Salary guide for SQA Engineers

Mujtaba Mehdi
6 min readFeb 10, 2021

This is a collective effort from the community of Software testing and quality assurance professionals.

The idea behind conducting this survey was to get an idea of the job market in Pakistan and to identify the average salary numbers, as well as the career trajectories, QA, SQA, Test Engineers, have in their mind while working in Pakistani Software and Technology industry.

Let us start with the demographics, we got the responses from the community of Testers, QA engineers, SQA engineers, QA leads, Test Automation engineers including both male and female candidates from all over Pakistan. In terms of percentage, we had 30% of the responses coming from the female participants while the rest of the 70% of the responses were from the male participants.

Now let us go through the questions one by one and analyze how we can improve our job search in software testing and quality assurance using this data.

What is your current job title?

Common Job Titles in Software Testing

We can analyze the above graph and can easily conclude that SQA Engineer is the most common job title currently being used in the Pakistani industry and if you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile or resume for better visibility for recruiters then using SQA Engineer and QA Engineer can be really helpful for you.

How many years of professional working experience you have?

Experience of Participants (in years)

We can deduce from the above pie chart that most of the participants in this survey had around 1–3 years of experience in software testing. The second most common group is the 3–5 years of experience while the Fresh -1 year of experience would be the third most common group from the sample of participants. This simply tells us that most of the workforce in the testing industry is much younger or maybe the older ones are not that active in the job market and online communities.

Are you working at a Project-based or a Product-based company?

Segregation of participants into Project/Product based companies

This pie chart was a surprise for me because the most prevalent and common theme in the Pakistani software industry is the service industry or the project-based software houses. The reason for project-based being more common than product-based companies is that Pakistan is filled with huge talent and a majority of our population is the young generation, so this becomes a huge opportunity for companies from the UK, US, or Canada to tap this untapped talent and obviously outsource their projects to Pakistan for cheaper labor as compared to their own country. However, if we look at this pie chart then we can simply deduce that most of the participants are either from a hybrid company working on both products and projects at the same time or the product based companies.

What is your source for learning new tools and technologies?

Source of Learning for testers

This was pretty obvious as the most common learning source for the juniors in the industry would be to learn from the experience of the seniors in the industry, professionals from around the world in the testing industry and the professional courses ad certifications offered by platforms like Coursera, Edx, Udemy and Pluralsight. There were some participants learning from YouTube or even from their friends as well.

What is your ideal career path?

Ideal career path for testers

The ideal career path for more than 50% of the participants was this career path: QA Analyst (Fresher) > Sr. QA Analyst (2–3 years’ experience) > QA Team Lead (5–6 years’ experience) > QA Manager (8–11 years’ experience) > Head of Quality. Now if we look closely at this career path then it is pretty obvious that most of the testers end up in these roles eventually if everything goes as per their plans and they don't end up in the Development or Project management teams. I personally prefer the more technical route because of my love for development, technical understanding and gaining an understanding of software architecture.

What is your current monthly salary in PKR?

Salary data for SQA Jobs

The salary data can be the game changer for the Quality Assurance and testing professionals because there is no proper source for us testers to identify the average salaries of QA Engineers and Salaries of SQA jobs in Pakistan.

Average Salary for a SQA Professional with 3–5 years of Experience

If we have a closer look at the above data in comparison with the years of experience then it is very clear that average salary for a SQA Engineer with 3–5 years of experience is Rs. 130,000 in PKR.

Average Salary for SQA Professional with 0–1 year of Experience

After analyzing the responses from the candidates having none or just 1 year of experience the average salary of these candidates is Rs. 35,000 in PKR.

Average Salary for SQA Professional with 1–3 year of Experience

For all the candidates having experience of at least 1 year or even till 3 years of experience the average salary is Rs. 80,000 in PKR.

Remember that all the numbers mentioned above are only from the average values calculated using the data provided to use through google forms by the participants of this survey and there can a different average for the same years of experience for a different set of candidates.

Are you satisfied with your current salary and benefits?

Job Satisfaction

When asked that if the candidate is satisfied with their currently employer then the responses were very mixed from the participants and we can clearly see a trend from the data that relates the job satisfaction with the current salary of the candidate.

The candidates having salary less than the average salary for that bracket were the most common ones to be not satisfied with their current employer, and it is very obvious that if they are not even being paid the average salary then it can be a sign of dissatisfaction by the employer, or maybe they have never negotiated the salary with their manager.

Are you actively looking for new jobs?

Job Search

The last question on the survey was regarding the activity for searching new jobs and opportunities and the results are very surprising because even less than 50% of the participants were satisfied with their salaries but still 50% of the candidates are looking for new jobs. We can deduce from this that salary can never be a factor in the challenging and learning aspect of the job and even if the candidate is being paid enough, the ability to do more and to learn and experiment new and innovative things will always be on their mind.

So, a lesson for employers and recruiters here is that an employee is only completely satisfied with the company if the company can provide them the appropriate salary and benefits while at the same time the job should be challenging enough for the candidate to remain motivated and keep on learning new tools and technologies.

Feel free to share your feedback about this survey!

Photo by Aleks Dorohovich on Unsplash



Mujtaba Mehdi

Software Test Engineer @ Ecosia, passionate writer and on a mission to help connect talent with meaningful work