QA Engineer Certifications

Explore the top QA Engineer certifications that are important to a successful career.

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Getting Certified as a QA Engineer

In the rapidly evolving tech industry, Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers play a critical role in ensuring software meets the highest standards of quality and reliability. Certifications in this field serve as a testament to a professional's expertise and dedication to their craft, distinguishing them in a market where precision and excellence are paramount.

This guide offers a comprehensive look at the certifications that can propel QA Engineers forward in their careers, providing a clear roadmap for those seeking to enhance their skills and credibility. By exploring the spectrum of certifications available, you'll be equipped to make informed decisions that align with your professional goals and the ever-changing landscape of quality assurance.

Top QA Engineer Certifications

Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)
American Society for Quality (ASQ)
Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE)
Quality Assurance Institute (QAI)
ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL)
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST)
Quality Assurance Institute (QAI)
Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ)
Software Certifications (part of QAI)
Certified Software Tester (CST)
International Software Certification Board (ISCB)
ISTQB Agile Tester Certification
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
Certified Mobile Tester
Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)
Certified Test Engineer (CSTE)
International Institute for Software Testing (IIST)

Best QA Engineer Certifications

Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)

Certification Provider
American Society for Quality (ASQ)
Best For
Software Quality Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager, Software Project Manager, Senior Software Developer, Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) Lead, Software Compliance Auditor
Description
The Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE) certification, offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), is a professional credential that validates an individual's comprehensive understanding of software quality development and implementation. It focuses on key concepts such as software quality management, testing, and maintenance, and requires knowledge of software engineering processes. This certification is ideal for professionals aiming to ensure software products and services meet customer expectations and standards. Candidates must pass an exam and have relevant work experience to become CSQE certified.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
Price
$498
Prerequisites
  • A minimum of eight years of professional experience, with at least three years in a decision-making position related to the body of knowledge.
  • A four-year degree from an accredited institution which reduces the professional experience requirement to four years, with at least three years in a decision-making capacity.
  • For those without a four-year degree, a diploma from a technical or trade school, plus two additional years of work experience in the software quality field, is acceptable.
  • Passing the CSQE exam administered by ASQ.
  • Agreement to abide by the ASQ Code of Ethics.
  • Maintenance of certification through recertification requirements every three years, which involves obtaining a certain number of professional development units.

Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE)

Certification Provider
Quality Assurance Institute (QAI)
Best For
Software Test Engineers, Quality Assurance Analysts, Test Managers, QA Consultants, Software Developers with an interest in QA, IT Professionals transitioning to Software Testing
Description
The Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE) certification, offered by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI), is a professional credential that signifies a person's proficiency in software testing principles and practices. It focuses on key concepts such as software quality assurance, testing methodologies, test management, and the software development lifecycle. Candidates for this certification must demonstrate their knowledge through a rigorous examination process, which assesses their understanding and application of software testing standards. The CSTE is ideal for individuals seeking to validate their expertise and advance their careers in software testing and quality assurance.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
Price
Prerequisites
  • A four-year degree from an accredited college-level institution plus two years' experience in the information services field
  • A three-year degree from an accredited college plus three years' experience in the information services field
  • A two-year degree from an accredited college with four years' experience in the information services field
  • Six years of direct experience in the information services field
  • Agreeing to adhere to the Code of Ethics established by QAI
  • Successfully passing the CSTE examination

ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)

Certification Provider
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
Best For
Junior Software Testers, QA Analysts, Test Engineers, Software Developers with an interest in QA, Entry-level QA Consultants, Quality Assurance Specialists
Description
The ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) is a globally recognized certification provided by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board. It serves as a standardized benchmark for foundational knowledge in software testing. The certification covers essentials such as test design, test management, and understanding of software development processes. It is aimed at professionals seeking to validate their skills in software testing, and it lays the groundwork for further specialization within the ISTQB certification scheme. The CTFL is ideal for testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, and quality assurance professionals.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
40-70 hours
Price
Prerequisites
  • No formal educational qualifications are required to take the CTFL exam.
  • Basic knowledge of software development and testing is recommended but not mandatory.
  • There are no mandatory work experience requirements; however, practical experience in software testing is beneficial.
  • Completion of an accredited training course is optional but can be helpful for exam preparation.
  • Understanding of the English language is necessary as the certification exam is typically conducted in English (other language options may be available).
  • Registration with an ISTQB-recognized national or regional board or an ISTQB-accredited exam provider is required to take the exam.

ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL)

Certification Provider
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)
Best For
Senior Software Tester, Test Manager, QA Lead, Test Automation Engineer, Test Analyst, Technical Test Analyst
Description
The ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL) is a prestigious certification offered by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board for experienced software testers seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills. This advanced certification focuses on mastering test management, analysis, and design, as well as improving processes and tools. It requires a solid understanding of key concepts in software testing and is ideal for professionals aiming to lead and innovate in the field of quality assurance.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
30 to 70 hours
Price
Prerequisites
  • Successful completion of the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) certification.
  • A minimum of 3 years of professional experience in the field of software testing.
  • Familiarity with the core concepts of software testing, including test design, test management, and test tools.
  • Understanding of software development life cycles and the role of testing within them.
  • For the Test Manager module, experience in test management is highly recommended.
  • For the Technical Test Analyst and Test Analyst modules, practical experience in the respective areas is advisable.

Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST)

Certification Provider
Quality Assurance Institute (QAI)
Best For
Junior Software Testers, QA Analysts, Entry-Level Test Engineers, Associate Test Consultants, IT Professionals with interest in QA, Recent Graduates in Computer Science/Information Technology
Description
The Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST) by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI) is a foundational certification designed for emerging professionals in the field of software testing. This certification validates an individual's understanding of the principles and practices of software testing, including test methodologies, design techniques, and test management. CAST certification is ideal for those seeking to establish credibility and expertise in the software testing domain, with a focus on quality assurance and the ability to contribute effectively to software projects.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
40 hours
Price
Prerequisites
  • A minimum of three years of education or work experience in IT or a related field.
  • Completion of an approved education course through a QAI-approved provider, or a four-year degree from an accredited college-level institution.
  • Understanding of basic IT concepts and terminologies.
  • Agreement to adhere to the QAI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
  • Passing the CAST examination, which assesses knowledge of software testing principles and practices.
  • Payment of applicable examination and certification fees.

Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ)

Certification Provider
Software Certifications (part of QAI)
Best For
Software Quality Assurance Manager, Senior Software QA Engineer, QA Team Lead, Software Project Manager with QA focus, Software Process Improvement Specialist, Software Quality Consultant
Description
The Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ) is a prestigious certification offered by Software Certifications, a division of the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI). It is designed for seasoned professionals in the software quality assurance field, focusing on key concepts, practices, and management principles necessary to lead and direct software quality assurance programs. Candidates will gain expertise in strategic planning, quality leadership, and process improvement, ensuring they are equipped to implement high standards of software quality within their organizations.
Includes Certification
Yes
Time to Complete
Price
Prerequisites
  • A minimum of four years of college education plus four years of experience in the software quality assurance field, or six years of experience without a degree.
  • Working knowledge of software quality assurance principles and practices.
  • Agreement to adhere to the Software Certifications Code of Ethics.
  • Passing the CMSQ examination, which covers topics such as quality management, process improvement, and leadership.
  • Completion of an application for certification, including documentation of education and experience.
  • Payment of applicable examination and certification fees.

