All companies want to provide top-notch products. Thus, they need experts to test and ensure the quality of their products. If you love details and want everything to be perfect, then work as a quality assurance specialist! It’s where your dedication can shine excellence.
But how to become a quality assurance specialist? It’s challenging to take your first step. So, I will walk you through the world of quality assurance. Let’s check the steps below to follow your dream!
Quality assurance (QA) ensures that the final product meets all the expected requirements. It often has some defined processes. When done correctly, they can provide the best result.
A quality assurance specialist is in charge of the QA process. More specifically, they ensure the services and products can satisfy customer demands.
They develop and run the quality control processes. If they detect any errors, they will fix them immediately.
Quality assurance specialists can work in different industries. For example, in the healthcare sector, they eliminate medical errors. In technology, they conduct tests to ensure software quality.
Here is what a quality assurance specialist does every day:
- Developing QA procedures: They create rules that everyone should follow. This way, they ensure the good quality of their final products.
- Conducting assessments: They also review how their company does specific tasks. Each department should obey the quality standards.
- Feedback: After checking how things are doing within the company, they report to their managers. If necessary, they recommend solutions to improve the company’s operations.
- Solving quality-related issues: Problems may arise at any time. In this case, the QA specialist should detect them soon. Then, they come up with a solution to fix them.
Most employers want their quality assurance specialists to have a degree. They should be in science, engineering, or education.
There is also a skill set to assess their ability. Experience plays a vital role in their job. So, there are three aspects to focus on: education, skills, and experience.
Most of the time, quality assurance specialists work in the offices. They use computers to check the quality control processes.
Sometimes, they need to visit work sites or production facilities. Then, they can observe the working processes clearly.
I’m a quality assurance specialist. I love my job. And when thinking about what I’ve done to reach my goals, I even love it more.
It’s really challenging to become a quality assurance specialist. I will share my experience to help you with your journey. There are six steps to take, but they take some years to complete.
Study first! You should get a bachelor’s degree in computer science, business, or engineering. These degrees are related to the job.
Some employers may also accept an associate’s degree. However, you must prove that you have enough work experience for the role.
Studying is more than just going to school and reading books. Remember, education creates a foundation for your future job. So, you will fail if you don’t put effort into this essential step.
What should you do now? Firstly, decide the industry to focus on. As I have said, you can work in different industries as a quality assurance specialist. Each sector requires different skills. Thus, choose your favorite. Then, you can decide what to study to master that sector.
Sometimes, the requirements overlap. And regardless of the sector you choose, you will work on these concepts:
- SQL basics: SQL is a query language. You will need it to process data and run queries in your quality control procedures.
- SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle): This concept is prevalent in IT systems. So try to learn and distinguish the SDLC systems. You will impress your bosses for sure.
- GIT: GIT is where you can share code. You just need to use some basic commands on this platform to perform well at work.
Employers also assess your skills to tell if you are the right fit for their company. Here is what you should work on:
Having technical skills means you understand the technical aspects of your job. For example, you must know how to build software. This development process involves different programming languages and tools.
Once you understand those concepts, you can work with the software easily. Then, you know how to test and evaluate the product quality.
Testing products is tricky. Even a tiny mistake will ruin it. So, as a quality assurance specialist, you have to pay attention to every detail.
After that, run thorough tests to evaluate the products. You also have to perform the tests regularly to ensure the products are in good working condition.
This skill refers to how well you identify defects in the products. It’s about finding the causes and suggesting solutions.
Once you’ve found the problems, you have to explain them to your clients, bosses, and other teams. Hence, you need good communication skills.
Moreover, you have to translate technical issues into understandable terms. If you do it well, non-technical people can grasp it. This task is important because your clients may not know anything about technical stuff.
You have many deadlines to meet. The problem is you must do it quickly while maintaining quality.
If you want to be a good quality assurance specialist, try to balance those demands. Then, you can be confident to do your work efficiently.
