Software Quality Assurance Testers


Employment Prospects


Quality assurance testers are employed throughout the United States. Opportunities are best in large cities and suburbs where business and industry are active. Many work for software manufacturers, a cluster of which are located in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, in northern California. There are also concentrations of software manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest, Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Starting Out

Positions in the field of quality assurance can be obtained several different ways. Many universities and colleges host computer job fairs on campus throughout the year that include representatives from several hardware and software companies. Internships and summer jobs with such corporations are always beneficial and provide experience that will give you the edge over your competition. General computer job fairs are also held throughout the year in larger cities. Some job openings are advertised in newspapers. There are many online career sites listed on the World Wide Web that post job openings, salary surveys, and current employment trends. The Web also has online publications that deal specifically with quality assurance. You can also obtain information from associations for quality professionals, such as the QAI Global Institute, and from computer organizations, including the IEEE Computer Society.

Advancement Prospects

Quality assurance testers are considered entry-level positions in some companies. After acquiring more experience and technical knowledge, testers might become quality assurance analysts, who write and revise the quality assurance standards or specifications for new programs. They also create the quality assurance examinations that testers use to evaluate programs. This usually involves using computer programming. Some analysts also evaluate proposals for new software products to decide whether the proposed product is capable of doing what it is supposed to do. Analysts are sometimes promoted to quality assurance manager positions, which require some knowledge of software coding, the entire software production process, and test automation. They manage quality assurance teams for specific software products before and beyond their release.

Some testers also go on to become programmers or software designers or engineers.

Tips for Entry

Talk with software testers about their careers. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.

Attend the Conference of the Association for Software Testing ( to network and participate in continuing education classes.

Read IEEE Software ( to learn more about the field.

Track pros and cons of software programs you use and think of ways to improve them or solve any problems they have.