How to Become a Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality assurance engineers ensure that software products are of high quality before they are sold to the public. They work with products across their entire lifespan, and try to anticipate any issues before they arise so the end product is not impacted.

A quality assurance engineer works with particular software products throughout the development process. They ensure that these software products work as they should, and their design quality is met before selling them to the general public. 

Quality assurance engineers will also work throughout the entire production line to confirm that the product will meet standards and expectations set by the business and the government. They must also make sure that the product is delivered on time. Delays are very costly for the software industry, so on-time delivery is of tantamount importance.

A quality assurance engineer is sometimes confused with a quality assurance tester. The careers do overlap, but they also have noticeable differences. A quality assurance tester tests products at a particular stage of their production. They will only be involved in that one stage. On the other hand, a quality assurance engineer oversees the entire project, which includes testing. 

The quality assurance engineer job description includes: 

  • Planning and performing testing at various stages of the project’s production.
  • Carrying out a risk analysis for each project. 
  • Researching future projects.
  • Troubleshooting for any issues or bugs that may arise and fixing them. 
  • Working with the guidelines set out by the company and the government and fixing them. 
  • Overseeing software design, writing source code, and reviewing source code. 

Most job vacancies will require candidates to have a degree. Relevant subjects to become a software quality assurance engineer include computer science, software engineering, or information systems technology. An increasing amount of employers are favouring candidates with masters degrees. A professional certification, awarded by the national board, should give a candidate access to more senior roles. 

Candidates should have studied relevant quality assurance practices, including methodologies, processes, and software development. They may have to study these independently of their tertiary education – supplementary courses are a great way to show that they have knowledge in these areas. 

Quality assurance engineers should have a naturally investigative attitude towards their work, as they will have to analyse every aspect of the process. They should naturally have excellent attention to detail throughout their analysis. 

As quality assurance engineers will have strict deadlines for project releases, they will be expected to remain calm under pressure. They will also work with colleagues in various departments, so should have excellent communication skills and be able to work as a part of a team.

Quality assurance engineers will typically work in an office or a lab. If they have deadlines, they may need to work nights or weekends. They will be employed by computer systems design companies, computers and electronics manufacturers, and software publishers. 

What degree is most commonly held by a Quality Assurance Engineer?

  • Bachelors of Business and Economics
  • BSc Hons Environmental Management
  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering - Systems and Computers
  • Bachelor of Political Science

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
Quality assurance engineers are highly skilled, and their abilities may be in demand in other countries around the world. However, they should have an excellent knowledge of the country that they are based in, including their cultural norms and the market. International companies may also place employees in another country for a set period of time.

What is the Salary of a Quality Assurance Engineer?

Experience Average salary | year
Quality Assurance Engineer 1-3 yrs $50,100 £36,500 $58,218
Quality Assurance Engineer 3-5 yrs $62,356 £50,000 $69,307
Quality Assurance Engineer 5-10 yrs $81,347 £73,800 $85,000

What skills are needed to become a Quality Assurance Engineer?

  • Quality Assurance
  • SQL
  • Agile Methodologies
  • JIRA
  • Testing
  • Test Automation
  • Manual Testing
  • Microsoft Office
  • Test planning
  • Regression Testing
  • Java
  • Selenium
  • Test Cases
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Requirements Analysis
  • JavaScript
  • Software Quality Assurance
  • Scrum
  • Project Management
  • HTML
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Management
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
  • Selenium WebDriver

Quality Assurance Courses

To become a quality assurance engineer, candidates will need knowledge in various theoretical topics that they may not study at university. Therefore, supplementary courses are highly recommended. At FutureLearn, we have some excellent options for prospective quality assurance engineers.

  • Introduction to Web Development

    Discover web development and learn to build your own interactive websites using HTML CSS and JavaScript Supported by Google

  • UX Design: From Concept to Prototype

    Better understand the UX design process and learn how to build a user-centred product from concept to prototype

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