A manual tester is a professional responsible for testing software applications by hand to identify faults, bugs, and user issues.
They follow established test cases or test scripts to apply different test scenarios, ensuring the software works as planned and meets the specified requirements. Manual testing involves performing different types of tests, such as functional testing, regression testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing.
Manual testers carefully analyze software applications, identifying and noting potential issues in bug reports or issue tracking systems. They work together with developers and other team members to communicate the problems discovered during testing and help deal with these and solve them. Manual testers also play a key role in checking if the software meets the end user’s expectations of function, performance, and user experiences.
While manual testing is an important part of the software testing process, it is important to note that the field of software testing has developed greatly in recent years. Automatic testing involves using specialized tools and scripts to make the testing process automatic. It has become popular and is often used together with manual testing to improve efficiency and the way tests cover needs.
The salary of a manual tester can change depending on factors such as the level of experience, location, industry, and company size. In general, the salary range for manual testers is as follows:
Entry-level Manual Tester: The salary for entry-level manual testers usually goes from $35,000 to $55,000 annually. These individuals have limited experience in the field and maybe start their careers as manual testers.
Mid-level Manual Tester: With a few years of experience, mid-level manual testers can expect a salary of between $55,000 and $80,000 a year. They have gained skills in manual testing techniques and have a strong understanding of software testing rules.
Senior Manual Tester/Lead: Senior manual testers or those in positions as leaders can earn salaries that go from $80,000 to $120,000 or more a year. These individuals have wide experience in manual testing, often have skills as leaders, and may be responsible for managing testing projects and teams.
The job prospects for manual testers in the USA remains favourable, although the increasing adoption of automatic testing practices has influenced the software testing landscape. While automatic testing has become popular, manual testing plays a key role in certain areas of software testing.
Manual testers are still in demand for different reasons. Firstly, manual testing is essential for tests that explore issues, that deal with user experience, and that examine if users accept certain elements, where human judgment and feelings are required. Additionally, manual testing is often preferred for testing complex scenarios, edge cases, and scenarios where automatic tests may not be possible or cost-effective.
The demand for manual testers also changes based on the industry. Industries such as software development, finance, health, e-commerce, and telecommunications usually need manual testers to make sure that their software applications are of high quality and reliable. In addition, maing sure systems meet the rules and the quality assurance standards in industries like health and finance contribute to the need for manual testing expertise.
However, it's important to note that the software testing field has been developing, and manual testers are increasingly expected to have knowledge and skills in automatic testing as well. Skill in automatic test tools and systems can improve job prospects and open up opportunities for manual testers to move into roles that include both manual and automatic testing.
Overall, individuals with a strong base in manual testing, combined with an understanding of automatic testing and continuous learning, can position themselves well in the job market and have good opportunities in the developing software testing landscape in the USA.