Certified Software Tester (CST)

Certification Provider
International Software Certification Board (ISCB)
Best For
Quality Assurance Analysts, Software Test Engineers, QA Consultants, Entry-level Software Developers, IT Professionals with Testing Focus, Test Managers

Benefits of Having a QA Engineer Certification

Validation of Professional Expertise:A certification in Quality Assurance (QA) Engineering is a strong endorsement of your skills and knowledge in the field. It shows employers that you've met industry-recognised standards and are skilled in the latest QA methodologies and tools. This validation can be a valuable asset when competing for roles or projects, as it provides tangible proof of your capabilities.
Comprehensive Skill Enhancement:Pursuing a QA Engineer certification ensures that you are trained in a wide range of testing techniques, tools, and best practices. It fills any gaps in your experience with structured and comprehensive learning, keeping you up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies such as automation, performance testing, and security testing. This broadened skill set can make you more versatile and valuable in the workplace.
Career Growth and Mobility:With a QA Engineer certification, you signal to current and potential employers your commitment to career progression. This can lead to increased job opportunities, higher potential for promotions, and better negotiating power when discussing salaries. The certification acts as a leverage point, distinguishing you from non-certified peers and facilitating upward career mobility.
Networking and Professional Community:Certification programs often come with the added benefit of connecting you with a network of professionals and experts in QA. This community can be a rich resource for collaboration, mentorship, and knowledge exchange, offering insights into industry trends and best practices that can further your career development.
Enhanced Credibility with Stakeholders:As a certified QA Engineer, your insights and feedback carry more weight with stakeholders, including management, development teams, and clients. Your certification serves as an assurance of quality, reducing friction and building trust in your ability to safeguard the integrity of the product throughout the development lifecycle.
Personal Confidence and Marketability:Earning a QA Engineer certification can significantly boost your self-assurance in your professional role. It equips you with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, enhancing your confidence in your ability to tackle complex QA challenges. This self-assuredness, combined with the recognition that comes with certification, greatly improves your marketability to employers and clients.

How to Choose the Best QA Engineer Certification

Choosing the right certification as a QA Engineer is a pivotal step that can significantly enhance your professional credibility and open doors to advanced career opportunities. In the diverse field of Quality Assurance, certifications can validate your expertise, demonstrate your commitment to the profession, and provide you with the latest tools and methodologies to excel in your role. To navigate through the myriad of options and select a certification that best suits your professional journey, consider the following strategic tips:

Identify Your Specialisation:

Identify Your Specialisation: QA Engineering encompasses a variety of domains such as software testing, automation, performance, and security. Pinpoint the area you are most passionate about or where you see a gap in your skillset. Choose a certification that deepens your knowledge in that specific area, whether it's becoming a Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE) for a foundational understanding or a Certified Selenium WebDriver Professional for automation specialisation.

Evaluate the Curriculum's Depth and Breadth:

Evaluate the Curriculum's Depth and Breadth: Scrutinise the curriculum to ensure it covers both the fundamental principles and the advanced concepts of QA practices. A good certification program should offer a comprehensive learning path that not only teaches you the latest testing tools and techniques but also hones your analytical and problem-solving skills, which are crucial for a QA Engineer.

Industry Recognition and Value:

Industry Recognition and Value: Research how well-recognised the certification is within the QA community and by employers. Certifications from esteemed organisations like the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) or the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI) are often held in high regard. The value of a certification is reflected in its acceptance and the respect it commands in the industry.

Consider the Flexibility and Format:

Consider the Flexibility and Format: Reflect on how the certification program fits into your current lifestyle and work commitments. Some certifications offer online courses and flexible examination schedules, which can be beneficial if you are working full-time. Additionally, consider the format of the certification—whether it's self-paced learning, instructor-led training, or a combination of both—and choose what best suits your learning style.

Long-Term Benefits and Career Advancement:

Long-Term Benefits and Career Advancement: Think about how the certification will benefit your career in the long run. Will it help you advance to a senior QA role, transition into a different specialisation, or keep you competitive in the job market? Look for certifications that are not just about passing an exam but also about providing ongoing resources, continuous learning opportunities, and a professional community for support and networking.

