QA Tester jobs and careers

QA and software testing provides the means and measures for testing all aspects of a software solution – technically and functionally, in order to meet specific requirements of the overall quality of the intended solution.

Why consider a career as a QA Tester?

If you enjoy working collaboratively and have a keen eye for detail and problem solving, a career in QA testing is becoming increasingly popular and the demand is becoming higher for testing professionals. Companies that are seeking QA testers usually include those that work in web applications, software or computer and video games.

What a job or career in QA Testing may entail…

As a Test Analyst, you’ll review requirements, write and review test scripts and user documentation. You will also manage stakeholders and test cross browsers. You will define success criteria for the build and launch of new sites, as well as test web projects for functionality, accuracy and adherence to the agreed web standards and design. Measuring test coverage and prioritising test focus will be your responsibility, on top of undertaking manual testing and setup. The main focus of your role can be to create and maintain a suite of Behat tests and to develop a company’s testing efforts.

If you are looking at a more senior position within QA testing, your main responsibility will be to ensure the highest quality in business products. You may work across a multitude of devices, operating systems and browsers, including desktop, mobile and tablet. You will be responsible for manual testing of online website developments. You often use automated testing tools. Your responsibility will be to thoroughly and meticulously test new developments, with issues and improvements identified and passed back to the Developers prior to release to a live environment.

You’ll conduct manual testing of web developments across multiple devices, operating systems and browsers including mobile, tablet, IOS and Android; positive and negative testing as well as a limited amount of automated testing, possibly alongside external automated testing providers. You may also provide full test estimates covering the entire testing cycle from test planning, test case writing, test execution, regression testing and retests.

In a Web Tester role, you’ll be evaluating and improving current test processes. You may be reporting to a lead, testing a range of websites and web applications for functionality and accuracy, possibly with a highly skilled team of Designers, Developers and Project Managers. Within the role, you often need to be a self-managed team player, organising your own time and being able to cope with multiple projects concurrently.

You may be responsible for pre-launch website testing and are seen as the expert within the digital team. Essentially you’ll be testing websites for functionality and accuracy through manual and increasingly automated QA activities. For this, you often need to have experience in areas including test analysis, system functional testing, regression testing and system integration testing.

Typical role titles include

Test Analyst
Test Engineer
Software in Test
Web Tester
Website Tester
Quality Analyst / QA Analyst / QA Engineer
Automation Engineer

Career progression example

Senior Website Tester
Test Lead/Manager
Senior Test Engineer

Salary and Day Rate Benchmarks

Here, we aim to provide an overall range of day rates and salaries.

There are always factors to consider when assigning a day rate and salary to a role, such as the skill demand, location, complexity, level of responsibility as well as what other benefits are on offer, such as remote working. It’s also worth noting that the ‘number of years’ of experience is not an ideal measure. However, as a general guide, it should provide some ballparks and pointers…

Salaries

At an entry level, junior / graduate QA Tester professionals on average will be earning between £25-35k. At the mid-level you’d be looking to earn £35-50k and seniors would be looking to earn £50k+.

Day Rates

At an entry-level, for a junior/graduate a typical day rate would be around the £250 mark, at the mid-level around the £350 mark and seniors can expect a day rate of £400+ as a benchmark.

Is it right for me? The skills it takes…

The following technologies and skills often appear on job descriptions;

Automated testing skills on both web and device (Selenium / Browserstack) | HTML and CSS and that you have an understanding of some CMS | Experience of working with devs to plan, design and create automated tests for releases | ISEB/ISTQB | Software testing (n-tier/enterprise) | API testing | Database testing | Windows scripting (VB, Powershell etc) | TestRail, Redmine or Ranorex | Mobile or load testing experience | Selenium IDE and Selenium Webdriver | Cucumber | Calabash | Behat | JIRA | Gitlabs | PHP | MySQL | .Net. SQL and others for Microsoft stack roles.

What qualifications does it take?

Often clients will look for you to hold the ISTQB certification (foundation or intermediate). A technical degree can be useful but is often not essential to secure your first role in testing.

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