Software tester

software quality engineer software testing engineer quality assurance engineer quality analyst
Computing and ICT

Career outlook for software tester

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Before software is ready for users to get their hands on, it must be thoroughly tested. As a software tester, it’d be your job to look for any bugs or issues that stop it from performing how it should. This is what’s known as quality assurance, and it’s a vital part of digital development. 

Recording any issues you find you’d pass these on to developers, so they know what needs to be resolved. Attention to detail and problem solving are important parts of this role.  

You’d create a plan and use different methods such as performance testing, scalability testing, regression testing or stress testing to identify any problems. The next step would be writing up reports to document the tests and their outcome, and communicate these back to the team you’re working with.  

What you might do 

  • Meet with developers and project managers to understand the requirements of each project  
  • Work alongside software developers to understand software functionality 
  • Walkthrough programmes to find bugs or defects  
  • Create a testing plan and identify resource needs 
  • Carry out automated testing with specialist software 
  • Test on different devices such as mobile, tablet or laptop, as well as different browsers 
  • Provide solutions that correct the issues you’ve discovered 
  • Write up issue reports to keep for future reference 

Working conditions


You’ll likely work standard hours, usually Monday to Friday. You might be required to work over-time when coming to the end of a project if there are tight deadlines.


You’ll usually be office-based and spend most of your time on a computer.


You might have to travel to meet clients or stakeholders.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Written communication
  • Evaluating
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking responsibility
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


Employers often prioritise relevant digital skills and experience when recruiting. There are a number of ways to get experience and qualifications, either through college, university or through work-based qualifications, such as apprenticeships.

Many Software testers will have studied at HND or degree level in the following subjects:

  • Information technology
  • Software engineering
  • Computer science
  • Maths/statistics related subject

Others will have built a portfolio of digital qualifications and experience in the workplace.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. In addition, they may also highlight additional subjects that they would value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects are:

  • Computer science
  • Maths
  • Physics

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that demonstrates transferable skills.

You might want to consider creating a GitHub account, testing some opensource software and creating logs of defects you have raised.

It’s also helpful to have the ability to use coding language such as

JavaScript as well as to understand the processes and techniques of software testing.