average, earn between ₹4.36 LPA and ₹20 LPA.

Is there a future for QA? ›

The Demand for QA specialists will rise.

Due to the rising need for test automation, it is crucial for businesses to have a team of experts who can assist them in automating tests. In conclusion, the future of QA testing is still bright because as long as there is software developed, QA testing will always be needed.

Is QA in high demand? ›

As of 2022, the demand for software testers and software QA engineers are expected to continually grow by 25% in the next 10 years. The reason for this is due to the increasing use of software products for business. Companies need to make sure their software is reliable and working.

What is the salary of QA with 10 years experience? ›

A mid-career Senior Software QA Engineer with 4-9 years of experience earns an average salary of ₹10.3 Lakhs per year, while an experienced Senior Software QA Engineer with 10-20 years of experience earns an average salary of ₹16 Lakhs per year.

What is the happiest job in the world? ›

Agriculture, logging and forestry have the highest levels of self-reported happiness — and lowest levels of self-reported stress — of any major industry category, according to our analysis of thousands of time journals from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey.

What programming language should I learn for QA? ›

It doesn't matter what you pick as your first programming language: Java, JavaScript, Python, and even Ruby are all good candidates if you want to break into automated testing. Here's a quick rundown: Selenium WebDriver/Java is a favorite pairing for testing enterprise software, and a good all-around language to know.

Can anyone become a QA? ›

To become a QA tester, you need to earn at least an associate degree, although some might require the completion of a bachelor's degree program. Consider what type of industry you want to work in to narrow down what area of focus you should enroll in.

Do you need math for QA tester? ›

They, typically, work for companies that develop or improve new or existing technologies. To become a software tester, you'll need a degree in engineering, math, or computer science. You can also attend a coding bootcamp or become certified by national organizations.

What degree is best for quality assurance? ›

A quality assurance specialist position requires at least a bachelor's degree in business management or computer sciences fields. Coursework should include classes in chemistry, biology, mathematics, quality inspection, auditing and quality testing.

What is the most important skill a QA can have? ›

Strong analytical skills are absolutely central to the QA engineer's role. They need to be able to analyze every aspect of a product and system, identifying any potential weaknesses that could impact the overall quality and user's response to it.

Is quality assurance a technical skill? ›

A software QA engineer needs the skill of technical knowledge. Having the designated QA technical background means your work with programmers and engineers helps your QA work. While you do not need the same background that they have, having the basic knowledge to talk the lingo and process is needed.

Is Software Tester a stressful job? ›

Compared to software developers, testers have much less stress and pressure. However, software testing is not always a 9 to 5 job — there might be urgent tasks and strict deadlines too.

Is QA tester entry level job? ›

This is an entry-level position typically having 0 – 3 relevant industry experience. Experience creating and executing system level test plans, test cases and test reports for large/complex projects.

Are QA testers happy? ›

After analyzing hundreds of thousands of employee-generated reviews, CareerBliss found that QA analyst was ranked #2 on their list of happiest jobs.

Is QA harder than software engineering? ›

Software assurance QA testing is easy to learn and not code intensive. You will have to learn some coding, but not to the same extent as a software or web developer. Software QA test training typically takes six to ten weeks, whereas web development training takes anywhere from 12-26 weeks.

Does QA require coding? ›

Quality Analysts − Quality analysts (QA) evaluate the functionality and entirety of the test. These analysts test the software product after the development phase has been completed. The role of a QA is not as technical as a developer; thus, QA may not need to learn coding or write code.

Are QA paid less? ›

Conclusion. The salary of a QA engineer is almost always lower than that of a software developer. Depending on the role, a QA engineer may be hired to test non-software products or software, but they are almost always hired to test software.

Why are QA not respected? ›

There are a few reasons why QA people are not given respect. One reason is that QA is often seen as a necessary evil. Companies need to have someone in charge of quality assurance, but they don't necessarily want to spend a lot of money on it. As a result, QA departments are often underfunded and understaffed.

What are the top 3 skills for QA analyst? ›

Key skills for working as a QA analyst
  • A creative mindset – and the ability to approach a problem creatively.
  • Good communications skills, both written and verbal.
  • Strong IT skills.
  • A meticulous approach to work.
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems.


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