Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Salary
Quality Assurance Engineers usually earn approximately $66K annually in the United States, but Apple Computer, Inc offers a significantly higher median of $100K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Amazon.com Inc at $98K, Bechtel Corporation at $95K, and The Boeing Company, where Quality Assurance Engineers annually earn $83K. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
A quality assurance engineer creates tests to find any problems with software before the product is launched. They identify and analyze any bugs found during testing and document them. They also must to pay very close attention to detail and coach their team on managing testing tools, reporting results, and motivating process improvement. A normal work day for a quality assurance engineer includes developing new tests to run, running the tests, and documenting the results; if any defects are noted the quality assurance engineers will need to collaborate with the software developers to find a fix and patch the program. Once the defect has been patched, they will need to run the test again to make sure there are no new bugs and to make sure the defect found has been corrected.Read More...
Quality assurance engineers typically work in an office setting during standard business hours. They typically need to have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, as well as experience with computer programming languages such as, Java, C++, Python, SQL, and XML; they must also have experience with Microsoft Windows and Linux. Many employers require five to 10 years' experience with software development or testing.
Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Tasks
- Train internal personnel in QA program requirements.
- Prepare monthly QA status reports.
- Participate in customer and regulatory agency audits.
Common Career Paths for Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Though not the most common occurrence, Quality Assurance Engineers sometimes become Quality Assurance Directors, where the average income is $109K per year. The most common promotion for Quality Assurance Engineers is Quality Manager, a position that typically pays $73K annually. Another standard transition for Quality Assurance Engineers seeking advancement is to assume a Quality Control Engineer role, where pay is often $60K.
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Popular Skills for Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Survey takers working as Quality Assurance Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Java, Selenium Automated Test Tool, Linux, and Six Sigma Green Belt are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word. Most people familiar with Quality Assurance / Quality Control also know Microsoft Office and Microsoft Excel.
Pay by Experience Level for Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Quality Assurance Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $62K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $73K. Quality Assurance Engineers bring in $76K after working for 10 to 20 years. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $81K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
For Quality Assurance Engineers, San Jose provides a pay rate that is 27 percent greater than the national average. Quality Assurance Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+25 percent), San Francisco (+19 percent), New York (+13 percent), and San Diego (+11 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pittsburgh, which sits 5 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and Portland earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (4 percent less and 2 percent less, respectively).
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