What Is the Job of a Tester? Product, Game, & Software Testing

From ensuring that a product meets quality standards to validating the functionality of video games and software applications, testing roles play a crucial role in delivering an optimal user experience.

This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the world of tester jobs, focusing on three main roles: product tester, game tester, and software tester.

What Are Testing Jobs?

Testing jobs encompass a broad range of responsibilities, primarily focused on evaluating and ensuring the quality of a product. Whether it's physical products, video games, or complex software systems, testers play a vital role in identifying issues, suggesting improvements, and ensuring a seamless experience for end-users.

Importance in Various Industries

Testing is not confined to a single sector; it plays a vital role in manufacturing, entertainment, technology, and more. The unifying goal across these industries is to ensure that the end product meets specific quality benchmarks and provides a satisfactory experience to the end-users.

I. Product Tester

Definition and Overview

Product testing is a specialized field where individuals evaluate the functionality, usability, and quality of various consumer products. The role of a product tester involves meticulously examining items such as electronics, cosmetics, appliances, and even food products to ensure they meet specific standards and expectations. 

Feedback from product testers is invaluable in identifying potential flaws, improving the product's overall design, and enhancing the consumer experience.

Required Skills and Qualifications

Being a product tester doesn't necessarily demand an extensive technical background, but there are certain skills and qualifications that can make you stand out in this role:

  1. Attention to Detail: Product testers must observe and analyze products carefully, identifying even the smallest inconsistencies or defects that may affect the user experience.
  2. Communication Skills: Your observations and feedback need to be communicated effectively to the manufacturers or developers. Clear, concise, and constructive reporting is key to ensuring that your insights lead to tangible improvements.
  3. Basic Technical Knowledge: While not always required, understanding the basic functionality and components of products, especially in electronics or appliances, can be beneficial in evaluating their performance.

Daily Responsibilities

The daily responsibilities of a product tester may vary depending on the type and range of products being tested. Typical duties include:

  • Examining Products: Analyzing the physical appearance, quality, and functionality of products.
  • Performing Tests: Conducting specific tests as per guidelines to check various aspects such as durability, safety, and efficiency.
  • Providing Feedback: Writing detailed reports or reviews, outlining observations, and suggesting potential improvements.
  • Collaborating with Teams: Working closely with developers, manufacturers, or quality assurance teams to ensure that the product aligns with the desired standards.

Product testing offers a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience with various consumer goods, directly influencing their quality and market success. Whether working remotely or in a designated testing facility, product testers play a pivotal role in shaping the products we use every day.

II. Game Tester

Definition and Overview

A game tester plays a vital role in the development of video games. Their main responsibility is to identify bugs, glitches, or other issues that could affect gameplay. They work closely with game developers to ensure that the final product delivers a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience. 

Game testing is often seen as a stepping stone into the broader gaming industry and can be an exciting opportunity for those passionate about video games.

Required Skills and Qualifications

While being a gamer is undoubtedly an advantage in this role, there are several essential skills and qualifications that can make you an effective game tester:

  1. Gaming Experience: Familiarity with different game genres, platforms, and gameplay mechanics is essential for understanding the expectations and standards of the gaming community.
  2. Analytical Skills: Game testers must be able to systematically analyze various game elements, identify inconsistencies or errors, and provide actionable feedback to the development team.
  3. Teamwork: Collaborating with developers, designers, and other testers requires strong communication and teamwork skills. Your insights will contribute to refining the game, so being able to articulate your findings clearly is crucial.

Daily Responsibilities

As a game tester, your daily responsibilities are centered around exploring and evaluating different aspects of a game. These duties may include:

  • Playing and Analyzing Games: Extensively playing through different stages, scenarios, or levels of a game to evaluate its functionality, balance, and entertainment value.
  • Identifying Bugs and Issues: Documenting any glitches, crashes, or problems that arise during gameplay, providing detailed information to help developers fix these issues.
  • Providing Feedback: Offering insights on the overall feel of the game, user experience, difficulty levels, and other subjective aspects that may influence the final product.
  • Collaborating with Development Team: Regularly communicating with the development team to understand the intended gameplay and ensure that the game aligns with the design vision.

While the idea of being paid to play games may sound enticing, game testing is a serious profession that requires a dedication to detail. The feedback from game testers plays a vital role in shaping successful and engaging video games enjoyed by players across the globe.

III. Software Tester

Definition and Overview

Software testing is a critical phase in the development of any software application. The role of a software tester involves systematically evaluating software to ensure that it functions correctly, meets user requirements, and is free from defects. 

Software testers work closely with developers to identify issues early in the development process, reducing the cost and time needed for corrections and contributing to a superior final product.

Required Skills and Qualifications

Software testing is a highly technical field, and specific skills and qualifications are needed to excel in this role:

  1. Programming Knowledge: While not always mandatory, understanding programming languages and coding principles can provide valuable insights into how software operates and where potential issues may arise.
  2. Analytical Thinking: Software testers must think critically to design test cases, identify potential failure points, and accurately assess how software performs under various conditions.
  3. Understanding of Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC): Knowledge of the different stages of software development, including requirements gathering, design, coding, and deployment, is vital in aligning testing efforts with the overall development process.

