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Occupational Profile

Systems Tester

Systems testers create and execute test plans to evaluate the performance of computer software, information systems and telecommunication systems.

  • Avg. Salary $67,753.00
  • Avg. Wage $32.87
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Computer Specialist, Information Technology Specialist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

50%
50%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Systems Tester is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Systems Testing Technicians
NOC code: 2283
METHODICAL

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

OBJECTIVE

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

innovative

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

Duties
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Developing and implementing software applications and information and telecommunication systems involves a great deal of testing for bugs (errors or faults), reprogramming to correct bugs and testing again to make sure the new programming works and has not created new bugs. Complex applications require several testing cycles because different types of testing are needed at different stages of development and implementation. For example, a system may be tested to determine first how it works on its own, then how it works in a network environment.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another but, in general, systems testers:

  • review and analyze 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
  • coordinate testing teams
  • ensure that software specifications are met and the software doesn't crash (stop working) even when it is used in ways developers may not have anticipated (for example, if users click on inappropriate areas of the screen)
  • document results (keep detailed records about what they did that resulted in an error message so programmers can replicate the problem and figure out what caused it).

They also may:

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

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Systems testers work standard office hours in office environments. Evening or weekend work may be required to meet project deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Systems testers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and analytically
  • the ability to follow instructions and pay close attention to detail
  • the ability to simplify and explain complex concepts in clear, understandable language
  • tact
  • strong communication skills
  • strong problem solving skills
  • the ability to work well in teams and on their own.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to tasks requiring precision, analyzing information to solve problems and consulting with others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 06, 2015

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

Systems testers must continuously upgrade their knowledge because computer technology is constantly changing.

In Alberta, universities, colleges, technical institutes and private vocational schools offer a wide variety of degree, diploma and certificate programs related to computer science. 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.

Academy of Learning - Airdrie

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Robertson College - Calgary NW

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 06, 2015

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.

Legislation

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.

Education

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
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Systems testers are employed wherever software applications, information systems and telecommunication systems are developed and implemented.

Experienced testers may move into quality assurance analyst or supervisory positions.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth(work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Salaries for systems testers vary considerably depending on the responsibilities of the position and the tester's education and experience.

Information systems testing technicians
NOC code: 2283

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.83 $38.46 $20.92 $19.23
Overall $24.04 $44.67 $32.87 $34.75
Top $26.44 $62.50 $51.64 $62.50

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
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

50%
50%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

27%
27%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

N/A

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
    • Networking
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Communication Technology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 06, 2015

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 13, 2014. 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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