What Is a Quality Assurance Analyst 2024 Career Guide-1

What does a Quality Assurance Analyst Do? Brief Career Guide 2024 updated

If you’ve ever contemplated becoming a Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst) but are uncertain about the role, let’s delve into the value QA analysts bring, explore their job description, salary information, and more, particularly within the tech industry.

Table of contents

What is QA

Before delving into the role of a QA analyst, it’s essential to grasp the concept of Quality Assurance (QA) and what it stands for. QA is a systematic testing system that ensures customers receive high-quality software devoid of critical errors. While the dream of releasing bug-free software is constant, QA testers acknowledge that bugs are inherent in software development. QA is employed by all software companies, ranging from tech giants like Amazon and Google to small startups.

What Is a QA Analyst?

In essence, a QA analyst plays a pivotal role in businesses, especially in the tech sector, ensuring the quality of products, systems, services, or software. Focusing primarily on systems and software in the tech industry, QA analysts define ‘quality’ through aspects like user experience (UX), performance, and functionality. Key responsibilities include:


  • Researching competitors and markets
  • Creating, planning, and implementing test strategies
  • Analyzing test results for inefficiencies, bugs, or code-related issues

What does a quality assurance analyst do?

A Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst plays a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of high-quality products or services by systematically evaluating and validating various aspects of the development process. This professional is responsible for meticulously reviewing and testing software applications, systems, or processes to identify defects, inconsistencies, and areas for improvement. Through a comprehensive understanding of project requirements, specifications, and user expectations, a QA Analyst devises and executes detailed test plans and test cases.

Key responsibilities of a QA Analyst

Key responsibilities of a QA analyst include 


  • Test Planning: Collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop comprehensive test plans that outline the testing scope, objectives, resources, and schedules. This involves a strategic approach to cover all functionalities and scenarios.


  • Test Case Design: Crafting detailed test cases based on project requirements, user stories, and system specifications to ensure comprehensive coverage of software functionality and features.


  • Execution of Test Cases: Systematically executing test cases, employing various testing methodologies such as functional, regression, performance, and user acceptance testing. This involves meticulous documentation of test results and defects.


  • Defect Identification and Reporting: Identifying, documenting, and prioritizing defects and issues found during testing. Collaborating with developers and other stakeholders to provide clear and concise information about identified problems.


  • Regression Testing: Conducting regression testing to ensure that new changes or updates do not adversely impact existing functionalities. This is critical for maintaining the overall integrity of the software.


  • Automation Testing: Utilizing automation tools to streamline repetitive testing processes and increase efficiency. This involves scripting and maintaining automated test suites for various scenarios.


  • Continuous Improvement: Actively participating in process improvement initiatives by providing feedback on testing processes, suggesting improvements, and staying abreast of industry best practices.


  • Collaboration: Maintaining open communication with developers, product managers, and other team members to facilitate a collaborative and proactive approach to quality assurance throughout the development lifecycle.


In summary, a QA analyst is an integral part of the software development process, combining meticulous testing, problem-solving, and process optimization to deliver a final product that meets the highest quality standards.

What is the role of a QA Analyst Do?

A QA analyst’s primary role is to intentionally break things to prevent customers from encountering accidental issues. This process, however, is not reckless; it involves a methodical approach encompassing planning, careful execution, and meticulous documentation.


QA testers contribute significantly to a product’s development by ensuring it aligns with client requirements and minimizing software errors. QA analysts are the first to identify factors that might compromise the user experience. After testing, they document any issues encountered, sending comprehensive reports to developers for necessary revisions. This iterative cycle of development and testing persists until the QA analyst, or a team of analysts, is satisfied and grants their approval. Once a QA analyst greenlights a product, it is deemed ready for release.


A key focus of a QA analyst is total quality management. Known for their attention to detail and problem-solving skills, QA analysts strive to optimize testing and development processes for sustained high-quality outcomes throughout the software development cycle. Beyond just testing and identifying issues, QA analysts work closely with the quality assurance team to enhance overall efficiency. In essence, QA analysts engage in both problem-solving and problem prevention, ensuring software meets the highest standards.

