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Quality assurance (QA) analysts help ensure all aspects of software solutions perform their intended function. You will work with other IT professionals within the organization to create full scale testing plans, execute these plans and make adjustments to software programs based on testing results. As part of your role, you may focus on quality assurance analysis or serve as a functional tester or automation tester. Your specific role may vary based on company requirements and your specific skillset. If you have the technical acumen and business experience, this may be a role worth pursuing.
Quality assurance analysts work in an office environment and spend the bulk of their day working on a computer. You can expect to work regular office hours and be part of the IT department. When required, you may need to work overtime, evenings, and possibly weekends to meet tight deadlines or to address data security and database performance issues. Depending on the company structure, you could report to a quality assurance manager or IT manager.
The average annual salary for a quality assurance analyst in the technology field is just over $50,000. Those new with little experience in the role can expect a starting salary of approximately $40,000. Those with experience can make up to $75,000 or more per year. Having SQL, test planning, and test automation skills and experience can help increase your earning potential.
Your main role as a quality assurance analyst is to validate data sets and systems and ensure they meet system and database design specifications. As part of this role, you can expect the following responsibilities to be included in your job description:
Quality assurance analysts are in demand across the country. With technology taking a larger role in all industries, there is a need for this role in all size companies. In particular, there is demand and higher earning potential in Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and other large cities across Canada. The most positions are found within the IT and business sector.
QA analysts should have a strong business sense and IT expertise. Companies typically seek candidates with the following skills and abilities:
Most QA analysts have a Bachelor of Science or Arts in a field such as computer science, mathematics, information systems, or database management. Experience working in a QA role is an asset, but may not be required.
Additional education or career experience will give you an advantage over other applicants. Computer certifications, particularly related to database management will make you a prime candidate. Ongoing training and education will be part of this career path. Training and career development opportunities may be provided by the hiring company.
Many QA analysts spend 20 years in the field, making it a long term career opportunity. Many of these professionals, once they gain ample experience or determine it’s time for a shift in career focus, move on to other similar roles such as IT business analyst, quality assurance manager, software quality assurance lead, or a quality assurance role in computer software or engineering. Working as a QA analyst can put you on a career track to eventually work your way up to roles such as quality assurance director, senior business analyst, and IT project manager. Job prospects in this career path are good.