QA levels and responsibilities of each

I’m sure this has been discussed a bunch but not immediately locating it - what are the QA levels / titles at your company and what skills / responsibilities differentiate them?

I’ve never been at a place with them and find it a bit ambiguous but I do think it’s motivating to have the visual progress on your resume as well salary booster.



I worked at a CyberSecurity company for 12 years where they had a well defined career path for QA Engineers from Junior - Principal and with a technical and management path too and presumed it was the norm.

Then my following two roles have literally had “tester” and “test manager”, so I’ve recently been working on building a career path with clear distinctions between tester, senior tester, test lead and Test Manager.

Really the main difference between Tester and Senior Tester would be the broadness of influence and areas where they may be an SME. They may also have more technical knowledge of tools and automation but I guess it comes down to expertise and trust mainly. seniors would also be expected to coach/mentor more junior members

With the Lead position, it may be the first step on the management/leadership path so having some level of people leadership and project management skills alongside testing

Happy to discuss what I’m building further offline at some point if you wish…


Hi Morgan,

identify roles/activity levels first of all: tester, test lead, …
Then add promotion levels similar to other roles in the company: junior, senior,…

more elaboration and examples here:

hope it helps, else do ask again :slight_smile:

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is it possible to share more details about the well defined career path?

QA teams help meet clients’ demands and expectations most fully, and this is the reason there are a lot of companies providing QA testing services nowadays.
The basic QA levels all companies would have are :

A. QA Tester:
QA testers are of two types :

  1. Manual QA Engineer :
    Manual QA specialists find bugs in a system by relying on human observation. They make sure that the tests behave exactly as the expectations. Testers are provided with a test plan according to which they write test cases describing an input action and an expected response. QA engineers compare the actual result with the expected result and log a defect if they don’t match. The found defects are then reported via any bug tracking and management tool, e.g., Jira.

  2. Automation QA Engineer
    Automation QA engineers have more advanced coding skills than manual QA engineers. With the help of their programming skills, they write scripts to run repetitive tests. They are often called developers in testing. Different automation tools are used with the help of which these QA engineers design and deploy test automation scripts. The ultimate goal is to automate as many of the test cases as possible so that the manual testers do not have to put the effort into running the same test cases on daily basis.

B. QA Lead
QA lead is someone who supervises the work of manual and automation QA engineers. The day-to-day responsibilities of a QA lead are :

  1. Supervising team members,
  2. Administering outside resources, and
  3. Designing test programs.
  4. Prepare Test strategy
  5. Controlling and planning the testing process.
  6. Representing QA team at meetings across departments

C. QA Manager
Quality assurance managers work with other departments as well to establish quality standards. Managers also monitor that the standards are followed against agreed targets.
Some responsibilities of QA managers are:

  1. Establish Quality Assurance Procedures
  2. Ensuring that the customer requirements are met.
  3. Analyze Production and Quality Control Reports
  4. Investigating and setting standards for quality, health, and safety
  5. Ensuring that processes comply with standards at both national and international level
  6. Writing management and technical reports.
  7. Determining training needs
  8. Recording and analyzing statistical information
  9. Monitoring engineer’s performance.

They had career paths for “QA Engineer” from Junior to Principal, an SDET Path up to principal and an management path from Lead to Senior Manager/Director

I don’t have the details to hand as I left 2.5 years ago but they had definite expectations attached to each level

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