If you are planning to pursue a new career, it's essential to find out if your financial situation improves after you put in all that effort. Information about what to expect finance-wise can make that decision easier.
In this article, we will explore what the salary of different QA specialists is, what affects it, and whether it is worth joining their ranks.
If you want to learn more about QA specialists’ work and tasks, check out this blog post: QA Engineer: A Quick and Easy Guide to the Job.
Potential QA salary
QA engineer is one of the best jobs in America in 2022 according to Glassdoor. Quality assurance jobs provide numerous growth opportunities through the QA career path and lead to quick promotions, as well as providing solid financial stability: even if you are a first-year specialist, the professionals are in high demand — the projected growth in QA employment to 2031 is 21% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Potential starting positions:
- Software tester: tests the final product for bugs, with an annual pay of $72,345 based on the Glassdoor Total Pay Estimate model and on salaries collected from users.
- QA analyst: writes reports and analyzes data, and makes about $82,508 per year.
- QA engineer: carries out required test procedures during software development, with a median total pay of $83,679.
- Manual QA tester, who gets about $71,258 per year for testing software by hand, or
- QA automation tester, with a median salary of $94,513, if you are ready to learn coding to run automated tests.
The median annual wage for software quality assurance analysts and testers in May 2021 was $98,220, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. PayScale estimates a QA engineer's median salary as $74,584 annually.
This graph shows that an average QA salary in the U.S. strongly correlates with experience level:
- Average entry-level QA engineer's salary is about $63,781.
- A mid-level QA specialist can expect to receive $82,416.
- An average salary of an experienced QA engineer may grow to $86,733.
What affects QA salary
The QA field provides a career with countless opportunities. You can start from a junior QA tester, analyst, or engineer and grow toward becoming a senior QA tester, analyst, or engineer, with an annual salary of over $100,000.
That said, a QA specialist's salary depends on more than just experience. Let's review some other factors.
Top companies like Google or Meta are always looking for QA specialists. Meta provides the highest salary of $188,600 per year and has 706 open QA Engineer positions as of the time of publishing, while Google offers 2,000 jobs paying an average of $173,343 annually. The top 10 employers mentioned by Glassdoor include Nvidia, LinkedIn, and Apple.
Some spheres are ready to pay more to preserve their reputation of customer satisfaction. Here are some examples of the Top 5 paying industries for the U.S.:
- Insurance, which allows a specialist to get a total pay of $130,547
- Media & Communication ― $118,537
- Telecommunications ― $118,449
- Information Technology ― $117,508
- Human Resources & Staffing ― $113,658.
The highest-paying states for QA engineers are Washington, Maryland, and New York. As per ZipRecruiter, they pay more than the national average, with annual salaries of $94,724, $92,631, and $90,877 respectively.
Here is an example of a career path for a QA Engineer:
QA jobs allow you to use your diverse experience and communication skills to get promoted to QA manager, which bumps you up to $110,750 annually. Meanwhile, the position of lead QA manager, which you can attain in five–seven years, may yield up to $236.000 ($182,673 on average).
It all depends on your professional goals and desires.
Here is the statistic of estimated annual salaries for different positions:
How to become a QA specialist
QA is a great choice for those who don't have a bachelor's degree in computer science. You may find a lot of options to study for the career of a QA specialist, avoiding the multiple years and massive tuition fees that come with traditional education. In fact, you can complete your education in three–six months.
As QA is a popular field, you may come across a variety of online tutorials, guides, and courses, providing valuable skills for free. Consider tutorials — for example, the comprehensive Software Testing Tutorial, resources such as Try QA, full of tutorials, guides, and articles, or free courses, such as Introduction to Software Testing, all allowing you to study at your own pace.
However, learning on your own can be frustrating: it requires strong discipline and structuring information on your own, which could prove ineffective and time-consuming.
Having no prior experience is fine when it comes to studying and internships, but insufficient for a position at a serious company. Bootcamps can provide the training you need and assist in building a portfolio. Practicum's QA Engineering Bootcamp is a perfect fit for those who are starting from scratch. In five months you will learn how to run both manual and automated testing, web application, and mobile testing, take part in real projects, and gain all the necessary skills to prepare you for your first QA job.
So, give Practicum’s bootcamp a shot and become a QA engineer in five months. It’s that easy!