When we consider the salary of an IT professional – the five most important factors that are considered are roles and responsibilities, training for Software Testing certifications, qualifications, experience, and skills. Normally salaries vary by level of organization or project. Software testing is one of the most lucrative tech jobs across the world, and the salary of software testing professionals increases with experience. After a relevant number of years, software testing professionals become experts in their field.
As they gain experience, their job evolves from ‘working on a project’ to ‘working for the company,’ and the salary stakes increase as well. Wondering how much can you earn as a software tester in the US? Firstly, there is nothing fixed or stipulated, as a lot depends on the company, city, project, and expertise you are working on. But this comprehensive guide shall elaborate on the average salary of software testers in the United States, the highest paying cities, and the average salaries of typical software testing roles.
What’s the Role of a Software Tester?
So, what is the core job role or responsibilities of a software tester?
Software testers can also be termed as QAs/Quality analysts as their primary responsibility is to test the working and design of software, find loopholes or bugs in an engineer's code, and test the functionality of applications and projects before they are released to the market. When software engineers are done creating an application or software, it’s the software tester’s job to thoroughly check the programs and functionality of the software to avoid problems that might affect end-users.
They use computer systems to test software. Software testers are also hired by software developers to test apps for Android and iPad systems. Similarly, to test a server app, the software tester would test it on a computer server.
How Much Does a Software Tester Make?
To start with, let us give you an average software testing salary in the USA, which is approximately $58,440 per year, along with a bonus of $3,600/per year
According to Payscale, the software testing engineer's salary in the USA ranges between $39,000 and $88,000, with an average of $56,600.
The average salary of software testing in the USA based on experience is:
Entry-level software testing salary in the US
$34k – $67k
Junior software testing salary in the USA
$39k – $80k
$49k – $93k
Senior Software testing salary in the USA
$51k – $104k
$51k – $109k
Top Tester Salary by Role in USA
Let us look at some of the key roles in the software testing world. If you look at the salary table given below, you will notice that a Software tester is actually at the bottom of the payroll as compared to a software tester who is in the Management and engineering or technical role of software testing in the USA.
- Test Manager – His job is to define and implement the role of testing within the organization. He defines the scope of software testing within the context of each release/delivery. He must deploy and manage appropriate testing frameworks to meet the testing mandate.
- Test Automation Engineer – These engineers are software developers who create and design programs that automatically test new or existing software, which is a crucial part of the software development cycle.
- Senior Performance Test Engineer – The senior test engineer’s job is to detect problems, isolate them and report them. Submitting a timely project status report to the top management is his core duty. He also needs to engage and interact with cross-functional teams like test engineers, data scientists, product scientists, etc.
- Test Engineer - He performs tests on software or applications to ensure they work correctly. Their primary responsibility is to check for quality assurance teams at software companies.
- Automation Tester - He is responsible for testing software applications using automated testing tools and reporting the results to make sure that the software is high quality and free of defects.
- Performance Tester – To evaluate application output and process speed, check data transfer velocity and bandwidth usage, memory utilization, number of users who can use it, workload efficiency, and command response times is a performance tester’s core responsibility.
- Software Tester – He is the QA who conducts automated and manual tests to ensure the software created by developers is fit and without any issues. His core duty is to ensure that all inefficiencies are removed from a product before it gets distributed among everyday users.
According to Payscale, the top average salary of a software tester in the USA by role are:
$62k – $135k
Test Automation Engineer
$69k – $127k
Senior Performance Test Engineer
$83k – $98k
$56k – $102k
$45k – $111k
$55k – $97k
$39k – $88k
Factors Affecting the Pay of Software Testers
Aptitudes and level of skills
Based on aptitude, knowledge, expertise, certifications, and skills, here is what different software testers and related IT professionals earn in the US:
$112,987 per year
$110,024 per year
$102,393 per year
$100,000 per year
$97,594 per year
$86,081 per year
$82,971 per year
$82,400 per year
$79,967 per year
$66,889 per year
Software Engineer Tester
$99,656 per year
Quality Assurance Tester
$70,798 per year
$69,673 per year
$91,786 per year
$79,046 per year
The yearly software tester salary in the US:
- Entry-level software testing salary in the USA: USD 48,548
- USD 68,553 for mid-career software testing salary in the USA with 4-8 years of experience
- USD 73,659 for experienced software testers average salary in the US with 10+ years of experience
- USD 6,357 per month as a remote software testing salary in the USA
Current Salary (if moving to a new position)
The software testing salary in the USA is around USD 58,726. If moving from one job to another as a software tester in the US, then the salary range can vary between $39,000 and $88,000
Companies like Apple, NVIDIA, Workday, etc., give higher salaries to their software tester employees based on their geographic location and experience level. San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle are among the top cities that offer high salaries.
The kind of salaries offered to software testers in the US depends on their workplace and location. Let us look at the highest-paying cities for software test engineer salaries in the US.
San Diego, CA
$121,852 per year
$102,657 per year
San Francisco, CA
$98,814 per year
New York, NY
$97,498 per year
$93,771 per year
$91,465 per year
$90,878 per year
San Antonio, TX
$81,295 per year
$77,923 per year
Type of employment: full-time vs. contractual vs. Freelancing
Once you understand basic software testing and development principles, you can apply for freelance work. Getting a full-time job without experience can be difficult. However, going freelance allows you to gain expertise and reinforce the skills you have learned. It will also help you improve your portfolio and get your dream job. Once you have completed a few freelance projects and have a decent portfolio, you can start applying for full-time jobs. At this point, your portfolio can help you win interviews and land high-paying jobs.
