Manual Testing Jobs

Manual testing jobs play an essential role in software development.

Hundreds of apps and software products are developed every day. Each of these must be tested before they’re launched to the market. It’s up to manual testers to perform the appropriate checks for product stability. The work they do benefits both software developers and end users.

But will exploring this field benefit you?

Manual testing stats to warm us up:

  • On average, a manual testing software engineer earns $101,276 annually.

  • An entry-level quality assurance tester earns an average of $58,200 per year.

  • There were 412,800 employees in this field in 2018.

  • The projected growth of employment in this field is faster than average at 7% to 10%.

  • There are 35,700 annual projected openings for this industry.

  • Only about 40% of workers in software testing hold a bachelor’s degree.

  • 77% of QA engineers and testers continually spend time sitting while at work.

  • About 455,000 people are expected  to be employed in this field in 2028.

Sounds like a very promising career, right?

But, you’d still need to find out more about career opportunities in manual testing.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you!

We have a detailed description of the tasks and everything else you need to know about manual tester jobs.

Shall we begin?

Manual Testing Jobs: In a Nutshell

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Develop, execute, analyse, and document test cases
  • Document and report defects to developers
  • Create and maintain databases of defects
  • Collaborate with other testers and developers

Skills required:

  • Knowledge in basic computing and file management
  • Knowledge in basic software quality assurance methodologies
  • Knowledge in database management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Automation experience is a plus

Salary range


For Beginners

Those who are looking into starting a new career in this field often search for “manual testing jobs near me” on the net. This search yields thousands of career opportunities in this industry. There is a continued rise in demand for more advanced technologies, so there will certainly be more positions opened.

To start a career in manual testing, you should learn the basic principles of software testing. You can start with:

  • Acceptance testing
  • White box testing
  • Black box testing
  • Unit testing
  • System testing
  • Integration testing 

You should know that employers value experience above anything else. Try to gain practical knowledge of these principles by taking on freelance jobs. 

You should also practice using more specialized software testing tools. These include:

  • Automation tools such as Selenium, JUnit, TestNG, and Bugzilla
  • Performance testing tools like JMeter and Loadrunner
  • Test management tools such as TestLink or Quality Center

Having certifications are not required but can increase your competitive advantage in finding manual tester jobs. Consider certifying in:

  • ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level
  • ASTQB Certified Mobile Tester
  • ASTQB Certified Performance Tester
  • Certified Software Tester
  • Certified Software Quality Analyst
  • Advanced Level Test Analyst
  • Advanced Level Test Manager
  • Certified Associate in Software Testing
  • Certified Usability Tester Foundational Level

There are above-average opportunities for employment in computer occupations in these states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia. Consider looking for employment in these areas.


Manual Testing: Job Description

Disclaimer: While we try to share as many details as we can to help your career development, we can only provide a general job description. Employers will each have their own unique criteria for hiring based on their specific needs. 

With that out of the way, let’s answer some of the burning questions.

The Basics of Manual Testing

Are you confused about what is manual testing in QA? Well, let’s try to explain it in simpler terms. Manual testing involves testing processes that help find defects in software systems. They’re considered the most primitive type of testing in software development. Simply put, it’s about trying a software or app to find bugs and glitches. As a manual tester, you’d pretty much be role-playing as an end-user to check if all the features of the application are working correctly.

Manual testers execute test cases without the use of automation tools. While manually testing new apps and software including their updates requires more time and effort, it’s an essential task in checking automation feasibility.

QA manual testing jobs require testers to develop and execute tests. This is to identify problems in apps and software before these are released in the market. Manual testers also determine the causes of these defects and report them to developers. They’re in charge of documenting application and software defects and maintaining a database that holds this information. They also give valuable feedback in software design by providing input on product design, functionality, and usability.

Topics You Need to Know

So, you might be asking, what are the topics in manual testing? To start a career in manual testing, you must know be familiar with testing techniques that are performed throughout the test life cycle. You must have ample knowledge in white box testing, black box testing, integration testing, unit testing, acceptance testing, and system testing.

The Importance of Manual Testing

With all the available automation tools we have today, people often ask why is manual testing important. Even though automated testing is faster, manual testing is still essential in software development. For one, automated scripts can’t identify visual issues that humans can easily see. Moreover, automated test are restricted to certain boundaries. 

On the other hand, manual testing allows more fluid exploration. Manual testers can try different actions, observe results, and perform subsequent actions based on those results. 

