Software QA -- or quality assurance -- managers test software companies' programs, used in many different industries: consumer products, construction, hospitals and government agencies. These managers often work with software developers, running the programs and searching for defects. They then record their findings and report them to software development departments. If you want to become a software QA manager, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $90,000.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a software QA manager was $92,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To work in this field, you need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering or a related major. Employers may also prefer that you have a background in software quality assurance -- two or more years of experience, for example. Other essential qualifications for this job are attention to detail and analytical, communication, team-working and problem-solving skills.
In 2013, average salaries for software QA managers varied the most within the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the lowest salaries of $60,000 in Hawaii and the highest of $100,000 in California. Those in the Northeast made $79,000 and $112,000 per year in Maine and New York, respectively. If you worked as a software QA manager in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., you'd earn $79,000 or $110,000, respectively, the lowest and highest earnings in the South. In the Midwest, you'd earn the least in Nebraska or South Dakota or the most in Illinois -- $69,000 or $101,000, respectively.
Software QA managers can earn more working for specific types of employers, especially those where developers work. For example, software developers' salaries were relatively high working for wireless communications carriers, or cell phone companies, according to May 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also earned high salaries of $110,940 working for satellite communications carriers -- versus the industry average of $102,550 for all software developers. You may also earn more as a software QA manager with a wireless or satellite communication company. Larger companies tend to pay more because of their greater financial resources.
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for software QA managers. It projects a 30-percent increase in employment for software developers through 2020, however, much faster than the 14-percent growth rate for all occupations. Demand for computer systems and the programs that run them continues to increase. This may create jobs for software QA managers, because they work with software developers to ensure all software is working effectively. Most of the demand for computer systems will come from the health industry, which will need system upgrades to serve an aging population. The growing security needs of corporations may also increase employment opportunities for you in this field, as they'll need software QA managers to test security software.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Software Developers Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Software Developer
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Software Developers: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Software Developers, Systems Software
- Indeed: Software QA Manager Salary
- SearchSOA: The Role of a Software Test Manager
- Indeed: Software QA Manager Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Software QA Manager Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Software QA Manager Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Software QA Manager Salary in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Illinois
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images