Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software) Salary
Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers in the United States take home approximately $67K per year on average. Total incomes of Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $10K from bonuses and close to $12K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $40K and $100K. The particular firm is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and years of experience. Making up 72 percent of those who took the survey, male Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Most Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software)
Some Test/Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers work with computer science-related applications. A lot of what they do involves making sure that software does what it's supposed to do. On a day-to-day basis, they create test plans and test cases to determine whether certain parts of the program function as written. When problems arise, they are responsible for finding and debugging rough spots in the code. QA Software Engineers also review user interfaces to ensure functionality and uniform design. They're present for every step of the software development process, interpreting and reporting testing results to their superiors and the rest of the software team.Read More...
In terms of personality, they are methodical, organized, and detail-oriented. Customer satisfaction is important to them, and they are dedicated to producing software of the highest quality. They are fast learners with the flexibility to handle changes in tasks, and they aren't afraid of group collaboration or individual work. It's a fast-paced position, and successful QA Software Engineers are efficient workers who have a "test it to break it" attitude. It's a very analytical and investigative type of work, and lovers of experimental procedures will thrive in this career path.
The physical requirements of being a software test engineer rarely go beyond finger dexterity the ability to handle prolonged sitting. Positions in this line of work are entirely indoors and generally full-time. Most positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or related fields with a few years of project testing leadership experience. Different positions will require knowledge of different programming languages, but common ones include C or C++ and JAVA.
Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software) Tasks
- Find bugs, defects, and regressions.
- Design, implement, execute and debug information technology test cases and scripts.
- Validate and document completion of testing and development.
- Automate test cases.
- Verify fixes.
Common Career Paths for Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software)
While not commonly seen, Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers who transition into a Software Quality Assurance Manager position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Software Quality Assurance Managers is $103K per year. Career advancement for the typical Software Test Quality Assurance Engineer often leads to becoming a Quality Assurance Engineer, or a Test Automation Engineer; median salaries in these positions are $17K higher and $21K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software)
Many Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers can be found at International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Symantec Corporation, Apple Computer, Inc, Evisions, Inc, and L-3 Communications, firms that are at the top of the field. Employees of Apple Computer, Inc can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $108K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $99K to $183K. Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks at Cisco Systems Inc ($104K), NetApp ($95K), and Thomson Reuters ($86K).
Also approaching the lower end are L-3 Communications at $55K, Evisions, Inc at $56K, and Accenture at $61K.
Popular Skills for Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software)
Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Python, C, and Test Automation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 14 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Word and Microsoft SQL Server. Those educated in Test Automation tend to be well versed in SQL and Java.
Pay by Experience Level for Test / Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $61K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $75K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers make a median salary of $83K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $89K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers, Sunnyvale offers exceptional salaries, 51 percent above the national average. Software Test Quality Assurance Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+44 percent), Santa Clara (+29 percent), San Francisco (+20 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). Trailing the national average by 8 percent, Portland is the market with the smallest paychecks. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Denver and Atlanta (6 percent lower).
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