What Does A Software Quality Assurance Engineer and Tester Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

SQA Engineers

SQA Engineers develop and execute software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.

Salary
$114270
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

SQA Engineers develop and execute software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.

  • 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.
  • Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.

Typical day

On a daily basis, SQA Engineers provide feedback and recommendations to developers on software usability and functionality. They develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.

A typical day for a Software Quality Assurance Engineer and Tester will also include:

  • Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.
  • Create or maintain databases of known test defects.
  • Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.
  • Monitor program performance to ensure efficient and problem-free operations.
  • Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, SQA Engineers also plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates. They may also participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.

On a weekly to monthly basis, SQA Engineers conduct historical analyses of test results. They might also review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.

In addition, they develop or specify standards, methods, or procedures to determine product quality or release readiness.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them collaborate with field staff or customers to evaluate or diagnose problems and recommend possible solutions.

To some SQA Engineers, it is also their responsibility to design or develop automated testing tools.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Low

70% said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they found their job meaningful.


Hannah Quinn
Flowlens

I work as a QA Software Engineer but I also cover some of the support that comes in so it’s important that I ensure that all our customers are happy.

My day starts off by checking my emails to ensure that there are no important emails to address. I then go to look at the tasks that have been marked by development as ready to test. I plan out how I will test the tasks, implement those tests, then once they meet the quality of our system, mark them as ready to go.

Every week we do a new software release which involves me doing regression testing on the system to ensure that the new things that were introduced, haven’t broken any other part of the system. I occasionally have meetings to discuss new features/current issues, and everyday I am part of a meeting where we figure out problems together.

Pros

  • There really is no better feeling than when you work out how to replicate a very complicated bug that only crops up in really unlikely circumstances!
  • When we do a release and it all goes smoothly, I get a massive sense of pride in my work because I know that our software is working well because of my contribution.
  • Our software is constantly being developed and maintained so it means that every day I am working on something different – no two days are ever the same.
  • Being part of a really friendly team means that I get to learn knowledge from other people, in regards to both technical skills and customer-based knowledge.

Cons

  • It can sometimes be hard to switch off after work when you know there are tasks that still need to be addressed. I have found that the best way to deal with this is to prioritize my work and accept that there are some tasks that are ok to be left until the next day.
  • It can be frustrating when a bug manages to make it through to the live system as you feel like you’re personally responsible. This, however, drives me to ensure that my tests have even better coverage and prompts me to look into new, and better ways of testing.

Hannah Quinn
Flowlens


Pros

Suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers).

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

How much do they make

Average salary

$114270 per year

Average hourly wage

$55 per hour

Entry-level SQA Engineers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $65,210 to $84,020 per year or $31 to $40 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $170,100 $82
Senior (Top 25%) $140,470 $68
Median $110,140 $53
Junior (Bottom 25%) $84,020 $40
No experience (Bottom 10%) $65,210 $31

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for SQA Engineers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Inland Water Transportation $243130 $116.89
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers $187070 $89.94
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores $146630 $70.49
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $145800 $70.10
Electronics and Appliance Stores $137170 $65.95
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $135870 $65.32
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services $129590 $62.30
Cable and Other Subscription Programming $128900 $61.97
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $128840 $61.94
Scientific Research and Development Services $127780 $61.43

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can SQA Engineers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of SQA Engineers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 480840 $111770 $53.73
Software Publishers 139820 $122630 $58.96
Management of Companies and Enterprises 76470 $110790 $53.26
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services 53000 $112090 $53.89
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 44650 $109600 $52.69
Insurance Carriers 42200 $103890 $49.95
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities 38580 $119260 $57.34
Other Information Services 38350 $126270 $60.70
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 38170 $113540 $54.59
Employment Services 36180 $113780 $54.70

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
54%

More than 40 hours
46%

Working schedule

93%

7%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
96%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
41%

Every day
48%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
11%

Every day
85%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
19%

Once a year
44%

Once a month
26%

Once a week
11%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
8%

Slightly competitive
8%

Moderately competitive
31%

Highly competitive
54%

Extremely competitive
0%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
11%

Once a year or more
7%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
78%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
70%

Once a year or more
26%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
4%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
89%

Once a year or more
7%

Once a month or more
4%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
93%

Once a year or more
7%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
4%

Post-Secondary Certificate
7%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
15%

Bachelor’s Degree
70%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
4%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Computer Software Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to support engineers in developing, implementing, and evaluating computer software and program applications. Includes instruction in computer programming, programming languages, databases, user interfaces, networking and warehousing, encryption and security, software testing and evaluation, and customization.

