Quality AnalystJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

When companies implement new information technology (IT) projects, it’s essential to make sure those projects meet the organization’s standards for usability and functionality. That’s where quality analysts are needed. A quality analyst plans and executes tests on software and other IT solutions to make sure they work as required.

During and after testing, quality analysts recommend the changes needed for projects to meet quality guidelines. A quality analyst must have strong attention to detail, as well as analytical and problem-solving abilities. Many times, quality analysts are also asked to create quality assurance policies and procedures for their organizations.

As more companies adopt agile and DevOps methodologies, quality analysts are becoming increasingly crucial. A quality analyst plays a role in the entire lifecycle of a project, making sure business goals are met, and taking a broad view of how projects are developed and launched.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is hiring experienced quality analysts to work full time. We’re looking for dependable, detail-oriented candidates with keen analytical thinking and the ability to adapt. Quality analysts create and execute test plans to make sure the product is functioning as it should. They identify and remedy problems, recommend actions to meet quality assurance standards, and ensure that industry rules and regulations are followed. Quality analysts also investigate customer complaints and make sure the user’s expectations are met during the testing process. If you have at least three years of experience in quality assurance and excellent communication skills, our company could be the perfect fit for you.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop test plans, test cases, test scripts, and test reports on multiple projects of varying size
  • Perform testing on various software, telecom and reporting systems
  • Identify and facilitate issue resolution with functional and technical groups
  • Manage software beta test programs
  • Validate that user expectations are achieved during the testing process

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail
  • Outstanding written and oral communication abilities
  • Several years of experience in an SDLC quality analysis environment

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years related work experience
  • No supervisory/management experience required
  • Understanding of testing principles and concepts
  • Understanding of web development practices and terminology

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a quality analyst is $82,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$136,450$184,600
Los Angeles, California$153,950$208,250
Denver, Colorado$128,250$173,550
Washington, DC$156,250$211,450
Miami, Florida$127,650$172,750
Orlando, Florida$117,750$159,350
Tampa, Florida$118,950$160,950
Atlanta, Georgia$124,750$168,850
Chicago, Illinois$143,450$194,050
Boston, Massachusetts$155,100$209,850
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$123,600$167,250
New York City, New York$163,250$220,850
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$132,950$179,850
Dallas, Texas$129,450$175,100
Houston, Texas$128,850$174,350
Seattle, Washington$149,250$201,950
National Average$116,650$157,750

Typical work environment

Quality assurance is an occupation that spans many industries, from manufacturing and restaurants to engineering and architecture. Most quality analysts work full time in an office, usually on a team, to test products before they are available to the public. Sometimes, they may work overtime and weekends in order to meet deadlines. Quality analysts working on-site to document and report on product and service quality and are subject to the conditions of the worksite.

Typical hours

The typical work hours in an office setting for a quality analyst are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Available certifications

Quality control ensures that products work as they should before being sold to the public, and is needed in many different industries, so several quality analyst certifications are available.

  • Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL). The International Software Testing Qualifications Board offers this certification, which can help you land a job as a quality analyst without previous experience. This is also the first step in further levels of certification. Once you pass the exam, you’ll be added to both the Official U.S. List of Certified Software Testers™ and the ISTQB successful candidate register. 
  • Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA). This certification is for quality analysts with a mix of education and experience in the field. A 70% is required to pass the exam. This advanced certification will help you further your career as a quality analyst.
  • Certified Quality Process Analyst (CQPA). The CQPA is offered through ASQ to candidates with two years of work experience in quality assurance or an equivalent amount of higher education. The CQPA can help you begin or advance your career as a quality analyst.

Career path

The industry website Tech Beacon says quality analysts are in a unique position in the current landscape. As more companies adopt more cooperative philosophies and project methodologies, quality analysts are involved in every stage of a project’s development.

This unique view makes a position as a quality analyst a springboard to other careers in the IT field, such as product management, enterprise architecture, or customer experience leadership. They can also move into roles like release managers or engineers in organizations that take a holistic DevOps approach to project development.

The skills that make an excellent quality analyst can also lead to positions leading IT departments, like IT managers, chief technology officers, or chief information officers. Quality analysts and IT managers both have to consider the big picture and think critically about how to test for and solve problems.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20302,257,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 increase

Thought leaders in the IT industry say quality analysts need to be mindful that many testing practices that have been used for years don’t apply to micro-services or cloud-based environments. Instead, testing is a continuous process in the delivery of projects and processes.

Soft skills like influencing others are also becoming more critical to quality analysts. Testing products is costly for companies, so it’s up to quality analysts to convince stakeholders in a business’s core departments of the value of testing to customer happiness and retention.

Sample interview questions

  • Tell me about yourself. 
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten?
  • What makes you a good fit for this company?
  • What do you like best about being a quality analyst?
  • What are the different kinds of software testing?
  • Explain the steps for the bug life cycle.
  • What are the five common solutions for software development problems?
  • Tell me about the biggest bug you have ever found.
  • What vital lessons did you learn at your previous company?
  • How do you manage team conflict?
  • How would you deal with a department that disagrees with your analysis?

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