Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Develop and execute software tests to identify software problems and their causes. Test system modifications to prepare for implementation. Document software and application defects using a bug tracking system and report defects to software or web developers. Create and maintain databases of known defects. May participate in software design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, operational characteristics, product designs, and schedules.
Sample of reported job titles: Application Integration Engineer, Computer Consultant, Information Technology Analyst (IT Analyst), Product Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), Software Quality Engineer, Software Test Engineer, Systems Engineer, Test Engineer
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.
- Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.
- Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.
- Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.
- Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.
- Document test procedures to ensure replicability and compliance with standards.
- Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.
- Conduct software compatibility tests with programs, hardware, operating systems, or network environments.
- Test system modifications to prepare for implementation.
- Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.
- Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.
- Provide feedback and recommendations to developers on software usability and functionality.
- Update automated test scripts to ensure currency.
- Create or maintain databases of known test defects.
- Install, maintain, or use software testing programs.
- Install and configure recreations of software production environments to allow testing of software performance.
- Monitor program performance to ensure efficient and problem-free operations.
- Identify program deviance from standards, and suggest modifications to ensure compliance.
- Develop or specify standards, methods, or procedures to determine product quality or release readiness.
- Design or develop automated testing tools.
- Investigate customer problems referred by technical support.
- Conduct historical analyses of test results.
- Perform initial debugging procedures by reviewing configuration files, logs, or code pieces to determine breakdown source.
- Evaluate or recommend software for testing or bug tracking.
- Coordinate user or third-party testing.
- Collaborate with field staff or customers to evaluate or diagnose problems and recommend possible solutions.
- Modify existing software to correct errors, allow it to adapt to new hardware, or to improve its performance.
- Recommend purchase of equipment to control dust, temperature, or humidity in area of system installation.
- Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
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- Access software — Citrix ; PuTTY
- Accounting software — Tax software
- Administration software — Software distribution management software
- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; Minitab ; SAS ; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 9 examples)
- Application server software — Docker ; Red Hat OpenShift ; Red Hat WildFly ; Spring Boot (see all 8 examples)
- Backup or archival software — Backup and archival software; Veritas NetBackup
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu ; MicroStrategy ; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition ; Qlik Tech QlikView (see all 5 examples)
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Dropbox; Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint ; Slack
- Cloud-based management software — Amazon Web Services AWS CloudFormation ; IBM WebSphere ; Splunk Enterprise
- Communications server software — IBM Domino
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Bentley MicroStation ; Dassault Systemes CATIA
- Computer based training software — Moodle
- Configuration management software — Perforce Helix software; Puppet ; Visible Razor; VMware (see all 11 examples)
- Content workflow software — Emerald Software Group Emerald Green Office; Twiki; Workflow software
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge; Oracle Eloqua; Salesforce software
- Data base management system software — Amazon DynamoDB ; Elasticsearch ; MongoDB ; Oracle PL/SQL (see all 27 examples)
- Data base reporting software — Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services ; Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer; SAP Business Intelligence; SAP Crystal Reports (see all 7 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Airtable; Apache Hive ; Blackboard software; Transact-SQL (see all 17 examples)
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Desktop communications software — Skype
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Development environment software — Apache Ant ; Apache Subversion SVN ; Common business oriented language COBOL ; Go (see all 64 examples)
- Device drivers or system software — Microsoft DirectX
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Document management system software
- Electronic mail software — Google Gmail; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — Atlassian Bamboo ; Extensible markup language XML ; Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services SSIS ; Oracle Fusion Middleware (see all 7 examples)
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics GP ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle Hyperion ; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (see all 10 examples)
- Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software
- Expert system software — Ansible software
- File versioning software — Git ; Version control software
- Filesystem software — File server software
- Financial analysis software — Delphi Technology; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geographic information system GIS software
- Graphical user interface development software — Graphical user interface GUI builder software; Graphical user interface GUI design software; Salesforce Visualforce
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; JamBoard; SmugMug Flickr ; Trimble SketchUp Pro (see all 10 examples)
- Human resources software — Human resource management software HRMS
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Information retrieval or search software — Apache Avro; LexisNexis
- Instant messaging software — Blink; GroupMe
- Internet browser software — Apple Safari; Microsoft Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox; Web browser software
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
- Medical software — Epic Systems
- Metadata management software — CA Erwin Data Modeler; Talend Data Fabric
- Network conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToWebinar
- Network monitoring software — Nagios ; Wireshark
- Network operation system software — IBM z/OS operating systems
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software; Network intrusion detection software; Virtual private networking VPN software
- Object or component oriented development software — Advanced business application programming ABAP ; Apache Spark ; Objective C ; Scala (see all 36 examples)
- Object oriented data base management software — Hibernate ORM; PostgreSQL
- Office suite software — LibreOffice; Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Server ; Oracle Solaris ; Red Hat Enterprise Linux ; UNIX Shell (see all 25 examples)
- Platform interconnectivity software — Migration software
- Portal server software — Apache HTTP Server
- Presentation software — Google Slides; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Program testing software — Hewlett Packard LoadRunner; IBM Rational Robot; JUnit ; Selenium (see all 40 examples)
- Project management software — Atlassian JIRA ; Confluence ; Microsoft Teams; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (see all 6 examples)
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — IBM Rational RequisitePro; Requirements management software; Unified modeling language UML
- Spreadsheet software — Google Sheets; Microsoft Excel
- Storage networking software — Amazon Simple Storage Service S3 ; Storage area network SAN software
- Transaction security and virus protection software — Antivirus software; Encryption software; McAfee; Symantec (see all 5 examples)
- Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS; IBM Middleware; Microsoft Internet Information Service IIS; Object Management Group Object Request Broker (see all 5 examples)
- Video conferencing software — Cisco Systems Webex; FaceTime; Google Meet; LogMeIn GoToMeeting (see all 5 examples)
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects ; Flipgrid; Screencastify; YouTube (see all 5 examples)
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Google Sites; LinkedIn ; Social media sites
- Web platform development software — Backbone.js ; Microsoft ASP.NET Core MVC ; React ; Spring Framework (see all 28 examples)
- Word processing software — 3M Post-it App; Google Docs ; Microsoft OneNote; Microsoft Word (see all 5 examples)
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Compile technical information or documentation.
- Report maintenance or equipment problems to appropriate personnel.
- Document operational activities.
- Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
- Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Document design or development procedures.
- Develop detailed project plans.
- Test software performance.
- Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
- Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
- Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Create databases to store electronic data.
- Install computer software.
- Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
- Provide customer service to clients or users.
- Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
- Read documents to gather technical information.
- Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Assess database performance.
- Modify software programs to improve performance.
- Prepare data for analysis.
- Provide recommendations to others about computer hardware.
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- Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 77% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 44% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Time Pressure — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “40 hours.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 63% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 42% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 59% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 54% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 33% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 44% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: ICR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers.
Employment data for Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers.
Industry data for Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers.
|Median wages (2020)||$52.95 hourly, $110,140 annual|
|Employment (2020)||1,847,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||189,200|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Society for Quality
- American Software Testing Qualifications Board
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology
- CompTIA Association of IT Professionals
- Computing Research Association
- IEEE Computer Society
- Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals
- International Software Testing Qualifications Board
- National Center for Women and Information Technology
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers
- Project Management Institute
- Quality Assurance Institute
- Society of Women Engineers
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