Who is a Software Tester and How Much You Can Earn?

Who is a Software Tester?

A Quality Assurance specialist and a software tester are not always the same thing. Many beginners find it difficult to understand the essence of this direction because at the start everything seems complicated. So let’s say that QA Engineer and software tester are nominal synonyms.

In the large corporations quality assurance departments are very big and there QA engineer and Software Tester positions may be separated. But in small companies and startups, the tester is like a man-orchestra: he does everything that this position says.

To make it clear who is a software tester let’s briefly describe his role in development:

  • There is a plan and a set of documents describing what the output should be in the program.
  • Developers write a program, catch the main critical errors and issue either a finished program version 1.0 or some intermediate version for closed or open (usually game developers) testing.
  • Software tester duties:
    To “run” the program in all available modes, check how it works, what works and what’s not; which errors and failures occur in the work.
    Describe errors and how to reproduce them step by step. Pass it to developers.
  • Developers fix errors and inconsistencies found.
  • Repeating step 3 until the program is ready.

What are the “types” of software testers?
There are several levels of a tester in terms of “maturity”:

  • Intern, trainee, assistant – a person with no experience at all.
  • Junior QA Engineer
  • Middle QA Engineer;
  • Senior QA Engineer
  • QALead

Sometimes you can still find the concept of “functional manager” (functional QA manager) – a person who manages testing of a specific project and the team of testers;
If a large company has a large QA department, then the highest point of development is the head of the department (head of the Quality Assurance department).

By areas, there are the following types of testers:

  • mobile application software testers (Mobile QA);
  • website testers;
  • usability testers (websites or applications);
  • testers of games (Game Tester),
  • security software testers and so on

There are four main groups by tester specialization:

Manual testing (Manual QA). These testers don’t use programs but reproduce everything that the user will do with the program.
Automated testing (Automation QA). The results of manual testing are used here. For routine and labor-intensive tasks these testers write a program code (script) that will quickly simulate user actions and saves everyone time. These testers need to know the programming language like Java/JavaScript/C# or Python (the first type of testers – Manual testers don’t have to be able to write code).
The last group is Performance QA.

Software Tester Career Growth

Increase your level as a tester (senior, lead and head of department) and move to the developers.
Increasing the complexity of testing: you can start to do automated testing instead of manual.
Change in IT career: become a business analyst, project manager, developer (income is also often higher there).

What Do You Need to Become a Junior Software Tester?

  • It is important to understand in general how the development process is going and how to test websites and applications.
  • To develop the skill of testing and analyzing, start looking for and describing all the errors in the work of different programs or websites.
  • The tester needs logical thinking so just train it.
  • Learn English. The entire IT field requires excellent knowledge of English. Moreover, the documentation and the most trustworthy training courses are usually in English.
  • Study a couple of free courses from trusted companies or teachers, or even better – sign up for a professional course where you will be led by hand. This way you are less likely to go wrong in your studies.
  • After training, you should sort out in your head:

what are the stages of development and when you, as a tester, will get involved in the work;
what tests are and how to prepare them;
how to describe errors;
how to use different testing practices correctly.

  • Once you’re comfortable with the knowledge gained, start learning the basics of the SQL query language – it makes your life a lot easier.
  • Further improvement of skills, study of systems for “catching” errors (this is called “bug tracking systems“), programming languages. As a result, a transition to a new level.

How Much Software Testers Earn in Different Countries?

Let’s look at the world statistics of income of QA engineers, compare the numbers and expand your understanding of the profession.

As a basis, I took information from the Glassdoor – one of the best recruiting sites in the world. All data provided by users is anonymous and allows you to get a real picture. So here are the salaries for a software tester job position of the second half of 2020 across the world.

Australia
The average level of manual testing engineers in the country is $ 77K per year, i.e. almost 6.5K dollars a month. However, as elsewhere, much depends on the region. For example, in Melbourne you will be paid $ 80K a year, while in Sydney it will be already $ 100K.

USA
The average tester here earns $ 72K per year (6K per month). The highest national average is $ 96K. Of course, a lot depends on the capabilities of the companies. For example, on the site you can find offers up to $ 190K per year. However, there are not very many vacancies on the market with the salary like I just mentioned.

UK
As for the country of “foggy Albion”, Glassdoor offers information for London. In the capital specialists earn 40K pounds a year on average – about 3.3K pounds a month. There are proposals for 80K per year, but they refer to specialists with extensive experience (leading quality assurance engineer).

Russia
Salary in Russian Federation is about 1.5 thousand dollars in terms of dollars. The highest salary found was 2700 dollars and it’s also aimed only at the most experienced professionals.

China
In the “Celestial Empire” the average salary offered to testers is the same as in Russia and amounts to 19K dollars (1.5K per month). This region is also characterized by a discrepancy in terms of financial remuneration. You will find jobs for both $ 800 a month and $ 3,500.

Of course, in one article it’s hard to display the complete statistics of the income of manual testers around the world. But even the numbers that I managed to consider indicate good opportunities and are clearly worth all the investments (time and money spent to get a new profession like a software tester).

Is it Worth a Shot?

I’ll tell you “Yes, it is”! Judge for yourself: the threshold for entering the profession is quite low, career growth is right the opposite. In a few years you have every chance to move from Junior to Senior Quality Assurance Engineer, build up your expertise and at the same time increase your income.

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