What Is a Quality Assurance Analyst? A Career Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

In this quality assurance (QA) analyst career guide discover more about different QA jobs, careers, and salaries.

[Featured image] Quality assurance analyst is analyzing software for a company.

As a quality assurance (QA) analyst, you’re responsible for analyzing and ensuring the quality of software, products, and systems. You confirm that products or services meet the standards set by the company or the industry that you’re working. Quality assurance has become synonymous with software and technology products. However, jobs in quality assurance are available in various sectors, including manufacturing, food and beverages, health care, and software development. 

Quality assurance is vital whether you sell products or high-ticket items, software, or medical devices. In this article, let’s take a closer look at what QA analysts do, different career paths, and how to get started.

What does a quality assurance analyst typically do?

In technical QA analyst jobs, you’ll develop and implement testing plans, create test cases and test scripts, and execute tests. You’ll also report defects and track resolutions. This may involve focus groups with customers and monitoring ongoing customer feedback to identify product issues.  The role may involve:

  • Reporting findings to the development team

  • Planning and implementing product testing

  • Establishing procedures and scenarios for quality control

  • Reviewing products for defects and errors

  • Analyzing test results

  • Tracking progress on product issue resolutions

  • Ensuring that the final product is fit for its purpose

  • Driving product improvements

  • Analyzing competitors and the current market

Read more: A Guide to Writing a Quality Assurance Resume

Why is quality assurance important?

There are various reasons why quality assurance processes are important for your business. These may include: 

  • Helping you protect your brand and reputation 

  • Complying with ISO standards

  • Giving insights on what customers want

  • Enhancing productivity

  • Improving the performance of teams

By taking a proactive approach to quality assurance, you can avoid potential problems.

1. Protecting your brand and reputation

Protecting your brand and reputation is the most important reason to invest in quality assurance. If your products or services don't meet customer expectations, it can damage your brand and make it harder to attract new business. Quality assurance can help ensure your products or services meet or exceed customer expectations.

2. Complying with ISO standards

Complying with International Organization for Standarization (ISO) is another vital reason to invest in quality assurance. ISO 9001 is the world's most widely used quality management system standard, and compliance can be a requirement for doing business in some sectors. Quality assurance can help you meet all relevant ISO standards, opening up partnership and sales opportunities.

3. Knowing what customers want

Knowing what customers want is key to quality assurance. Understanding customer needs and expectations ensures that your company designs its products or services to meet them, which can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and help increase sales.

4. Enhancing productivity

By streamlining processes and eliminating waste, quality assurance can help boost efficiency and productivity levels across your organization. This can save you time and money and free up resources for other priorities.

5. Improving team performance

Quality assurance can help you develop training programs, implement process changes, and identify areas where team members need improvement. . By improving the performance of your teams, you can improve the quality of your product while reducing costs.

6. Planning more efficiently and realistically

By investigating potential risks early in the product or project lifecycle, quality assurance can help you plan more efficiently for contingencies. Having a quality assurance plan, you can help efficiently and realistically allocate your resources to get the best results from your team.

Quality assurance skills

You can develop various skills that help you perform well in a quality assurance role. Here are some key skills and traits that can help you succeed:

  • Expertise in a wide range of software applications as well as hardware and networking

  • Extensive experience in quality control

  • Strong programming skills

  • High regard for safety standards and quality control

  • A good understanding of business

  • Ability to think abstractly and see how small details relate to the bigger picture

  • Creative and innovative thinker

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Strong IT skills

  • Keen attention to detail

  • Diligent and meticulous

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

Who employs QA analysts?

QA analysts typically work in various industries, including health care, manufacturing, and software development. You’ll typically work in an office setting but may travel to different locations to conduct inspections or audits.  You may also find work in these types of organizations:

  • Independent testing and QA consultancies

  • IT departments in large companies

  • Software development companies

  • Web development agencies

Salary and job outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual quality assurance analyst salary is $109,020per year. The job outlook for quality assurance analyst jobs is expected to grow 25 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than average. The estimated number of jobs in 2021 is 1,622,200, with a projected employment change of 411,400 by 2031. [17]

Other QA job titles

Many different job titles fall under the term quality assurance and each of them has its own set of responsibilities and requirements. Here are some QA roles and its average annual US salary: 

  • Quality technician: $41,699 [1]

  • Quality auditor: $43,859 [2]

  • Quality coordinator: $54,431 [3]

  • Quality assurance tester: $64,752 [4]

  • Quality control supervisor: $51,092 [5]

  • Quality analyst: $56,215 [6]

  • Quality engineer: $75,310 [7]

  • Quality assurance manager: $90,060 [8]

  • Director of quality: $142,718 [9]

  • Vice president of quality: $175,631 [10]

Quality assurance analyst qualifications

To pursue quality assurance analyst careers in IT, you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, or another IT-related major. According to Zippia, 65 percent of QA analysts have a bachelor’s degree, and 15 percent have a master’s. [18]

To work in quality assurance in another niche, you'll need a relevant degree, such as one in construction or supply chain management. It's also beneficial to have sector-specific experience and knowledge.

Certifications for QA analysts

Whether you’re looking to transition into a new career or are graduating from college, certifications or certificates are a great way to enhance your resume and increase your earning potentional. When considering your certification options, it’s a good idea to look at the competencies required in your target jobs and find out which certifications people doing the job hold. LinkedIn can be a good source of information and for networking.

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

  • ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)

  • Certified Quality Assurance Professional (CQAP)

  • Certified Software Tester (CSTE)

  • Certified Instrumentation Specialist (CIS)

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

  • Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)

Career pathways in quality assurance

After working in a QA role and learning skills, such as attention to detail and problem solving, you may be able to move on to management positions. 

If you excel in quality assurance roles, you may also find opportunities in consulting or auditing. Here are some other roles and its average annual salary, you may progress to after working in a quality assurance function:

  • Project manager: $102,255 [11]

  • DevOps engineer: $104,058 [12]

  • Customer experience leader:$50,193 [13]

  • Enterprise architect: $125,570 [14]

  • IT manager: $100,330 [15]

  • Quality engineer $75,310 [16]

Get started

If you’re ready to start a career in quality assurance, start building job-ready skills to enhance your resume. If you're looking at information systems quality assurance, you might like to consider the Information Systems Auditing, Controls and Assurance course, offered by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on Coursera. You can learn about subjects like information security (INFOSEC), information technology (IT) management, auditing, risk management, and change management.

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Information Systems Auditing, Controls and Assurance

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Article sources

1

Glassdoor. “How much does a Quality Technician make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-quality-technician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,21.htm.” Accessed November 10, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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