Computer Systems Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of professionals who use computer systems. Includes instruction in basic computer design and architecture, programming, problems of specific computer applications, component and system maintenance and inspection procedures, hardware and software problem diagnosis and repair, and report preparation.

Computer Engineering Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of computer engineers engaged in designing and developing computer systems and installations. Includes instruction in computer electronics and programming, prototype development and testing, systems installation and testing, solid state and microminiature circuitry, peripheral equipment, and report preparation.


Computer Software Engineering

A program that prepares individuals to apply scientific and mathematical principles to the design, analysis, verification, validation, implementation, and maintenance of computer software systems using a variety of computer languages. Includes instruction in discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, computer science, managerial science, and applications to complex computer systems.

Computer Engineering

A program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of computer hardware and software systems and related equipment and facilities; and the analysis of specific problems of computer applications to various tasks.

Computer Science

A program that focuses on computer theory, computing problems and solutions, and the design of computer systems and user interfaces from a scientific perspective. Includes instruction in the principles of computational science, computer development and programming, and applications to a variety of end-use situations.


Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst

A program that prepares individuals to apply programming and systems analysis principles to the selection, implementation, and troubleshooting of customized computer and software installations across the life cycle. Includes instruction in computer hardware and software; compilation, composition, execution, and operating systems; low- and high-level languages and language programming; programming and debugging techniques; installation and maintenance testing and documentation; process and data flow analysis; user needs analysis and documentation; cost-benefit analysis; and specification design.

Computer Programming, Specific Platforms

A program that prepares individuals to design, develop, and implement software-based solutions for specific business and consumer platforms including industrial, game, mobile, tactile, and web platforms. Includes instruction in computer programming, computer hardware, data structures, database theory, maintenance, operating systems, project management, software development, and systems analysis.

Computer Game Programming

A program that prepares individuals to apply the knowledge and skills of design and computer programming to the development of computer games. Includes training in character and story development, computer programming, computer graphics, game design, game physics, human-computer interaction, human-centered design, and usability.


Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification

A program that prepares individuals to fulfill the requirements set by vendors for professional qualification as certified installation, customization, and maintenance engineers for specific software products and/or processes. Includes training in specific vendor-supported software products and their installation and maintenance.

Computer Programming, Specific Applications

A program that prepares individuals to apply the knowledge and skills of general computer programming to the solution of specific operational problems and customization requirements presented by individual software users and organizational users. Includes training in specific types of software and its installation and maintenance.

Computer Programming

A program that focuses on the general writing and implementation of generic and customized programs to drive operating systems and that generally prepares individuals to apply the methods and procedures of software design and programming to software installation and maintenance. Includes instruction in software design, low- and high-level languages and program writing; program customization and linking; prototype testing; troubleshooting; and related aspects of operating systems and networks.


Informatics

A program that focuses on computer systems from a user-centered perspective and studies the structure, behavior and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process and communicate information. Includes instruction in information sciences, human computer interaction, information system analysis and design, telecommunications structure and information architecture and management.

Information Technology

A program that focuses on the design of technological information systems, including computing systems, as solutions to business and research data and communications support needs. Includes instruction in the principles of computer hardware and software components, algorithms, databases, telecommunications, user tactics, application testing, and human interface design.

Computer and Information Sciences

A general program that focuses on computing, computer science, and information science and systems. Such programs are undifferentiated as to title and content and are not to be confused with specific programs in computer science, information science, or related support services.


Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
11%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
22%

1 to 2 years
19%

2 to 4 years
19%

4 to 6 years
22%

6 to 8 years
7%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
0%

1 month
19%

1 to 3 months
26%

3 to 6 months
26%

6 months to 1 year
19%

1 to 2 years
11%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

The Builder
62%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
90%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
29%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
24%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
86%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
71%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
71%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
67%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
62%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
71%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
71%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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