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all about quality assurance jobs

Your employer counts on your skills to reduce risk, maintain consistency and ensure all products comply with regulations. You're the final line of defense that ensures all the products your company offers are both safe and effective.

Due to the high level of trust placed on the shoulders of quality assurance specialists (often shortened to QA specialists), skilled QA professionals are in demand internationally. Entry-level QA specialists may report to a first-line supervisor or manager, while more experienced QA professionals could lead their team and report to a C-level manager, such as a COO or CEO.

what quality assurance jobs entail

As a quality assurance specialist, you will most likely work regular hours as a full-time employee, though you may work part-time or as a contractor, depending on the demands of ongoing projects. You work in an office setting with an IT or tech department, though you may interact with or collaborate with coworkers in other departments if the projects you are working on requires it.

average quality assurance salaries

Entry level quality assurance jobs such as quality assurance specialist, quality control tester and quality assurance analyst can expect to make a starting salary in the mid $50,000s. With several years of experience, quality assurance specialist salaries can climb as high as $70,000.

Quality assurance salaries are extremely consistent across Canada. Candidates can expect to find a range of quality assurance opportunities with fair compensation throughout Canada, though urban centres such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary will have the most job opportunities available.

your day to day tasks

As a QA specialist, some tasks you might encounter throughout your workday include:

  • studying processes related to your industry
  • observing products for visible defects
  • performing various tests and observing results
  • participating in quality control programs
  • performing other tasks assigned by the quality control officer
  • ensuring all product standards and expectations are met
  • maintaining product safety and effectiveness
  • ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines

where you can work

Regardless of the state of the economy, organizations continue to need your skills as a QA specialist. You play an integral role in reducing risk and increasing profitability.

As such, QA specialists are needed in a variety of different organizations within the tech sector. Depending on your career goals, you should be able to find opportunities at businesses of all sizes, including startups, mid-sized companies, and international corporations.

what you bring to the table

To succeed in quality assurance, you need to be logical and detail-oriented. Being able to work in a team and communicate well are also important. To be successful in a quality assurance job in the tech industry, you must be:

  • highly organized
  • methodical and detail oriented
  • extremely observant
  • able to prioritize your time effectively
  • tech savvy
  • a critical thinker

training and certifications

Most QA jobs will require an undergraduate degree in computer science. A business-related degree or certificate is an advantage and can help you advance your career. Many employers will also look for experience. To gain experience for entry level QA jobs, consider securing an internship, or finding a co-op position prior to graduating with your undergraduate degree. 

Some positions may also require more specialized skills or certifications such as training in ERP, industry regulations, SQL, HTML, Microsoft and ISO levels, among others.

where your career is headed

With a few years of experience, quality assurance roles such as quality assurance specialist or quality control tester can lead to senior roles with a supervisory capacity such as QA manager or supervisor. Further up the chain, roles include quality control director, or VP roles related to quality assurance, compliance and technology.

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