what is a QA engineer?

Have you ever worked on a project so intensely that you couldn't look at your work objectively? When you stepped back and returned to the project later, you found new solutions and errors that you'd missed. QA engineers offer this service full-time.

As a QA engineer, you work alongside software developers, testing their programs and identifying glitches throughout the project's lifespan. QA engineers focus on every detail, testing individual lines of code to ensure that they don't miss anything. You'll repeatedly review the software so that you catch small issues before they become major glitches.

In today's mobile age, thousands of people use tablets and smartphones instead of computers. QA engineers ensure that users can access software from various devices without glitches and unexpected shutdowns. With your help, companies can make their products globally accessible.

As a result, you'll potentially save your employer millions of dollars. Untested apps have glitches that deter consumers and lead to poor reviews. Worse still, software with security flaws could leak users' personal information, causing lawsuits and destroying the business's reputation. You'll reduce the risk as much as possible so that your client makes a profit instead of paying expenses.

Would working as a QA engineer suit your technology skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a QA engineer role.

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average QA engineer salary

QA testers and engineers made an average of $98,220 per year in 2021. While the lowest 10% earned $48,960 per year, the highest 10% reached $153,250. People who worked for software developers made the most, earning $102,090 each year.

Since most QA engineers work full time, you can expect to receive health insurance, retirement plans, life insurance, paid sick days, vacation time, and other benefits. Some businesses compensate you when you travel for work-related purposes. Experienced QA engineers could negotiate for higher salaries and benefits.

Sometimes, you don't need to negotiate. The hiring manager sees your resume and immediately offers you a higher rate before another company grabs you. Still, research the average QA engineer salary in your region to make sure that they pay you a fair amount.

Your employer might give you overtime hours when you're working on a large project or dealing with an emergency. Most states require hourly workers to receive overtime pay. However, some salaried workers aren't eligible, so research your state's laws before you sign up. You don't want to work for a company that underpays you.

Wondering what you can earn as a QA engineer? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of a QA engineer is.

Close up - Smiling male looking away.
Close up - Smiling male looking away.

types of QA engineer

QA engineers can have different job titles, including Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Product Assurance Engineer, Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), and Software Test Engineer. These titles require the same basic skills but may have different responsibilities.

If you do well, you could earn a supervisorial title, such as Quality Assurance Director (QA Director). You'll guide your team to follow procedures, perform accurate tests, record their findings, and help developers polish their software. Essentially, you're checking their work while they check the software developers' work.


working as a QA engineer

QA engineers bring their expertise to a variety of tasks. Learn more about your potential salary and work environment.


QA engineer skills and education

To start, pursue a bachelor's degree in a math, science, or engineering field. This degree helps you secure a position while you consider earning your master's degree or doctorate. If you have an associate degree, look for internships while you earn your bachelor's degree to accelerate your learning.

If you want to start right away, university "boot camps" provide your education and degree in a shortened time frame. You'll have to pass your courses in half the time or less, but you'll graduate quickly and start your journey toward a six-figure salary. Plus, college gives you networking opportunities that help you find jobs.

Supplement your resume with certifications, such as Certified Quality Assurance Professional (CQAP). You'll have to meet educational and experience qualifications to take the exams, which cover various aspects of quality engineering. Some employers require certifications for high-value projects. Once you earn a certification, keep track of renewal dates so that it doesn't lapse.

Additionally, learn about new technologies and methods with online courses. Some courses take a month or less to complete and are more affordable than college classes. You can even find free courses, but be sure to verify their legitimacy first.

skills and competencies

QA engineers are expert problem solvers. You calculate risk, identify potential issues, find out what went wrong, and propose changes. While you find obvious problems, you also identify minor bugs that no one would have noticed before the release. Afterward, you document your findings and communicate your solution to software developers, keeping the project moving with as little downtime as possible.

Similarly, QA engineers are detail oriented. If you've ever written code, you've seen how a single mistyped digit could throw off the entire program. Sometimes, the project still works, but users could crash the software by exploiting holes in the code. You study every digit to make sure that everything's in place.

Logic comes naturally to you. QA engineers study challenges step by step to find the correct solution. You look at issues objectively, perform quick math calculations, notice patterns, and easily comprehend lines of code. However, you also use creativity when you consider different ways to improve the design.

Clients rely on your communication skills. You clearly discuss problems and solutions, leaving no room for error, and create organized reports that developers can reference later. Likewise, you respond quickly and professionally to emails and produce informative presentations.


FAQs about working as a QA engineer

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about QA engineers.

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