How to Become a QA Tester?

Are you thinking of becoming a QA Tester or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a QA Tester, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new QA Tester job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Qa Tester

A QA tester, which stands for quality assurance tester, conducts software testing to resolve issues and ensure specific standards are met. If you are a critical thinker and have strong collaboration skills, you might consider a career as a QA tester. In this article, we discuss the steps you need to take to become a QA tester.

Obtain a degree in a field you want to QA.

To become a QA tester, you need to earn at least an associate degree, although some might require the completion of a bachelor's degree program. Consider what type of industry you want to work in to narrow down what area of focus you should enroll in. For instance, if you want to work as a software tester, it's best to get a degree in engineering, math, or computer science. The degree that many QA testers obtain is in software engineering.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Qa Tester?

87% of people working as a Qa Tester earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Qa Tester?

  • Reviews
  • GOOD Communication
  • Attention To Detail
  • Test Cases
  • Test Plans
  • Selenium
  • Scripting
  • API Testing
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Qa Tester in the United States.

Complete an internship.

An internship is an excellent opportunity to get your foot in the door and gain experience. Some undergraduate programs might include an internship as part of the graduation requirements. These internships can be an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about what it takes to be a successful QA tester.


Locate a mentor, such as a senior QA tester.

Mentors can give you the most honest feedback about what it's like to be a QA tester. You might be able to find a mentor through your school, whether it's a professor or counselor. You could also attend conferences and other networking events hosted by people, and connect with people at these gatherings. Senior QA testers are excellent sources of information since they likely have worked in the industry for several years.


Start as a junior QA tester.

Before you begin a career as a QA tester, a company might ask that you start as a junior QA tester. In this position, you work closely with QA engineers and analysts to create testing strategies and plans. Together, you will report issues to development teams and assist with certain troubleshooting issues that involve bugs and viruses. You might also work with senior QA testers to ensure the development process works properly. After you've proven how valuable you are, management might notice and offer you a promotion to QA tester and later as a senior QA tester.


Earn certification, such as Certified Software Tester.

To be considered for certain QA tester jobs, you should obtain at least one software quality assurance certification. Doing so signals that you have the demonstration and determination needed within the industry. You might also be able to obtain a promotion if you secure certification. Two of the more common certifications available for QA testers include the following:

  • International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) Certified Tester: Administered by the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB), this certification has two levels including the Foundation and Advanced levels. Either option signals that you have familiarity with software testing and the associated terminology.
  • Certified Software Tester (CST): The International Software Certification Board (ISCB) issues eight different certifications for software testing, business investigation, and quality confirmation. This certification requires a college education and/or years of experience.

QA Tester Career Path

QA Tester

2 - 4Years of Experience
$54K - $89K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior QA Tester

2 - 4Years of Experience
$72K - $118K /yrMost Likely Range
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QA Tester IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$83K - $134K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

QA Tester Career Path

QA Tester I
QA Tester
Assistant Manager of Quality Testing
Senior QA Tester
QA Tester Manager
QA Tester IV
Principal QA Tester
Director of Quality Testing
Chief QA Tester

Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with QA Tester skills. Discover some of the most common QA Tester career transitions, along with skills overlap.

QA Manager
13% skills overlap
21% transitioned to QA Manager