Job Description of QA Analyst

QA analysts are subject matter experts in identifying errors or defects within software and systems. They engage hands-on with the software or system, gaining firsthand experience, often utilizing specialized testing software. Once issues are pinpointed, their responsibilities include:


  • Reporting findings to the development team
  • Outlining and driving improvements
  • Planning and implementing further testing
  • Tracking progress on issue resolutions

QA Analyst vs. Tester vs. Engineer

Under the umbrella of quality assurance, three main titles exist: analyst, tester, and engineer. While there’s some overlap, their day-to-day roles and priorities differ.

QA Analyst vs. Tester

QA Analyst vs. Tester

QA testers assess systems and software, identifying bugs and inadequacies. After testing, analysts take it further by outlining ways to improve, getting involved in strategy creation, and ensuring necessary changes are implemented.

QA Analyst vs. Engineer

QA Analyst vs. Engineer

QA engineers, more technically oriented, create tests to identify software issues. They focus on preventing defects, working in a more preventive capacity than analysts who address existing defects. While engineers assess technical risks before development, analysts may collaborate later in the life cycle.

Top QA Analyst Soft Skills

Success as a QA analyst relies on strong soft skills, including analytical prowess, knowledge of data analysis and quality assurance policies, attention to detail, and problem-solving abilities. Sound logic, reasoning, and scientific methods are also crucial. Excellent communication and organizational skills are essential due to frequent collaboration with development and production teams.

Hard Skills and Qualifications for QA Analyst

Quantifiable hard skills include knowledge of automated testing tools, software development life cycle, and software quality assurance principles. Understanding database structures and queries is vital. Relevant certifications for QA analysts in IT include:


  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Certified Quality Assurance Professional (CQAP)
  • ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)
  • Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)
  • Certified Instrumentation Specialist (CIS)


Start a rewarding career as a QA analyst in the tech industry, equipped with both soft and hard skills, and relevant certifications to make a significant impact in ensuring software quality.

Is quality assurance a good career?

Is quality assurance a good career

Yes, a career in quality assurance (QA) can be highly rewarding for several reasons. Here are some key points highlighting the importance of QA and why it can be a good career choice:


  • Brand Reputation: QA plays a crucial role in protecting a company’s brand reputation. Ensuring that products or services meet or exceed customer expectations helps maintain a positive brand image and attracts new business.


  • Compliance with Standards: QA helps in ensuring compliance with industry standards such as ISO. Adhering to standards like ISO 9001 can be essential for business operations in certain sectors, opening up opportunities for partnerships and sales.


  • Understanding Customer Needs: QA analysts contribute to identifying and understanding customer needs. This understanding is vital for designing products or services that meet customer expectations, leading to improved satisfaction, loyalty, and increased sales.


  • Enhanced Productivity and Performance: QA can streamline processes, eliminate waste, and enhance overall efficiency and productivity within an organization. This not only saves time and resources but also contributes to improving team performance through training programs and process improvements.


  • Effective Risk Management: QA enables businesses to identify potential risks early in the product or project lifecycle. This proactive approach to risk management allows for efficient planning, allocation of resources, and realistic expectations, leading to better results.


Overall, a career in quality assurance offers the opportunity to contribute significantly to a company’s success by ensuring the delivery of high-quality products or services and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Where do QA analysts work?

QA analysts can work in a variety of industries, and their roles are not limited to a specific sector. They typically work in office settings but may need to travel to different locations for inspections or audits. Here are some common types of organizations where QA analysts can find employment:


  • Independent Testing and QA Consultancies: These firms specialize in providing testing and quality assurance services to a range of clients across various industries.


  • IT Departments in Large Companies: Large corporations often have dedicated IT departments that include QA analysts to ensure the quality of software and technology solutions.


  • Software Development Companies: QA analysts are integral to software development processes, ensuring that software applications meet specified requirements and function correctly.


  • Web Development Agencies: Companies specializing in web development may employ QA analysts to ensure the quality and functionality of websites and web applications.

Future of QA analyst

The future for QA analyst jobs appears promising as the tech and software industries continue to undergo substantial growth. This expansion is generating an increasing number of job opportunities for QA analysts. A notable observation from the Stack Overflow Blog in 2017 highlighted QA as a field experiencing high demand but facing a scarcity of professionals.


QA analyst jobs are currently in high demand, marked by a low supply of professionals, and the trend is expected to intensify with the ongoing growth of the tech industry. This scenario presents a compelling and optimistic combination of factors for individuals aspiring to become QA analysts. The profession offers a diverse array of opportunities to work with interesting companies and cutting-edge technologies.