Preparing for Your QA Engineer Certification

Earning a certification as a QA Engineer is a significant step towards validating your expertise and advancing your career. It's a process that requires dedication, a strategic approach, and a deep dive into the principles and practices of quality assurance. Whether you're aiming to solidify your foundational knowledge or specialise in areas like automation or performance testing, preparing for a QA certification is about more than just memorising terms—it's about understanding how to apply QA methodologies effectively in a professional setting. The following guidelines will help you prepare for your QA Engineer certification with confidence, ensuring that you not only pass the exam but also enhance your ability to contribute to your team and projects.
Define Your Certification Goals:Start by identifying what you want to achieve with your QA certification. Are you looking to establish credibility in the field, specialise in a particular type of testing, or perhaps transition into a QA leadership role? Understanding your career objectives will help you select the right certification and focus your preparation on the areas that will benefit you the most.
Develop a Comprehensive Study Plan:Once you've chosen a certification, create a detailed study plan that encompasses all the topics covered in the exam. Break down the syllabus into smaller, more digestible sections, and set a realistic timeline for tackling each one. Make sure to allocate time for hands-on practice, as well as for taking mock exams to test your knowledge and get comfortable with the exam format.
Immerse Yourself in QA Resources:Diversify your study materials by using a mix of textbooks, online courses, webinars, and QA forums. Engaging with a variety of resources will expose you to different teaching styles and perspectives, which can help reinforce your understanding of complex concepts. Additionally, consider joining a QA study group or finding a study buddy to share insights and discuss challenging topics.
Apply Knowledge Practically:Theory is important, but the real value of a QA certification lies in its practical application. Try to implement the techniques and strategies you're learning in real or simulated projects. This could involve volunteering for additional responsibilities at work, contributing to open-source projects, or creating your own test scenarios. The hands-on experience will not only solidify your learning but also demonstrate your initiative and commitment to professional growth.
Regularly Review and Assess:As you progress through your study plan, regularly review previous sections to ensure retention of the material. Use flashcards, summary notes, or teach-back methods to reinforce your memory. Periodic self-assessment through practice exams will help you identify areas that need more attention and track your improvement over time, giving you the best chance of success on exam day.

Certification FAQs for QA Engineers

Is getting a QA Engineer certification worth it?

The value of a QA Engineer certification depends on your career goals, experience level, and the area you aim to excel in. For beginners, it provides a solid foundation, familiarises them with QA processes and tools, and can help them enter the field. For seasoned QA professionals, certifications can show their mastery of advanced testing techniques, adaptability to new technologies, or commitment to professional growth.

Certifications can also boost your professional credibility and distinguish your profile in a job market that values specialised and up-to-date knowledge. Essentially, a QA Engineer certification can be a valuable asset, provided it aligns with your career path and the evolving demands of the QA industry.

Do you need a certification to get a job as a QA Engineer?

Certifications are not strictly required to become a QA Engineer, but they can be a significant advantage, particularly for those new to the field or looking to specialise. They demonstrate a commitment to the profession and a foundational understanding of quality assurance principles and practices.

However, hands-on experience with testing methodologies, tools, and software development processes is often highly valued by employers. A blend of practical experience, coupled with one or more certifications, can greatly enhance your job prospects and credibility in the field of QA Engineering. It's also worth noting that some industries or companies may prefer candidates with specific certifications, so research your target job market for tailored guidance.

Can QA Engineer certifications help pivoters make the transition into Dev & Engineering from another career path?

Yes, QA Engineer certifications can be a significant asset for those shifting from different careers into quality assurance. These certifications typically cover core QA concepts, tools, and best practices, equipping career changers with the technical know-how essential for the role. They serve as a testament to an individual's dedication to mastering QA skills and can enhance a resume, making candidates more attractive to employers. Additionally, the structured learning path and community involved in certification programs offer support and networking opportunities that can be crucial during a career transition.