Daily Responsibilities

The daily tasks of a software tester are diverse and require both technical expertise and attention to detail:

  • Creating Test Plans: Designing detailed testing strategies to ensure comprehensive evaluation of software's functionality, performance, and security.
  • Executing Tests: Running manual or automated tests to assess how the software behaves under different scenarios, including stress tests, usability tests, and regression tests.
  • Documenting Findings: Recording the results of tests, including any defects or inconsistencies, and communicating them to the development team.
  • Collaborating with Developers: Working closely with software developers to understand the application's intent and ensure that the testing aligns with development goals.

Software testing is a multifaceted field that offers opportunities for individuals with various backgrounds and interests. Whether focusing on user experience, technical functionality, or security, software testers contribute significantly to building robust and reliable software products.

Salary Expectation and Growth Path

Understanding the salary potential and career progression in a chosen field is essential for any job seeker. Below, we explore these aspects for the three key tester roles we discussed earlier.

Salary Information

Product Tester

  • Entry Level: Average starting salary between $25,000 to $40,000 per year or $12 to $20 per hour. Payment per product tested may range from $10 to $50 or more, depending on complexity.
  • Experienced Level: Upwards of $60,000 annually or higher hourly rates.

Game Tester

  • Entry Level: Salary range of $30,000 to $45,000 per year or $15 to $25 per hour on average. Compensation per bug found may range from $10 to $50 or higher, based on the severity and impact.
  • Experienced Level: Up to $70,000 or more per year, with potential bonuses for identifying critical bugs.

Software Tester

  • Entry Level: Between $40,000 and $60,000 annually or $20 to $30 per hour on average. Pay per bug may vary widely, with some positions offering $20 to $100 or more per bug, especially for complex or critical issues.
  • Experienced Level: Ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 or more per year, with specialized roles earning higher hourly rates.

Career Progression

Product Tester

Entry Level: Starting as a basic tester, often working on diverse products. Potential roles include Junior Tester or Quality Analyst.

Mid-Level: Progressing to specialized testing or team lead roles. Potential roles include Senior Tester or Quality Assurance Lead.

Senior Level: Moving into quality assurance management or product development roles. Potential roles include Quality Assurance Manager or Consultant.

Game Tester

Entry Level: Starting with basic gameplay testing. Potential roles include Game Tester or QA Tester.

Mid-Level: Advancing to lead tester, focusing on particular game aspects or coordinating teams. Potential roles include Lead Game Tester or Quality Assurance Specialist.

Senior Level: Potential growth into game design, development, or project management roles. Potential roles include Quality Assurance Manager, Game Designer, or Producer.

Software Tester

Entry Level: Engaging in general testing tasks. Potential roles include Junior Software Tester or Test Analyst.

Mid-Level: Specializing in specific types of testing (e.g., automation) or leading testing teams. Potential roles include Senior Tester, Test Lead, or Quality Analyst.

Senior Level: Progressing into roles like Quality Assurance Manager, Software Development Manager, or other specialized technology positions. Potential roles include Quality Assurance Manager, Test Automation Engineer, or Solution Architect.

How to Become a Tester

Becoming a tester in the fields of products, games, or software offers an intriguing career path with diverse opportunities. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to pursue these jobs and where to find them:

1. Identify Your Interest Area

Choose the testing field that aligns with your interests and skills:

Product Testing: Ideal for those interested in consumer products and quality assessment.

Game Testing: Perfect for gamers and those passionate about game development.

Software Testing: Suited for those with technical aptitude and interest in software quality assurance.

2. Acquire Necessary Skills

Depending on the chosen field, consider enhancing your skills through relevant courses, certifications, or hands-on practice.

3. Create a Professional Portfolio

Prepare a resume and portfolio that highlight your skills, experiences, and any relevant projects. Include examples of your testing work if available.

4. Network and Connect

Join online communities, forums, and professional networks related to testing. Engaging with professionals in the field can lead to valuable connections and insights.

5. Search for Opportunities

There are various platforms to find testing jobs:

Job Boards: In specialized job portals like Wahojobs you can find a list of entry-level testing opportunities, including ones that require no experience.

Testing Companies Websites: Consider searching directly on the websites of companies that provide testing services. Examples include UserTesting, Test IO, PlaytestCloud, and uTest.

Company Websites: Many tech companies and manufacturers post tester positions on their careers page.

Freelance Platforms: Websites like Upwork and Freelancer offer project-based testing roles.

Game Development Forums: For game testing, specific forums and communities may provide exclusive insights into openings.

6. Apply and Prepare for Interviews

Tailor your applications to each role, and prepare for interviews by understanding the specific testing processes and tools relevant to the position.

7. Continuous Learning and Growth

Keep abreast of industry trends, tools, and methodologies. Continuous learning and adapting to new technologies will enhance your career progression.


A career in testing, whether in product, game, or software domains, presents an opportunity to blend passion with profession. If you find joy in analyzing, assessing, and contributing to the development of products that people use every day, testing could be your calling.

Explore the possibilities, sharpen your skills, and take the leap into this exciting field. Your unique perspective and diligence could be the missing piece in delivering the next innovative product or breakthrough technology.