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Systems Tester

Systems testers create and execute test plans. They gauge how computer software, information systems, and telecommunication systems are working.

  • Avg. Salary $89,350.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.55
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Computer Specialist, Information Technology Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Systems Testing Technicians (2283) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Systems Testing Technicians (C183) 
  • 2011 NOC: Information systems testing technicians (2283) 
  • 2016 NOC: Information systems testing technicians (2283) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Systems Tester is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Systems Testing Technicians

Interest in copying information to execute and document results of software application tests and information and telecommunication systems tests


Interest in operating computers to conduct tests to certify that new and modified systems meet standards; and to install software and hardware and configure operating system software in preparation for testing


Interest in developing and implementing software and information system testing policies and procedures; and in developing and documenting software testing plans

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2018

When companies develop and introduce software apps, information systems, and telecommunication systems, they use system testers to look for bugs (errors or faults). When a bug is found, the app is reprogrammed to fix the bug. Systems testers then retest to make sure the new programming works and has not introduced new bugs.

They do different types of testing at different stages. For instance, they may first test a system to see how it works on its own. They may then test it to see how it works in a network environment. Complex apps require several testing cycles.

Duties vary but, in general, systems testers:

  • review and study development documents
  • develop test plans, test scenarios, and testing schedules
  • prepare test cases, test scripts, and test data
  • run tests and do some exploratory testing
  • co-ordinate testing teams
  • make sure software specifications (specs) are met
  • make sure software doesn’t crash (stop working) even when it is used in ways developers may not intend (such as if users click on inappropriate areas of the screen)
  • keep detailed records of what they did that resulted in an error message (so programmers can replicate the problem and figure out what caused it).

They may also:

  • prepare for testing by installing computer hardware and software (including operating system software)
  • do audits to ensure specs are accurate
  • look for bugs in any automated testing tools they use.

Systems testers usually work closely with other computer specialists. This includes system developers (see the Computer Programmer occupational profile) and quality assurance analysts (see the Information Systems Quality Assurance Analyst occupational profile).

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Systems testers work standard office hours in an office setting. They may work evenings or weekends to meet project deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Systems testers need to possess:

  • logical thinking
  • attention to detail
  • the ability to follow instructions
  • the skills to simplify and explain complex concepts in clear language
  • tact
  • the skills to solve problems
  • the ability to work well in teams and on their own.

They should enjoy:

  •  taking a step-by-step approach to precise tasks
  •  studying information to solve problems
  •  consulting with others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Systems testers are often graduates of post-secondary programs. In general, these programs are related to computer science. Some are training programs offered by software vendors. Some employers require applicants to have certification or training in a specific type of software.

Computer technology is constantly changing. As a result, systems testers must continuously upgrade their knowledge.

In Alberta, many schools offer a wide variety of degree, diploma, and certificate programs related to computer science. These programs are offered by universities, colleges, technical institutes, and private vocational schools. For a list, see the Computer Programmer occupational profile. Prospective systems testers should talk to potential employers about required and preferred qualifications before enrolling in an education or training program.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Robertson College - Calgary

Robertson College - Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.


Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

What You Need

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Systems testers work wherever software apps, information systems, and telecommunication systems are developed and implemented.

With time on the job, testers may become quality assurance analysts or supervisors.

Systems testers are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2283: Systems testing technicians. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 2283: Information systems testing technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 0 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Salaries for systems testers vary a lot. Factors include the duties of the position and the tester’s education and experience.

Information systems testing technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.23 $70.00 $36.00 $39.45
Overall $23.08 $80.00 $45.55 $50.54
Top $26.44 $90.00 $57.78 $66.74

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) Alberta website:

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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