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Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
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Description: what do they do?
Develop and execute software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.
Also known as:
Quality Assurance Engineer (QA Engineer), Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), Quality Assurance Practice Manager (QA Practice Manager), Quality Assurance Director (QA Director), Software Quality Engineer, Product Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Test Program Manager (QA Assurance Test Program Manager), Test Engineer, Software Test Engineer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Software quality assurance engineers and testers work to identify glitches and errors that prevent apps and computer programs from working as intended. In the past, software quality assurance may have relied more on large groups of individual testers but now engineers create automated programs to discover weaknesses in software they’re developing. As part of sometimes large development teams, these engineers design testing plans and procedures, monitor the results for any bugs they uncover, and begin the process of solving the design flaws that cause the problems. Strong attention to detail and rigorous documentation are important to ensure that programs aren’t published with bugs or bad code. Typically, quality assurance engineers and testers work in offices, often as part of large teams. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are important to coordinate testing and ensure that all issues are caught. Software quality assurance testers and engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a field related to software development. Applicants with additional industry certifications and knowledge of a variety of programming languages and troubleshooting techniques may find it easier to find employment.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Idaho
1,410
2016 Employment
1,570
2026 Employment
11%
Percent change
110
Annual projected job openings
United States
412,800
2018 Employment
455,000
2028 Employment
10%
Percent change
35,700
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Computer occupations, all other because we don’t have information for Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Computer Occupations, All Other* in Idaho
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Computer Occupations, All Other because we don’t have information for Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationIdahoUnited States
10%$45,250$47,350
25%$60,810$66,410
Median$78,090$90,270
75%$98,890$117,070
90%$118,340$144,820


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
You’re seeing education information for Computer occupations, all other because we don’t have information for Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Computer occupations, all other because we don’t have information for Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Develop testing routines or procedures.
  • Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
  • Document operational activities.
  • Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
  • Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
  • Document design or development procedures.
  • Develop detailed project plans.
  • Test software performance.
  • Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
  • Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
  • Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
  • Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
  • Create databases to store electronic data.
  • Install computer software.
  • Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
  • Provide customer service to clients or users.
  • Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
  • Read documents to gather technical information.
  • Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
  • Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Programming - Writing computer programs.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.
  • 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.
  • Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.
  • Document test procedures to ensure replicability and compliance with standards.
  • Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.
  • Conduct software compatibility tests with programs, hardware, operating systems, or network environments.
  • Test system modifications to prepare for implementation.
  • Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.
  • Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.
  • Update automated test scripts to ensure currency.
  • Provide feedback and recommendations to developers on software usability and functionality.
  • Create or maintain databases of known test defects.
  • Install, maintain, or use software testing programs.
  • Install and configure recreations of software production environments to allow testing of software performance.
  • Monitor program performance to ensure efficient and problem-free operations.
  • Identify program deviance from standards, and suggest modifications to ensure compliance.
  • Design or develop automated testing tools.
  • Develop or specify standards, methods, or procedures to determine product quality or release readiness.
  • Investigate customer problems referred by technical support.
  • Conduct historical analyses of test results.
  • Perform initial debugging procedures by reviewing configuration files, logs, or code pieces to determine breakdown source.
  • Evaluate or recommend software for testing or bug tracking.
  • Coordinate user or third-party testing.
  • Collaborate with field staff or customers to evaluate or diagnose problems and recommend possible solutions.
  • Visit beta testing sites to evaluate software performance.
  • Provide technical support during software installation or configuration.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.