The positive news doesn’t end there for QA analysts. According to a survey by Forbes, the role of Senior QA Analyst ranks as the second happiest job in the country. This recognition adds another layer of appeal to the field, highlighting not only the abundance of opportunities but also the potential for job satisfaction within the QA analyst domain.

Navigating the QA Analyst Career Path

Starting on the journey to become a QA analyst often involves the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, with a friendly nod towards computer science or programming. While there’s no direct freeway leading to the world of QA analysis in the educational realm, having a solid grasp of the basics is like having a trusty compass. Let’s explore the education scene for aspiring QA analysts and the friendly shifts happening in the tech world.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Programming

Many QA analysts kickstart their adventures with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or programming. It’s like having a secret map that unfolds the mysteries of software testing tools. Understanding data structures, artificial intelligence, and assembly languages? It’s like adding cool stickers to that adventure map.

No Direct Path to QA Analysis

Picture this: the journey to becoming a QA analyst doesn’t come with a flashing neon sign saying “This Way.” There aren’t many schools offering a direct ticket to QA analysis. However, having a bachelor’s degree in computer science is akin to having a golden key – it opens doors to the QA world.

Alternative Paths to QA Analysis

Imagine you’re at a crossroads. For those craving a career change or unable to don the traditional university cap, fear not. The tech industry is changing its tunes about educational prerequisites. Google even tossed away the “bachelor’s degree required” sign. Online programs that teach computer software, complete with a portfolio-building adventure, make you a sought-after treasure for QA analyst positions.

Versatility of QA Analysts

Now, let’s talk about the superheroes of the tech world – QA analysts. They’re not your everyday programmers, but they do have a superpower. They understand programming languages enough to give them a friendly handshake and a pat on the back. Some may even venture into the realms of development later on. It’s like having a versatile toolkit rather than a single-purpose gadget.

QA Career Paths

After gaining experience in a QA role, individuals may explore various career paths, including:


Project Manager: $96,562

DevOps Engineer: $123,745

Customer Experience Leader: $69,353

Enterprise Architect: $224,730

IT Manager: $122,076

Quality Engineer: $89,186

Quality Assurance Manager: $121,946

Director of Quality: $193,621

Vice President of Quality: $280,926

Alternative Titles for QA Jobs

In addition to the traditional QA analyst role, there are alternative titles with varying responsibilities:


Quality Technician: $52,584

Quality Auditor: $53,332

Quality Coordinator: $61,218

Quality Assurance Tester: $60,681

Quality Control Supervisor: $66,942

Quality Analyst: $69,226


Salaries are provided as average annual figures, including base salary and reported additional pay (such as profit sharing, bonuses, and commissions), sourced from Glassdoor in September 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

For individuals aspiring to become QA analysts, the journey often commences with gaining hands-on experience through internships or entry-level QA tester roles. As they progress in their careers, QA analysts have the opportunity to ascend into roles such as team coordinators or managerial positions.

Starting on a career as a QA analyst typically involves holding a bachelor’s degree in a technological field, a prerequisite for most entry-level positions. Advanced roles often necessitate a master’s degree. Additionally, having experience in quality control provides a valuable advantage over other candidates.

Success as a quality analyst hinges on possessing strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and problem-solving aptitude. The ideal candidate should comprehend and apply quality assurance requirements, providing colleagues with precise and thorough feedback.

Aspiring QA analysts often start with internships or entry-level QA tester roles. Progress in your career may lead to roles like team coordinator or managerial positions, offering opportunities for leadership and advancement.

Success as a QA analyst requires strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and problem-solving aptitude. Comprehending and applying quality assurance requirements is crucial. Providing colleagues with precise and thorough feedback enhances the collaborative testing process.

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in a technological field is required for entry-level positions. Advanced roles may necessitate a master’s degree. Combining educational qualifications with hands-on experience, especially in quality control, is advantageous for aspiring QA analysts.

QA analysts can advance their careers by gaining experience, taking on leadership roles such as team coordinators or managers, and continuously enhancing their skills. Staying abreast of industry trends and embracing professional development opportunities contribute to long-term success.

Yes, QA analysts utilize a variety of testing tools to ensure software quality. Familiarity with tools like Selenium, Jira, and others is beneficial. Continuous learning and staying updated on the latest testing tools enhance a QA analyst’s effectiveness.