The freelance software testing salary in the USA is $94,048 annually. That's about $45.22 per hour if you want basic payroll. This equates to $1,808 per week or $7,837 per month.
A full-time software tester's salary in the US can be a minimum of $82,882 per year or $39.85 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $57,502 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $131,874 per year.
For employees on a contractual basis, the part-time software testing salary in the USA is $77,274 a year, which is approximately $37.15 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,486/week or $6,439/month.
What Are the Factors Affecting Software Testing Salaries in the USA?
Here are some of the most significant factors that affect the salaries of software testers in the US:
According to Payscale, the top-paying city for software testing is Cary, North Carolina, topping the list of average salaries with a $95,772.00 average income. Irving, Texas, is a low-paying city for software testing, last on the list of average salaries with a $35,000.00 average income. Here is a list of the top-paying cities for software testers in the US:
|Average Salary (Per year)
Cary, North Carolina
San Francisco, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Washington, District of Columbia
2. The scale of the Organization
When deciding the salary of a software tester in the US, one crucial factor that makes a difference is the organization, its scope, and the scale that you would be working for. Tech giants in the US give good salary packages to software testers, which makes it essential for you to consider these top companies and their average salary packages to know the value of software testers in the US.
Here are some software companies with lucrative salary packages:
$154,803 per year
$152,163 per year
$137,938 per year
$133,393 per year
$131,548 per year
$126,951 per year
$126,008 per year
$125,127 per year
$124,569 per year
$120,893 per year
$117,620 per year
$122,111 per year
$117,454 per year
$116,700 per year
3. Negotiation Skills
The average salary of a software tester varies between $39,000 and $88,000, with an average of $56,600. It depends on how you, as a professional, can negotiate your salary package based on the kind of projects you have handled, additional knowledge, education, and certifications that you may have added to your resume, expertise, experience, skills, and your personality.
4. Certification, Training
Certifications and training give you more advanced skills and, of course, a higher salary. Here are some key certifications that you can add to your resume and get a chance to earn a higher salary package:
5. Training For Software Testing
Software testing certification helps you ensure that your end users receive a working product. Enroll in this software testing course and learn why software testers are essential to building great software products. Become a trusted software tester who can identify product issues before they reach your users. Examine software testing practices that include testing performance, security, and other aspects of your product to ensure your users have a great experience. You check out the following courses by KnowledgeHut:
The coded UI test is a tool capable of testing applications built on the Net or Web 2.0. The training will help you understand the ‘How’ to roll an outdated testing practice in an organization. It will also help you design a framework and modularize the application feature sets.
The 24 hours of live, instructed-led training is a 3-level certification scheme for the testers. The training program adopts a practical approach and covers all the essential topics that you need to know. You will also get an internationally approved ISTQB certificate on the completion of the course.
Become a Selenium Expert with this 24 hours of immersive instruction-led course by Knowledgehut. The course will help you delve deep into concepts like Selenium, IDE, RC, Grid, webDriver etc.
The 24-hour live Teradat learning will help you learn all about Teradata management. It will help you become an expert in Teradata architecture and master performance tuning and optimization.
The training will help you learn the best practices of test management. It will help you build and execute the test plans in coordination with your organizational policies.
With Selenium Testing course certification, you can familiarize yourself with automated web testing using Selenium. You can indulge in 24-hour immersive instructor-led sessions and learn about automated testing with Selenium through interactive, hands-on learning. This course will allow you to dive deep into Selenium IDE, RC, Grid, and WebDriver concepts. You can acquire the skills to create automated tests for your applications and create a framework for testing web applications. With this certification program, you can get a free e-learning access to over 100 courses.
6. Technical Knowledge
The software industry is developing rapidly, and the tech world is evolving from the WEB2 Internet to the distributed WEB3 Internet, significantly changing the software testing process. Candidates who are familiar with the latest technology can demand higher salaries than other candidates.
The top technical skills that can get you a good salary are:
- Programming Skills
- Frontend Skills
- Knowledge of Source Control Systems
- Backend Skills
- Writing Automated Tests
- Knowledge of Software Testing Tools
- Database and SQL Skills
- Excellent communication skills
Career paths as a Software Tester (QA Analyst) include the following but may vary by company.
- Fresher – QA Analyst
- 2-3 years experience – Sr. QA Analyst
- 5-6 years experience – QA Team Coordinator
- 8-11 years’ experienced – Test Manager
- 14+ experience – Senior Test Manager
What are the Software Tester Salaries in Top Companies in the USA?
The average US software tester's salary is $71,289. The median salary for quality assurance testers in the US is $37.58 an hour. Additionally, the average annual salary for a software test engineer in some of the top companies in the US can be as high as $104,968. Let us take a look at the top companies in the USA offering a different range of software tester salaries in the USA:
$150,039 per year
$141,496 per year
$138,229 per year
$137,881 per year
$128,303 per year
$125,074 per year
124,209 per year
$123,138 per year
$122,324 per year
$122,111 per year
How can Software Testers Increase their Salary in the USA?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software testing professionals work closely with the software as QA testers and have a massive scope in every corner of the world. The report shows that software engineering jobs should grow by about 25% by 2026, which clearly indicates a huge opportunity for software testers as both professionals work hand in hand. Software tester pay rates vary by company, skills, certifications, education, and experience.
You usually don't have to wait for a job opportunity to apply for a job. You can usually expect them to show interest in your organization and support future decisions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the software testing field is growing at a rapid 22% rate from 2020 to 2030. The prospects are bright, and being a software tester has also been proven as the second most satisfying job in the world. So, get your skill, certifications like KnowledgeHut's Software Testing classes, and resume handy, and get yourself a lucrative software testing job in the US.