Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Salary (United States)

SQA Engineers in the United States can typically expect wages of $69,574 per year. Compensation ranges from $46,812 on the low end to $101,318 per year on the high end. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group—the particular city and tenure are driving factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to the greater part, and the greater part earn dental coverage. Most SQA Engineers are men (71 percent). Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$47,920 - $97,208
(Median)
48K
56K
68K
83K
97K
MEDIAN: $68,217
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$17.53 - $54.82
(Median)
18
30
40
55
MEDIAN: $30
10%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$47,920 - $97,208  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,865  
Profit Sharing
$1,016 - $10,357  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$46,812 - $101,318  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 783
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$17.53 - $54.82  
   
Overtime
$26.27 - $50.34  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,865  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,016 - $10,357  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$46,812 - $101,318  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 91
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Job Description for Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer

Software quality assurance (SQA) engineers are in charge of controlling standards in the software developing process. They carefully plan product specifications and features, and they ensure applications are tested and ship without bugs or technical glitches. Among their main responsibilities, SQA engineers manage software performance and stress-test code to improve reliability. They keep logs of every trial instance for future team reference. Further, they track fixes and adjust development cycle time frame.
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Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Tasks
  • Document, track, and resolve software bugs or defects with help from the programming team.
  • Design benchmarks, test cases, and testing framework.
  • Develop manual and program automated test software using diverse tools and source documentation.
  • Participate in product design reviews and modify requirements.

Common Career Paths for Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer

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Compensation may increase greatly for SQA Engineers who advance in their career. Upper-end positions like Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Manager may make an additional $33K per year than lower-end positions. SQA Engineers can earn $12,270 or $11,315 more per year when they move into roles as Sr. Computer Test Engineers or Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Leads, a common transition for those in the field.

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer

Although Apple Computer, Inc boasts the highest average salary in town at $111,133, employee compensation still varies greatly—workers can make as little as $56K or as much as $136K.
Symantec Corporation offers the lowest pay in the field, with a median salary of just $72,991. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Cisco Systems Inc ($106,820) and Apple Computer, Inc ($111,133).

Popular Skills for Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer

SQA Engineers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Test Automation, Linux, UNIX, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 14 percent, 8 percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Access, HTML, and Microsoft Word. For most people, competency in Java indicates knowledge of Microsoft Word and Linux.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For SQA Engineers, experience in the field does not tend to play a major role in salary decisions; in general, pay does not go up drastically with more experience, and earnings grow incrementally instead. Starting out, salaries are typically $62K, which grows to $77K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $84K after 10 to 20 years. Salary increase slows as SQA Engineers pass 20 years in their field, with average salaries hovering around $90K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 18 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than five percent. Age distribution in this workforce is concentrated between one and nine years of experience; most of respondents fall in this range.

Pay Difference By Location

Mountain View
up arrow 37%
up arrow 29%
Seattle
up arrow 25%
Sunnyvale
up arrow 21%
San Francisco
up arrow 13%
San Mateo
up arrow 5%
Boston
up arrow 4%
Palo Alto
up arrow 1%
National Average
$70,000
Portland
up arrow 1%
Atlanta
up arrow 5%
Los Angeles
up arrow 7%
Irvine
up arrow 7%
New York
up arrow 7%
San Diego
up arrow 9%
Austin
up arrow 9%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
SQA Engineers will find that Mountain View offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 37 percent. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like San Jose, Seattle, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco, top-paying markets where SQA Engineers rake in more than the national norm (+29 percent, +25 percent, +21 percent, and +13 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Diego, which sits 9 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (-9 percent) and Los Angeles (-7 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%
National Average
$70,000

Skills That Affect Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer Salaries

up arrow 8%
up arrow 6%
Java
up arrow 4%
Oracle
up arrow 3%
C
up arrow 2%
National Average
$70,000
C#
up arrow 3%
SQL
up arrow 4%
.NET
up arrow 5%
C++
up arrow 8%
Visual Basic (VB)
up arrow 8%
HTML
up arrow 11%
Microsoft Access
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 179 votes.

Gender

Female
29%
female alumni
 
Male
71%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 9%
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