Software Testing Technician: Career Requirements

Mar 30, 2019

Career Definition for a Software Testing Technician

Software testing technicians conduct trials of newly developed software for employers ranging from software publishers and video game developers to financial institutions and medical research companies. Software testing technicians work with software development teams to detect bugs and performance issues before a product reaches the consumer. They develop and run software test plans, interact with design teams and submit detailed reports of their findings. They may also provide technical assistance to the software design team and make hardware repairs and updates as needed. Software testing technicians are sometimes referred to as testers or quality assurance technicians. Those who perform more complex diagnostic and problem-solving functions are known as quality assurance analysts, supervisors or engineers. Software testing technicians may work for software publishers or testing technology companies as full-time staff, evaluating many products at once, or as independent contractors hired to work on a single project.

Education Associate degree usually required, bachelor's degree recommended, certification options also available
Job Skills Analytical, detail orientation, application installation, communication
Median Salary (2018)* $110,000 (software developers, systems software)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 24% (software developers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Many employers require an associate degree in electronics technology or a related field; however, software testing technician positions are sometimes considered entry-level software engineering positions, so some employers offer internships and summer jobs to students pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science. In some fields, such as video game development, computer savvy testers may be hired while still in high school. The International Institute for Software Testing (IIST) offers certification as a Certified Software Test Professional. The American Society for Quality also offers certification as a Certified Quality Improvement Associate, also known as a CQIA.

Necessary Skills

Software testing technicians must be analytical, detail-oriented and highly organized to accurately troubleshoot and document their findings while working on several projects at once. They must be able to install and uninstall applications, operate testing protocols and write software test plans and programs. In addition to having expertise with software applications, they must be familiar with computer hardware and able to read technical diagrams, as well as sit for long periods of time, performing repetitive tasks. Though testers spend much of their time working independently, communication and interpersonal skills are also essential for interacting with members of the development team.

Economic and Financial Projections

Software testing technicians are key players in the larger field of software development, a field for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 24 percent job growth throughout the 2016-2026 period. As of May 2018, applications software developers earned a median annual income of $103,620, while systems software developers earned $110,000 per year, according to the BLS.

Alternative Careers

Here are some other options for careers as a software architect:

Computer Programmer

Working alongside software developers during the program testing phase, computer programmers help spot code errors or other bugs and re-write code that enables the software to function properly. They also refer to software developer diagrams and flowcharts to create new software by utilizing programming languages such as Java and C++. To qualify for employment in this profession, an associate degree in a computer science field is usually required, and some employers might prefer those with a bachelor's degree.

Job opportunities for computer programmers are expected to decrease by 7% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. Programmers earned a median annual salary of $84,280 in 2018, as seen in BLS figures.

Web Developer

For those interested in using HTML to create interactive websites, becoming a web developer may be the right fit. Webmaster, web architect and designer are all positions found in the web development field and determine what job responsibilities are performed. Designers select the visual components of web pages such as the text font, color scheme, image layout and graphic elements. Architects build the structure while webmasters keep the site up and running properly. An associate degree in web design is what employers usually look for in a candidate, and skills in programming and graphic design are essential. A bachelor's degree in a related field may be necessary for more technical positions in web architecture.

According to BLS data from 2018, web developers earned $69,430 in median yearly wages. Employment in this profession is projected to grow by 15% from 2016-2026.

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