Software QA Engineer Tops “Happiest Jobs” List

Super Happy Fun Time!When asked to think about the happiest job in America, does your own job come to mind? What job do you think is the happiest job? When asking this question, did these positions come to mind: Customer Service Representative, Accountant, Bank Teller or even Warehouse Manager?  Well, according to a survey posted on those jobs are listed in the top 20 of “The Happiest Jobs in America.”  The study took nearly a year to compile and coming in at #1 for the Happiest Job in the US is the Software Quality Assurance Engineer!

“Since we tend to spend more waking hours working than doing anything else, our work happiness is a huge factor in our overall happiness,” says CareerBliss’ chief executive, Heidi Golledge.

Well quoted by Heidi Golledge, as this statement is very true.  I spend more time in the office and with my coworkers than I do my own home and family.  So if I work with people who share the same interests as me, as well as enjoy the work I do, work isn’t necessarily work anymore, it becomes more of a second home.

CareerBliss also found that many people appreciate their jobs more in a down economy. “As the job market is improving every day, we see that employees are looking to evaluate if they are happy in their current position and if their company is providing the type of culture they identify with,” Golledge says. “This year will be a very important year for employers as employees look at a possible career or job change to improve their satisfaction at work.”

More than 100,000 workers took part in the survey and rated factors such as workplace happiness and environment, job resources, co-worker relationships and daily tasks on a sale of 1 to 5. In the end, Software Quality Assurance Engineers came out on top.

With an index score of 4.24, software quality assurance engineers said they are more than satisfied with the people they work with and the company they work for. They’re also fairly content with their daily tasks and bosses. …

Golledge says, “In past studies, we have noted that the long hours and intense demands on software engineers’ time caused them to rank as less than happy.  However, we are happy to report that software quality assurance engineers feel rewarded at work, as they are typically the last stop before software goes live and correctly feel that they are an integral part of the job being done at the company.”

At the end of the long work day, Software Quality Assurance Engineers tend to feel good about the work that they’re doing. These engineers enjoy discovering hard to find bugs as well as problem solving.  In return, this process gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, hence becoming the Happiest Job in America! If you want to see what other jobs came in the Top 20, visit

As a software tester, do you agree with this survey? What do you enjoy most about your job?

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  1. says

    This article provides basic information about quality assurance very clearly and in lucid language.I like the above article and I have benefited from it and other websites that incorporate quality assurance.

  2. says

    People who successfully point out the mistakes made will fell happy. They fell they have achieved the task however it will be hectic.

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  11. says

    Way to go QA! (especially with the salary range of $85,000 and $100,000 a year)

    just curious on what the top 5 was?

    Thanks for sharing :)

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  14. Superbad says

    A day in QA is like a day on the farm; every meal a banquet, every paycheque a fortune, every bug a critical. I love QA!

  15. says

    Riiight, QA is far from the happiest position. QA is one of the most unpopular positions to be in as we constantly need to take a position which promotes quality over deadlines. This tends to cause political choas and pushback. I find it hard to believe QA was rated in the top for happiest position

  16. says


    The other option — which I failed to call out above, but I did call out in the blog post — is that *if* the sampling method, results, and analysis *are* valid, *then* my position is that Software Quality Assurance Engineer must, in fact:
    - be an actual role
    - be a role that I am not interested in filling
    - is a title that I would like to make *clear* is *not* just some lazy accountant’s way of avoiding entering another classification in the books, but is truly different from tester
    - be a role exclusive to companies that I either have not encountered, or have not seen rate themselves as even minimally successful in their software development efforts

    And all that is independent from my abhorrence of people stapling the word “engineer” onto titles to sound fancy without the appropriate credentials, etc. to support the title (in the same way that Paralegals don’t call themselves Lawyers, Nurses don’t call themselves Doctors, and Bookkeepers don’t call themselves CPAs)

  17. says


    I make plenty of recommendations, suggestions, etc. about how things could be better. Personally, I don’t want “so called” good PR that will lead good people to believe things that simply are not true. That earns bashing from me — at a minimum.

    Lies is lies. Yes, lies is part of context, but we all have our own moral/ethical/professional/personal boundaries. This article crossed mine.

    I do not expect, or even want, everyone to agree with me. We are all individuals with our own experiences and our own opinions. I respect that. I like that. What I do want, is for people to *think* rather than accept blindly.

    What I want *more* is for Y! (or Forbes) to catch wind of the fact that at least some statistically significant portion of people who perform some of the tasks and/or hold some of the titles listed are “throwing the BS flag” unless/until the research, analysis and control methods for this finding are made available for review.

    *That* is something that the people I know as “context-driven” (be they testers or otherwise) do. They make their methods, data and analysis for others to interpret, extend and or challenge based on… well, based on whatever makes sense to them.

    Publish a complete copy of the survey. Tell us how the folks were selected to receive the survey. Tell us what % responded and what the demographic patterns were between those who did and did not respond. Tell us how you came up with that particular title. Tell us who this dude is that appears to have been interviewed after the fact & how he decided what the jobs associated to that title were as related to the survey respondents.

    Do that & maybe I’ll change my tone. Until then, I’m sticking with…

    “Horse Hockey!”

  18. Dale says

    Ms. Andrade,

    Of course none of this reflects on you. This was a great way to get a discussion going.(Disclosure: I have no idea who Ms. Andrade is).

  19. Dale says

    @CLove. Do you own butter commodities?

    If you’re so unhappy, get another job. Whining is a poor quality for a tester.

  20. Dale says

    @Scott. Nice way to get yourself traffic for your blog…

    But, I bit. I have to agree with Mr. Greenless on your site. He nails it in his explanation and style – talking about how it could be improved, versus straight-out bashing. Much better than the typical “fight-or-flight response” most testers, including yourself make. Too many testers just like to bash *anything* related to testing, whether it be positive or negative.

    Remember, this is an article on “Yahoo!”. It is a generalization but does give positive press to the profession. Be happy about that. Plus, it’s a PR piece based on a survey by a company that tries to help “…you find happiness in the workplace and therefore in life.” It’s BS jargon just like “human systems engineering” or “thought-leader”.

    It’s all in the *context*, or is that something you just write about?

  21. says

    No I don’t agree. You also skipped over the best / worst part of the article:

    “Professionals with this job title are typically involved in the entire software development process to ensure the quality of the final product. This can include processes such as requirements gathering and documentation, source code control, code review, change management, configuration management, release management, and the actual testing of the software, explains Matt Miller, chief technology officer at CareerBliss.”

    We ensure the quality of the final product? Oh wait for a minute I thought they were talking about testers. Looks like they mean Dev managers or PMs! Just swap out QA engineers with Dev Managers and it makes more sense.

  22. CLove says

    I need to apply for a QA job! *insert sarcasm here*

    What do I enjoy most about my job? Clocking out at the end of the day and payday. Is it anywhere near what the survey says? Absolutely NOT! But it’s better than nothing. This survey is a complete fraud.

    Love the article, Scott!

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