How much does a software tester make?

The yearly average software testing salary in the USA:

All the highest growing companies in the world are software-based nowadays.

That’s why software testing has become a necessity to improve business performance. An adequately tested software ensures reliability and enhances the user experience while saving time and money.

  • In 2015, due to a software glitch, the London terminal had crashed, which resulted in a massive loss in the financial market.
  • Nissan car had to recall 1 million vehicles from the market because its software failed to launch the airbags on time. There are reports that people lost lives because of this software glitch.
  • In 2015, US fighter jets failed to detect targets correctly.
  • In 1994, China Airbus A300 crashed due to a software glitch, resulting in the death of 264 passengers.
  • In 1999, a software glitch destroyed a military satellite worth USD 1.2 billion, which is said to be the costliest accident ever.

These examples show why software testing is an important field and why the demand for software testers is ever-growing.

In this software testing salary article, we will explore the following topics:

What Are the Factors Affecting Software Testing Salaries?

The software tester’s salary is not the same for everyone. It varies based on different factors. If you move to certain cities, you can get a high salary, or if your experience level is different or vice versa.

However, the software tester starting salary ranges from USD 50K - USD 70K, which is higher than any other field.

Here is a list of factors that primarily affect the salary of software testers:

  • Geographic Location
  • Scale of Organization
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Certification, Training
  • Technical Knowledge

There are many factors apart from these. However, these factors and trends make it easier for the candidate to understand the high-income opportunities.

1. Geographic Location

If you live in a city or country with a high cost of living, you will get a higher software tester salary. But if you live in a place with a low cost of living, you will get a comparatively lower salary.

Software Tester Average Salary By State

State Average Yearly Salary($) Hourly Salary($)
Hawaii $105,294 $50.62
District of Columbia $93,286 $44.85
California $90,348 $43.44
New Hampshire $90,179 $43.36
Maryland $84,962 $40.85
New Jersey $84,131 $40.45
Virginia $83,479 $40.13
Delaware $82,944 $39.88
Alaska $81,313 $39.09
Washington $79,323 $38.14
Colorado $78,893 $37.93
Connecticut $78,465 $37.72
Massachusetts $78,250 $37.62
Rhode Island $77,987 $37.49
New York $76,673 $36.86
Maine $76,327 $36.70
Texas $73,702 $35.43
North Carolina $72,212 $34.72
Nebraska $70,978 $34.12
New Mexico $70,624 $33.95
Arizona $70,236 $33.77
Georgia $69,272 $33.30
Pennsylvania $69,018 $33.18
Illinois $68,897 $33.12
Oregon $67,160 $32.29
West Virginia $66,816 $32.12
Kansas $66,577 $32.01
South Dakota $65,937 $31.70
Missouri $65,653 $31.56
Mississippi $65,428 $31.46
Nevada $65,316 $31.40
Alabama $64,478 $31.00
Ohio $64,361 $30.94
Utah $64,053 $30.79
Minnesota $64,001 $30.77
Michigan $63,985 $30.76
Kentucky $63,943 $30.74
Idaho $63,579 $30.57
Florida $63,463 $30.51
Iowa $62,662 $30.13
Vermont $62,065 $29.84
Indiana $60,249 $28.97
Arkansas $60,031 $28.86
South Carolina $59,823 $28.76
North Dakota $59,459 $28.59
Wyoming $59,070 $28.40
Wisconsin $58,907 $28.32
Oklahoma $58,238 $28.00
Tennessee $58,139 $27.95
Montana $55,218 $26.55
Louisiana $53,111 $25.53

High-Paying Cities for Software Testers in the USA

Cities Yearly Salary Hourly Salary
San Francisco, CA $95,557 $45.94
San Jose, CA $112,293 per year -
Austin, TX $102,388 per year -
Seattle, WA $101,411 per year -
Los Angeles, CA $92,093 per year -
Chicago, IL $69,035 $33.19
San Diego, CA $85,935 per year -
New York, NY $77,976 per year -
Redmond, WA $63,990 per year -
Hoboken, NJ $84,427 $40.59
Wilmington, DE $83,118 $39.96
Seattle, WA $80,224 $38.57
Englewood, CO $78,877 $37.92
Hartford, CT $78,814 $37.89
New York, NY $76,807 $36.93
Austin, TX $74,055 $35.60
Tempe, AZ $70,279 $33.79
Allentown, PA $69,503 $33.41
Lawrenceville, GA $69,423 $33.38
Maryland Heights, MO $65,615 $31.55
Fort Lauderdale, FL $64,213 $30.87
Warren, MI $64,199 $30.86
Kokomo, IN $60,340 $29.01

2. Scale of Organization

The size of the organization also affects the salary of the software tester. A software tester in a big tech company will get more compensation than a startup bootstrapping its products.

