Quality Assurance (QA) Testing Jobs + Career Path for Bootcampers

Nat Davis

Written By Nat Davis

Jess Feldman

Edited By Jess Feldman

Last updated on April 12, 2024

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Quality assurance (QA) testing is an imperative part of the product development process, which makes QA testers an in-demand role on tech teams across industries and companies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 25% in the QA testing field between 2022-2032, which equates to over 400,000 new QA jobs! 

QA testing is a great way to break into tech without going directly into software engineering. In this QA testing career path and salary guide, learn what to expect from a QA testing career at every stage, the top companies hiring QA testers now, and our picks for learning QA testing with a bootcamp. 

What is Quality Assurance (QA) Testing?

Quality assurance (QA) testing, or software testing, is a process in product development that ensures the final product is free from errors or bugs when it reaches the customer. 

Within quality assurance there is manual QA and QA automation:

  • Manual QA testing is manually testing a software application for bugs without the use of automation tools. Coding knowledge is not required to become a Manual QA Tester.
  • QA automation (also known as automation testing) is creating automation scripts to run tests on software applications. QA Automation Engineers will use automation tools, such as Selenium and Cypress.  

What does a QA Tester do?

The primary responsibility of QA testers is to test new and existing software and products to identify bugs and user experience issues. They are involved in every step of the development process and work closely with developers. QA testers need to be excellent problem-solvers with an analytical mindset and strong attention to detail. 

QA testing is a subset of the software engineering process, but QA testers are not typically software engineers. Sometimes software engineers will do QA testing if there is not a dedicated QA testing team.

Manual QA testers do not need to know programming languages to land entry-level quality assurance jobs. Any coding done on the job involves simple commands and logical sequences. However, knowing at least one programming language, like Java, C#, JavaScript or Python will make a manual QA tester more marketable. 

Worried that AI will take over QA testing jobs? Stephen Hudson, the Curriculum Lead at TripleTen says, “One of the first places where we see potential for AI to help QA testers is with writing automation scripts… At the moment, writing scripts requires some of the skills of a software engineer, which can be tricky. The hope is that AI will help QA engineers write these automation scripts and relieve that burden.”

Companies That Hire QA Testers 

While quality assurance is necessary across industries, QA testers are most commonly hired in these industries:

  • Information technology support services
  • Computer hardware development
  • Internet and web services
  • Video game publishing
  • Business consulting
  • HR consulting 

The 7 top companies hiring QA testers include:

  1. Google
  2. Microsoft
  3. Apple
  4. Experis
  5. Electronic Arts
  6. Activision Blizzard
  7. Deloitte

3 bootcamp graduates now working in Quality Assurance roles:

Chris learned QA engineering from TripleTen and landed a role as a QA Automation Engineer at Trustwell! About his new QA role, Chris says, “The role I got was advertised as a mid-level position so they're expecting me to know a decent amount without needing hand-holding.”

Guzal sharpened her existing skills to learn QA testing from Test Pro and land a QA Analyst role at Meta! About the QA testing job interview, Guzal says, “The QA team at Meta basically validated my Test Pro education during the interview. They were interested in my hands-on experience, my projects, and my method for testing, which made the interview process pretty easy. Every question the interviewer asked me, I could locate an answer in my Test Pro resources because Test Pro covers everything.”

Roman has been a QA Tester at Nike and Tesla after graduating from Careerist! Roman says of his decision to make a career change into QA: “When I started the Manual QA job my salary jumped 1.6x! Now that I'm in automation it's more than twice what I made before joining any IT company.”

The QA Tester Career Path

Quality assurance jobs fall under many different names. Most people starting a QA career begin with a Manual QA Tester role before advancing to more complex, test automation roles. 

The 8 most common roles in a QA testing career path include: 

  1. QA Tester
  2. QA Engineer
  3. QA Analyst
  4. QA Technician
  5. Manual QA Tester
  6. Automation Engineer
  7. Software Test Engineer
  8. Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) 

QA tester salary will vary depending on your experience, location, and skill levels as well as knowledge of manual testing and automation.  

QA Job Title

Experience Level

Job Description

Average Salary

QA Analyst or Manual QA Tester


  • Perform manual tests to identify bugs in software applications. 
  • Record testing outcomes.

💰 The average QA Analyst salary is $42K-$62K.

QA Engineer

Entry-level to Mid-level

  • Create manual and automated software tests.
  • Record and analyze test results. 

💰 The average QA Engineer salary is $59K-$80K.

QA Automation Tester


  • Design, build, and maintain multiple manual and automated tests.
  • Accurately report testing results.
  • Work with developers to solve any issues found.

💰 The average QA Automation Engineer salary is around $74K.

Lead Test Analyst or Senior Quality Analyst 


  • Coordinate and manage planning of testing.
  • Define and communicate project strategies.
  • Contribute to testing standards and best practices.

💰 The average Senior Software Tester salary is $89K-$122K.

Senior Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET)


  • Creates, designs, and implements automated testing. 
  • Writes code to improve the testability of software. 
  • Builds automation frameworks.

💰 The average Senior SDET salary is around $125K.

How to Learn QA Testing

While you may be able to self-teach or pick up QA skills on the job, learning QA testing at a bootcamp will ensure you receive the foundational knowledge you need to successfully launch a career in quality assurance. At a QA testing bootcamp, you will learn how to test software, and effectively communicate with and work on a dev team!

Bootcamps that teach QA testing include:

You could also start with the free Quality Assurance Certification Course at freecodecamp to determine if this is the right path for you before enrolling in a QA testing bootcamp! 

Guides to Tech Career Paths:

About The Author

Nat Davis

Nat Davis

Nat Davis connects to writing to communicate stories, thoughts, ideas, and resources. When not jotting, Nat is a health coach, hiker, youth advocate, foodie, comedian, improviser, and karaoke singer.

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