Moreover, manual testers are able to understand issues on a conceptual and emotional level. They can determine what users will see and how users will feel when they use the software application. They can provide better insight as to how end users will view the application or software.

So why is automation needed instead of manual testing?

Manual testing is indeed critical in ensuring bug-free software. Still, a proficient tester should be able to identify when automation is needed instead of manual testing. Load testing, stress testing, spike testing, and similar performance tests can’t be done manually. They require the use of automation tools. 

Let’s talk about differentiating manual and automation testing in various parameters of software development.

Manual Testing vs. Automation Testing

Manual testing is more effective in usability, exploratory, and Adhoc testing where the AUT is prone to frequent changes. 

Automated testing is suitable for highly repeatable functional test cases. Batch testing and performance testing can only be done through the use of automation tools.

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Manual Testing Jobs: Career Path

Entry-level manual testing includes positions such as application tester or quality assurance analyst. After 2–3 years of experience in junior manual testing jobs, you can become a senior QA analyst and QA team coordinator. Eventually, you can become a specialist and perform as a test manager and senior test manager.

There are various positions available for quality assurance jobs. It all depends on ability, experience, and project scale. Among the job titles you could possibly have in this career are:

  • Applications Tester
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Senior QA Analyst
  • QA Team Coordinator
  • QA Practice Manager
  • QA Director
  • QA Test Program Manager
  • Senior QA Test Manager

How about the daily activities of a manual tester?

Any ideas before we start?

Here we go: 

Manual Testing Jobs: Daily Activities

As a manual tester, your daily activities would include:

  • Examining software project documentation. Reading and understanding all documents and guides related to the software so testing areas can be selected.
  • Developing test cases that cover all the requirements mentioned in the documentation.
  • Reviewing the test cases with the team lead or developer.
  • Creating a baseline for the test cases.
  • Manually executing the test cases using black box testing, white box testing, or other QA testing tools.
  • Reporting bugs to developers for fixing.
  • Re-testing fixed apps and software. Executing failing test cases to verify that the bugs have been fixed.

Manual Testing Jobs: Key Areas of Expertise

There are no special academic degrees required to become a manual tester. That makes it a good platform to enter the IT industry. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy career path. You must have basic knowledge of software applications and programming. A willingness to constantly learn and improve your skill set is also necessary. 

To develop an area of expertise as a manual tester, you can get certification for advanced skills in manual testing. Appropriate ones include:

  • Certified User Experience Analyst Certification
  • ISTQB Expert Level Certification
  • ISTQB Advanced Level Security Testing Certification

Manual Testing Jobs: Salary Breakdown

The salary range for all manual testing jobs in USA is $58,200–$101,276. Software test engineering is listed as one of the highest-paying positions. Meanwhile, a Glassdoor report pegs the average annual salary of a manual tester at $61,072. 

For entry-level positions, the average salary for QA testers is $13.90 per hour. Senior positions, on the other hand, get an hourly wage of $45.59. 

Suitability for freelance

Manual testing is suitable for freelancers. In fact, freelancing is a good way to gain knowledge. Practical freelancing experience will eventually increase your chances of landing a permanent job in leading industry companies. Freelance manual testing jobs for freshers are commonly posted on freelancing websites. These jobs can provide a good springboard into this career.

Management position possibility

Job opportunities for manual testing at show that there are currently more mid-level positions available than entry-level and senior level positions combined. While competition for management positions may be tough, manual testing offers flexible career paths. 

Years of experience can qualify you to be a QA director and test manager. Manual testers can become project managers if they have ample knowledge of numerous industries. They also have a potential future in DevOps and as a QA engineer.  

Manual Testing Jobs: Salary Range

A software tester salary is determined by many factors like the nature and size of the company. It also depends on your work experience, abilities, specific roles and obligations, and the scope of the project.

To give you an idea, here are the average salaries for various manual testing positions: 

  • $70,258: Average annual compensation for Software Tester 

  • $34.18 per hour: Average salary for Quality Assurance Tester 

  • $101,276: Average Software Test Engineer annual salary 

The annual salary of testing jobs in the US ranges from $58,200 to $101,276. The average manual tester earns a base pay of $61,072 per year. 

This figure varies depending on the location. For instance, manual testers in Washington, DC earn $78,055 per year, which is 28% more than the national average. Meanwhile, manual testers in New York City get about $70,116, making them earn 15% more than the average. In Annapolis, Maryland, manual testers earn 14% above the national average, with $69,460 as their annual income. 

