Software Testers specify, develop and write test plans and test scripts, produce test cases, carry out regression testing, and use automated test software applications to test the behaviour, functionality and integrity of computer software, and document the results of tests in defect reports and related documentation.
Tests, identifies and diagnoses functionality errors and faults in systems.
Programs code within established testing protocols, guidelines and quality standards to ensure systems perform to specification.
Performs organisational systems architecture reviews and assessments, recommending current and future strategies and directions for hardware and software.
Creates and reviews technical documentation, such as procedural, instructional and operational manuals or guides, technical reports and specifications, and maintenance inventory systems.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Software and Applications Programmers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as Software Testers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Software Testers||All Jobs Average|
Around 92% of Software Testers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - Parramatta
- Melbourne - Inner
- Melbourne - West
- Australian Capital Territory
- Melbourne - South East.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Software Testers is 35 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 44% of the workforce. This is 4 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Software Testers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||0.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor or postgraduate degree in a related information technology field (such as software development or computer science) is usually needed to work as a Software Tester. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Information and Communications Technology VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Software Testers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||27.9||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.2||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Software and Applications Programmers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong computer skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
52%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
52%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Writing computer programs.
Talking to others.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
76%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
52%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
48%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
43%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
30%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
22%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
19%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
17%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
15%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
14%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
13%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Read and understand written information.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
45%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
80%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
74%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
72%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
72%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
69%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
69%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
69%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
68%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
66%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
65%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
64%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
59%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
58%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
58%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
57%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
53%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
52%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
52%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
51%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Use electronic mail.
95%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
87%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
86%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk on the telephone.
83%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work to strict deadlines.
79%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
69%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
68%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
67%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
65%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
61%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
58%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
58%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 15-1199.01 - Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers.