Inside Quality Engineer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"I Was Surprised At How Much A Good Welder Gets Paid...
Its surprising how much money one can make in this career field" (Welder; 2013)

Career: 23 years of experience, currently based in South Dakota, male
School: Studied Mechanical Engineering at Black Hills State University in South Dakota; completed Bachelor degree in 1986

"The Complexity And Degree Of Accuracy Needed Is Critical...
I was surprised that quality control required a degree. I was also surprised at the complexity and difficulty of insuring acceptable quality from various manufacturers." (Quality Control Supervisor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Electrical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 1988

"Don't Overlook The Simple Things...
One of the things that surprised me most was the use of software like ftp software or cygwin. It seemed low tech for the government lab I work at" (Project Manager Of Web Development/QA Engineer; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Computer Science at CSU Stansilaus in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Unexpected Opportunities...
I was surprised the QA for software existed. I thought it was only programmers who got CS degrees. While my degree does not apply to my career at all, it served as a "minimum" that allowed employers to trust my self-teaching of CS as a hobby, and give me the chance to prove my skills were sufficient for QA engineer, but not programmer." (Quality Assurance Engineer; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Psychology at UC Berkeley in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1991

"Finding The Best Job On The Basis Of Education...
Most people are surprised about finding the best job. nowadays, choosing the best job according to our education is really difficult and surprising." (IT Developer; 2014)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, male
School: Studied Computer Science at University Of Akron in Ohio; completed Master degree in 2011

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Senior Software Quality Assurance Associate: "The best part of the job is that I work in the computer game industry and love the environment. I love games. I love being able to use my "eye for detail" to help make better products. This job attracts a wide variety of people, and I find it exciting and interesting to work with such a diverse group in a fun and relaxed environment. The worst part is the strong repetitive nature of QA testing and it can be increasingly hard to focus as you test the same material several times over." (2010)

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer: "The best part of the job are the constant challenges. No day or week is the same. Plus, I get to work with people from all over the world. Worst: I have to sit at my desk for 8 hours a day and don't get to travel as much as I would like." (2010)

Quality Assurance Engineer: "Writing automation code is the best part of the job. It is very challenging to write software using a third party application to test other software. It is the best of both worlds, QA and development. The worst part of my job is that not all the bugs I report are fixed by the developers. Sometimes a decision is made that the problem is not significant enough, or not likely enough to be seen by a customer, to spend a lot of money fixing." (2010)

Career Background

Quality Engineer

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Never Overlook Things That Seem Too Basic To Learn...
Learn the simple things - focus on skills that are mainly for the basic user." (Project Manager Of Web Development/QA Engineer; 2014)

"Best Suited Job...
we should learn to prioritize our work. we must be a smart worker rather than hard worker." (IT Developer; 2014)

"SAFETY: Your Number One Task...
Pay attention to safety so you don't hurt yourself or others." (Welder; 2013)

"Quality Inspection Is Critical To The Success Of All Businesses...
This profession requires a very close attention to detail. Defects which may appear to be minor to the naked eye may actually be critical to the performance and function of the part in question. A critical "eye" to quality must be obtained and maintained throughout the working day, which at times can be difficult because of the repetition of the task." (Quality Control Supervisor; 2013)

"Expert Enthusiasts Finish First...
It is useful to be an expert user of the software you would like to test. If you go in to the interview and say you generally know about software, that is not so good. If you know a lot of the rarely used features and can describe how you have used it in the past, it will make a good impression." (Quality Assurance Engineer; 2013)

"Not Playing Games All Day...
Many people think that QA testing for a game company means you play computer games all day. Would that it were so. If you want to work as a QA tester be ready to look at each tiny piece of a game, one at a time, repetitively. Key talents: - Basic computer use - understanding of video cards, processors, and various peripherals - Programming languages are a plus (such as C++) and computer automation - Attention to detail - Patience - Knowledge of and experience with computer games" (Senior Software Quality Assurance Associate; 2010)

"Plug In To The Industry...
1. If you are interested in Quality Assurance (QA), check out some of the American Society for Quality meetings. They can be a bit stodgy sometimes but the people involved love to share their knowledge and experiences. 2. An engineering degree is not necessary for this but you must have a head for statistics. If this is something you want to consider as a career, take courses in statistics and data modeling. 3. EVERY company and industry has a QA department. If you love details and getting to the bottom of a problem, you WILL find a company that suits you." (Senior Quality Assurance Engineer; 2010)

"Seek Out A Degree In QA...
There are not a lot of colleges that offer degrees in Quality Assurance, but there are some. Most QA engineers start out as developers or support engineers. Having an actual degree in quality assurance would give you a leg up on others applying for the same job. You should take as many courses in programming as you can. Even if you never end up writing any code, it is always useful to be able to at least read code and have a basic understanding of it. This will help you to come up with more useful test cases and to find more bugs." (Quality Assurance Engineer; 2010)