However, there are also areas where manual QA testers earn below the national average. In Concord, New Hampshire, for instance, the annual base pay of manual testers is $55,178. This is 10% less than the average. The salary of manual testers in New Orleans, Louisiana is also 10% below the average. They earn about $55,121 annually. And in Helena, Montana, manual testers earn 9% below the average, with a  $55,473 salary per year. 

Nationwide, the annual wage for entry-level manual testing jobs is $44,210. Meanwhile, senior manual testers receive about $82,257 yearly. 

Manual Testing Jobs: Freelance Opportunities

Whether you’re a newbie or a pro in the business, you’re likely to find a remote freelance job that matches your skillset. Manual testing requires minimal equipment and tools so tasks can easily be performed in a small home office. Take note though that working freelance requires you to have an end-to-end understanding of the software life cycle. Most manual testing freelance jobs may also require coding experience and software development skills. For software testing jobs, you would also need to invest in a testing platform like Lambda Test. 

To check freelance opportunities in this field, you can register in job sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, 99designs, PeoplePerHour, Craigslist, and Elance. If you have enough credentials and have already built a reputation in the industry, you can directly approach leading software companies and take on projects as a freelancer.

There are also crowdsource companies that allow you to select projects on a pay-per-bug model. That means your earnings will depend on the number of bugs you find. The more bugs you detect, the higher your payout will be. These work from home manual testing jobs can be good platforms to test your knowledge and enhance your abilities if you’re new in the field.

Manual Testing Jobs: Education

While a bachelor’s degree isn’t required, an academic background in Computer Science gives you an edge in this industry. The following degrees are in demand in this field:

  • Bachelor of Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Bachelor (and Master) of Computer Applications
  • Bachelor of Science in Computers

If you don’t have a degree in Computer Science, you can opt to get certifications like ISTQB and CSTE. They aren’t required, but they add to your credentials. You can get certifications in QA and manual testing from the following certifying organizations:

  • American Software Testing Qualifications Board
  • American Society for Quality
  • International Software Certification Board
  • IEEE Computer Society
  • Human Factors International
  • Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals
  • IBM Corporation
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • National Instruments Corporation

Aside from pursuing certifications, you can also take courses online. Consider taking courses and tutorials from these websites:

  • uTest – This site offers a range of courses from basic tester knowledge to more specialized skills. Take the introductory course then get certified for other courses such as Mobile Device Testing, Charles Proxy Testing, and API Testing.  
  • Udemy – Just $10 to $30 is enough to enroll in one of the manual testing courses in Udemy. Consider taking the highest-rated courses like Mehta’s Best QA Manual Software Testing course. This course includes lessons on Live Project, Agile, Jira, and API.
  • StickyMinds – Membership in this site gives you access to articles and presentations from experts and software professionals. It also enables you to keep up with the latest trends and information on manual testing.

You can also find self-study guidelines on manual testing. There are plenty of videos and documentation online that can help you learn the basics without having to shell out learning fees. You can start with learning resources in the Google Testers Blog, Cem kaner, Satisfice, DZone, Selenium Easy, Software QA Test, and TechTarget.

And now we move on to the technical skills:

Manual Testing Jobs: Technical Skills

What does software testing require?

A manual tester must have technical skills and basic knowledge in the following areas:

  • Database Management

Data in software systems is stored in different types of databases such as Oracle and MySQL. Basic knowledge of these databases enables testers to check whether proper data is stored in the backend database.

  • Linux Programming Language

It’s crucial for testers to have basic knowledge of Linux commands. Most software apps are designed using Linux machines.

  • Test Management

Manual testers must have the knowledge and hands-on experience in using test management tools. These QA tester tools are used in implementing test management techniques. As each tool addresses specific concerns, companies often use different tools depending on their needs.

    • Selenium – for testing web applications
    • Appium – for testing mobile applications
    • TestLink – for test management
    • QC, Bugzilla, Jira, Firebug, or Mantis – for managing and tracking defects or bugs
    • Postman – for API testing
    • JMeter or LoadRunner – for load testing applications
  • Software Development and Test Life Cycle

An end to end understanding of the software test life cycle is mandatory for manual testing. 

  • Defect Management

Testers must be able to manage and track defects systematically. Understanding the defect life cycle is a key aspect of software testing.

  • Microsoft Excel

Manual testers must be adept at creating formulas, pivot tables, and charts in Excel.

  • Other technical skills that aren’t necessary but are good to have are:

    • Familiarity with automated QA testing tools
    • Knowledge of continuous integration tools
    • Creating batch files in Windows OS
    • VB scripting

Manual Testing Jobs: Non-technical Skills

What are the skills required for manual testing?