A quality assurance specialist tackles complex issues. In other words, they have to be good problem solvers. If you want to follow this career path, hone your problem-solving skills.
Your critical thinking skills help you identify problems. You can also then use your creativity to come up with innovative solutions.
This step focuses on earning experience. When you take an internship or training course, you can understand how to apply QA principles in practice.
Moreover, you will hone your skills in a hands-on environment during the training. It also helps you gain confidence in different tasks.
Another benefit of the internship and training is you can meet new people. They are professionals in the industry. They will surely teach you many things.
When working as an intern, pay attention to what’s happening around you. Also, ask questions and take notes. The experienced colleagues won’t mind assisting you.
Plus, remember to keep a record of what you’ve done. Write down the challenges you had and how you solved them. These records will be helpful for your future interviews.
Lastly, do not expect all good things from the internship. It can be harsh, especially for beginners. Moreover, you won’t receive a high salary during this time due to your lack of experience.
Even so, just keep working hard! Every first step is hard to take. However, this internship can be a valuable lesson for you.
Check different job descriptions to see what companies need from QA specialists. You should understand the job thoroughly.
Also, compare the experience and skills they are looking for. Do you have them all? If yes, highlight them on your resume.
Check if they need any specific certifications, too. If possible, you can take some. This way, you show that you are serious about the job.
Next, create a strong resume to impress your potential employers. I have some tips for you as follows:
- Use a professional format.
- Remember to include basic information about you, such as your full name, phone number, and email address.
- Write a short paragraph to highlight your skills and job objectives.
- List relevant skills to the job.
- Mention your relevant work experience (most recent first). Also, use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
- Include your degrees and certifications.
- Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements.
- Customize your resume for each application.
Congratulations! You have reached the final step! Now, you may be ready to look for quality assurance specialist jobs.
You can visit job search websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed. Then, use relevant keywords such as “QA specialist” or “quality assurance specialist.”
Reach out to your friends and acquaintances, too. They may show you some job openings in their companies.
Another tip is to check the website of your favorite company. They may upload job vacancies in the “Jobs” or “Careers” section on the website.
When looking for a job, be cautious of scams. If the job postings ask for your personal information or money, skip them.
Working as a quality assurance specialist has both pros and cons. They are also the rewards and challenges you will get.
- There are many job opportunities because companies want to ensure their product quality.
- The pay for quality assurance specialists is good.
- You have many choices in your career path.
- If you like learning new things and solving problems, QA must be ideal for you.
- You have to sit for long periods in front of your computer.
- The tests can be repetitive sometimes. Thus, you may feel bored.
The journey to becoming a QA specialist is long and challenging. So how can you tell that you are ready for this job? Well, there are some factors to check:
- Education: Once you’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you have a solid background to start.
- Experience: It would be best to have experience in QA. You can join projects and try internships to learn new things.
- Skills: I have mentioned some skills needed for a QA specialist. So work on them and hone them day by day.
Generally, you need about four to six years to become a QA specialist. It involves studying and working in entry-level positions.
More specifically, you need four years to get a bachelor’s degree. However, if you choose the accelerated program, you can speed up this learning path.
You may also want to earn certifications. Each may last for a few weeks or months. So, they add up to the total learning time.
Experience is also important. You need two to four years of experience in related jobs. For example, you can work as a QA analyst or do administrative work.
So, there is no fixed answer. But I can guarantee you can quickly become a QA specialist if you work diligently.
In 2023, a QA specialist can earn about $74,908 per year. This rate includes the average salary ($71,778) and the extra pay of around $3,130.
There will be a demand for QA specialists in healthcare, technology, and food. You can also try similar jobs, like QA analysts or quality control managers.
As you start this journey, your passion for quality can make a big difference. So, just work with your commitment. Every business values a dedicated quality assurance specialist like you.
Finally, step forward with confidence! Welcome to the world of QA, where your impact is boundless! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Staying curious is also a recipe for your success in this job.