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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.

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) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Systems Testing Technicians
2006 NOC : 2283

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

Systems testers do different types of testing at different stages. 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, scenarios, and schedules
  • Prepare test cases, scripts, and data
  • Run tests and do exploratory testing
  • Coordinate testing teams
  • Make sure software meets specifications (specs)
  • Make sure software doesn’t crash (stop working) even when used in ways developers may not intend
  • Familiarize themselves with UX (user experience) to ensure testing is based on the way end users will deploy things
  • Keep detailed records of what they did that resulted in an error message so programmers can replicate the problem, figure out what caused it, and fix it

They may also:

  • Prepare for testing by installing computer hardware and software, including operating system (OS) software
  • Do audits to ensure accurate specs
  • Look for bugs in any automated testing tools they use

Systems testers often 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, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Systems testers need:

  • Logical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to follow instructions
  • The skills to simplify and explain complex concepts in clear language
  • Tact
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • 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 and collaborating with others

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Information systems testing technicians

NOC code: 2283

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 16 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 11, 2021 and Jun 27, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Develop and document software testing plans
Install software and hardware and configure operating system software in preparation for testing
Execute and document results of software application tests and information and telecommunication systems tests
Develop and implement software and information system testing policies and procedures
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Systems testers are often graduates of post-secondary programs related to computer science. Software vendors also offer some training programs. 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 upgrade their knowledge on an ongoing basis.

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf].

To call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the ISP designation, you must register as a member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2283: Information systems testing technicians occupational group, 75.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

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.

Note
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 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.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Information systems testing technicians

2016 NOC : 2283
Average Wage
$45.55
Per Hour
Average Salary
$89,350.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2283 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
50%
50%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
56%
56%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
12%
12%
Vacancy Rate
6%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

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

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

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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