While technical skills are essential in manual testing, some soft skills are also required to efficiently perform tasks. Manual testers need to be patient, creative, and open to new ideas. Aside from that, they must also possess the following traits:

Logical and analytical skills

Logic and good analytical skills are essential in understanding, creating, and solving test cases. These skills are required in dissecting complex software systems into smaller units. 

Effective communication skills

Good verbal and written communication skills are needed to create effective reports. These reports must convey all actions taken, bugs found and solved, and other issues encountered in a comprehensible manner. Moreover, good communication establishes healthy transparency and earns the trust of developers and stakeholders.

Efficient Time Management

Time management is essential in handling one’s workload. Efficient time management involves organizing tasks, setting schedules, and sticking to them. When done properly, it leads to higher productivity.

Willingness to Learn

Manual testers must have a passion for the field and a willingness to learn. Technologies keep evolving, thus, manual testers need to constantly upgrade their technical skills with changing technologies.

Ability to Work Independently

Manual testers must be able to work on their own and take ownership of tasks assigned to them. They must take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Software development requires collaboration among various groups. Being part of the development process, manual testers must be able to collaborate and develop solutions with other teams. They must show flexibility in dealing with software developers and end-users. They must also show adaptability in supporting and developing their test cases.

In Conclusion

Indeed, it is possible to have a flourishing career as a manual tester. Searching Google for “software testing jobs near me” will show hundreds of job opportunities. To increase your chances of landing a job, make sure you constantly expand your knowledge in QA and testing theories. Place importance on continuous learning and build experiences in using various techniques and methodologies. Exhibit curiosity, imagination, attention to detail, and logical thinking. Practice good communication skills and be open to collaboration with developers and end-users. Having these qualities will enable you to become an effective manual tester. 

Manual testing jobs are a good way to enter the IT industry. Your career path in the industry is extensive and flexible. You can shift to many different job positions as you gain experience and knowledge. 

And now, equipped with the necessary abilities and keen interest in the field, you can effectively embark on a fruitful career in manual testing.

Let’s answer some questions before we go, shall we?


Q: What is a manual testing job?

A: A manual testing job is a task where software and computer applications are checked for defects without the use of automated testing tools. This job requires great attention to detail so all visible and hidden defects are identified before an application or software is released to end-users. 

A manual testing job does not require a degree but having one in computer science or related courses would give you an edge. What’s critical for this job is knowledge of manual testing concepts and software testing methodologies. In terms of career growth, a manual testing job provides plenty of opportunities for career development.

Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of software testers?

A: Software testers ensure that an application is free of errors and conforms to the functional requirements specified by their clients. To do this, they develop and execute test cases to assess new software applications and system modifications. They identify defects using bug tracking systems and document these in databases. 

They also conduct historical analyses of the results of these test cases. Once the test is done, they report defects and provide feedback to developers. While most of the tasks they do are done independently, they still need to collaborate with other testers, developers, and clients for effective software testing.

Q: Is manual testing easy?

A: Software manual testing jobs may seem easy as they do not require specialized knowledge. But, while learning the concepts of manual testing is easy, being adept at this job requires practical experiences. There are multiple websites that offer courses, free tutorials, and videos on manual testing. However, the techniques must be put into practice so they can be honed and mastered. Most manual testers start with freelance jobs to gain practical experience and to hone their skills. For those who are new to the job, it would require much time and effort. Also, manual testing requires patience, attention to detail, and deep analysis.

Q: Why do we need manual testing?

A: In software testing jobs, one of the fundamentals is that 100% automatic testing is not possible. For instance, automation tools are not that effective in identifying usability issues. They are unable to identify user interface glitches as well. On the other hand, manual testers can easily spot visual issues and usability problems. Moreover, manual testing allows exploratory testing and avoids errors in reporting such as false positives or false negatives. Thus, when it comes to manual vs automation testing, the former plays a crucial role in the quality assurance process. This makes manual testing a valuable complement to automatic testing. 

Q: What are the advantages of manual testing?

A: While some people overlook the necessity for manual testing, it undoubtedly has many advantages. For one, manual testing helps make sure that software and computer applications are completely bug-free. It allows faster and more accurate feedback on visual issues. Cost-wise, it is more cost-effective for low volume regression and can be a better option for small companies or small-scale projects. It is also more efficient to use when testing small changes in the software.

Furthermore, manual testing jobs don’t require programming knowledge and are easy to learn for new testers. This makes it relatively easy for businesses to employ proficient manual testers.