Product Tester Jobs: What Are They and How Can I Get One?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Product testers ensure a product functions as intended or choose the right variation of a product to take to market. Learn more about product tester jobs here.

[Featured Image]: A product Tester, working on a laptop, is analyzing information to evaluate a company's product.

Product testing verifies a product’s quality and provides information to consumers on a product’s reliability. Companies can advertise based on claims backed by evidence acquired through testing by checking a product's functionality and performing quality tests. 

Product testing safeguards against litigation regarding defective products or false advertising. The testing process will also provide the manufacturer with information to help make warranty decisions or add protection for the customer based on testing results. 

If you’re interested in quality assurance, understanding how products work, and testing product functionality and durability, consider a job as a product tester.

What is a product tester?

A product tester conducts specific tests on and uses products to evaluate them based on criteria that the company finds valuable. They then provide detailed feedback about the product to the company.

Corporations often hire distributors or marketing firms (third-party companies) that assign product testers to evaluate products. Product testers determine the product's capabilities and use cases. Companies then use this feedback to make claims when selling the product. 

Product testers get exclusive access to products before launch and can often keep the product once the testing is over. Many test the products in a familiar environment, like at home or work, rather than in a lab or facility. This is an excellent way for a company to determine if its products will perform properly for the end user.

What do product testers test?

Product testers can work in many industries, including beauty, food, kitchenware, education, books, toys, furniture, hygiene, and health. The information product testers gather is often a primary marketing talking point, so product testing is essential for retail. Examples of products that companies have testers evaluate include:

  • Video games

  • Software

  • Cosmetics

  • Athletic footwear and apparel

  • Automobiles

  • Foods and beverages

  • Electronics

  • Baby and toddler products

  • Pet products

  • Household cleaners

How much do product testers make?

The average total compensation for all product testers in the US is $50,821 [1]. With 15 years of product testing experience, the national average salary is $69,942 in annual base salary [1].


Types of product testing roles

You can choose from various specialized testing roles. Here are four common product testing roles: 

  • Concept testing involves a team of testers exploring a product's idea and projecting how it will sell on the market. Concept testing often involves teams pitching different product ideas to executives and conducting customer surveys. 

  • Quality assurance (QA) testing occurs in a controlled setting. Testing teams will thoroughly test product efficacy and reliability before placing it on the market. Testing teams will evaluate various valuable criteria for the company.

  • A/B testing: This type of testing involves comparing two versions of a product, and the test groups will determine which features are valuable to customers through surveys. The features they will test could be colors, names, features, and other minor changes to the product. The A/B testing will shape the final product based on critical customer feedback.

  • Market testing: Market testing involves launching a product into the market to assess how customers receive it, how it performs in various demographics, and what changes may increase product quality and sales. This product testing helps the sales teams quantify a product’s popularity and determine if it’s worth pouring resources into, including advertising, person-hours, and distribution.

Read more: Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: Choosing the Right Career Path

Work-from-home options

Working from home as a product tester is easier now than ever. Most companies want their products tested in the home because end users will interact with them the most.

Your employer will likely ship products to you, and you’ll use company software or another interface to evaluate products, give feedback, and quantify the criteria your company offers you.


What it takes to become a product tester

Becoming a product tester has no formal education requirements. However, most companies seek people with knowledge and familiarity with their products so they’ll receive an accurate evaluation. Someone who’s used a particular brand for a long time would be a top tester candidate because they know the ins and outs and what to expect from a given product.

What experience do I need?

The most valuable experience for an aspiring product tester is to become familiar with many industries while also developing a niche product testing background. Someone who has participated in focus groups, surveys, or polls to test demographics and markets would also make a strong product tester candidate.


Getting started in software testing

If getting to experience products before they enter the market sounds interesting, consider pursuing a career as a product tester. Enroll in the Introduction to Software Testing course from the University of Minnesota to gain an understanding of the basics of product testing.

Article sources

  1. Glassdoor. “Product Tester Salaries,,14.htm.” Accessed February 22, 2024.

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