Salary of a Software Tester in Unicorn Companies:

Tech giants all over the world give good salary packages to software testers. And if you are aspiring to get into a similar career, it is essential to look at the top companies and their average salary packages to get a sense of the market value.

Here are some software companies with lucrative salary packages:

Companies Salary
HCL Technologies $154,803 per year
Apple $152,163 per year
Intuit $137,938 per year
NVIDIA $133,393 per year
Workday $131,548 per year
Akamai Technologies $126,951 per year
Starbucks $126,008 per year $125,127 per year
Fortinet $124,569 per year
Cisco $120,893 per year
eBay $117,620 per year
Mastercard $122,111per year
JPMorgan Chase $117,454 per year
ServiceNow $116,700 per year

3. Certification & Training

Certifications and trainings give you more advanced skills. The more recognizable certifications you have, the better your chances to get a higher salary.

4. Technical Knowledge

In the 21st century, software industries are moving very fast. And technology is changing rapidly. We are moving from WEB2 internet to decentralized WEB3 internet, drastically changing the software testing process. If the candidate is well versed with recent technologies and techniques, then they can demand a higher salary compared to other candidates.

Is Software Testing a Good Career?

In Linkedin, there are 137000+ software tester jobs available. And every day, 7000+ new jobs are added on Linkedin job portal.

And there are more than 8000 jobs currently available in the USA according to Indeed.

These are only the statistics for the demand of software testers. But what about job satisfaction?

According to, Software Testing jobs come in the top 20 happiest jobs in the world.

And if you look at the salary satisfaction stats, 61% of software testers or quality assurance testers are happy with their salary in the USA.


Also Read: What is a software tester Job description look like in 2022?

Salaries on Jobs Related to Software Testing

Apart from software testing, there are a few related jobs where you can get a massive salary package. Listed below are some of the profiles that require a similar skillset as a software tester, and you can easily navigate to those careers if you want a good salary package.

Related Jobs Salaries/year
Java Developer $112,987
Software Engineer $110,024
Systems Engineer $102,393
Software Developer $100,000
Test Engineer $97,594
Program Manager $86,081
Business Analyst $82,971
Systems Analyst $82,400
Quality Engineer $79,967
Programmer $66,889
Software Engineer Tester $99,656
Quality Assurance Tester $70,798
Test Analyst $69,673
Automation Engineer $91,786
Mobile Tester $79,046

How to Switch to a Software Tester Job Without IT Background?

Okay! We have all seen how lucrative the salary package for a software tester is. The question arrives: How can you get a software tester job without much IT experience?

Here are a few steps that you can take to become a software tester.

Bootstrap Your Learning

If you have no prior knowledge of computer science and coding, you need to find a course that will teach you the basics of software testing, coding, and data structures.

It’s far more efficient to learn from a structured course than jumping around from one youtube video to another to learn.

You can get a good beginner-level course on Udemy at a reasonable price.

Get a Certification

Even if you learn software testing on your own, It’s still recommended to get a certification from a reputable university. It will act as proof of your skills and will help you get noticed by recruiters.

Following are some of the certificates for software tester:

Take Freelance Projects

After you are done with the essential software testing and development principles, you can start applying for freelance jobs. Getting a full-time job with no experience might be difficult. But with freelancing, you can gain expertise as well as fortify the skills you’ve learned.

It will also enhance your portfolio and help you get your desired job in the future.

Apply for Permanent Jobs

After you are through with a couple of freelance projects and have a decent portfolio, you can start applying for permanent jobs. At this time, your portfolio will help you crack the interviews and get a high-paying job.

If you want to learn more about how to get a software testing job, Make sure to read the How to become a software tester in 2022 guide.

Also Read: Sofrware Tester Jobs: a 2022 Roadmap

Software Tester Salary FAQ

Q1: What is the salary of a QA software tester?

There is no fixed salary for a QA software tester. It depends on a lot of factors, including location, experience level, company size, etc.

Q2: Is QA testing a good career?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the software testing field is growing at a rapid 22% rate, from 2020 to 2030. That means the prospects in this field are bright. It’s also considered to be the 2nd most satisfying job in the world.

Key Takeaways

Once you build your base-level skills, certifications, and a decent portfolio, from that, it can be a smooth ride. You can choose to become a freelance tester or a full-time employee in a company based on your requirements.

However, here are some of the key takeaways from this article:

  • The software tester average salary is around USD 58,726; however, some unicorn companies like Apple, NVIDIA, Workday, etc. give massive salaries to their software tester employees.
  • The salary range also depends on the candidate’s geographic location and experience level. San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle are among the top cities that offer high salaries.
  • You can move through many related careers with the same skills as software tester such as software engineer, QA Engineer,Program Manager, etc.

If you have any queries related to software testing jobs, please reach out to us at, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, you can check out similar profiles:

Build your resume in 10 minutes
Use the power of AI & HR approved resume examples and templates to build professional, interview ready resumes
Create My Resume
out of 5 on