Information Technology Careers | Software QA Engineer / Tester

Software QA Engineer / Tester

Career Area: Information Technology

Occupation Group: Software Development

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Software QA Engineer / Tester earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $87,408

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $88,470

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Designs and runs in-depth diagnostic tests to evaluate software and check for problems before new products are marketed. Pilots software and applies tests to check for errors and glitches.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina3401+11.4%
Nationwide78073+9.3%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Software QA Engineer / Tester is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Quality Assurance and Control: Working experience with processes used to measure and assure the quality of a product and ensuring products and services meet consumer expectations.
  • Selenium: Selenium is a portable software-testing framework for web applications.
  • Java: Java is a set of computer software and specifications developed by Sun Microsystems, which was later acquired by the Oracle Corporation, that provides a system for developing application software and deploying it in a cross-platform computing environment.
  • SQL: SQL ( ESS-kew-EL or SEE-kwl, Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS), or for stream processing in a relational data stream management system (RDSMS).
  • Software Development: Software development is the process of computer programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications and frameworks resulting in a software product.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Software QA Engineer / Tester that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Scenario testing: Working experience of Scenario testing, which is a software testing activity that uses scenarios: hypothetical stories to help the tester work through a complex problem or test system. The ideal scenario test is a credible, complex, compelling or motivating story the outcome of which is easy to evaluate.
  • Bug tracking: Working experience of Bug tracking. A bug tracking system or defect tracking system is a software application that keeps track of reported software bugs in software development projects.
  • Apache Jmeter: Working experience of Apache Jmeter. Apache JMeter is an Apache project that can be used as a load testing tool for analyzing and measuring the performance of a variety of services, with a focus on web applications. JMeter supports variable parameterization, assertions (response validation), per-thread cookies, configuration variables and a variety of reports.
  • Unit Testing: Working experience of Unit Testing, which is a software development process in which the smallest testable parts of an application, called units, are individually and independently scrutinized for proper operation. Unit testing can be done manually but is often automated.
  • TestNG: Working experience of TestNG, which is a testing framework for the Java programming language, designed to cover a wider range of test categories: unit, functional, end-to-end, integration, etc., with more powerful and easy-to-use functionalities.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years20%
3 to 5 years51%
6 to 8 years19%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Tester
  • Test Engineer
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Senior Test Engineer

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