Fair salary for a "Usability Testing Assistant"
November 6, 2009 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: I've been offered a position as a "Usability Testing Assistant" at an established, medium-sized (50-75 employees) web company, and now I need to provide them with salary requirements.

In this position, I would report directly to the Usability Testing Director. My responsibilities would include recruiting test participants, running all tests, and communicating to the company's developers insights and feedback from the tests. I've found salary ranges for a "Usability Tester" (60k-70k), but I'm not sure if that would directly apply to me, or if this position would be considered more junior. What is an appropriate salary range for my new position? Concrete numbers or links for more research would be much appreciated!
posted by the jam to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think we'd need to know if your friend will be writing test plans and scripts himself/herself, or executing test plans written by others. Also, does your friend have any testing experience? Oh, and where are they located?
posted by cabingirl at 1:14 PM on November 6, 2009

Never provide the first number. Ask them what their range is.
posted by rhizome at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hi! "Friend" here. (I have a paid account but I need to wait a week to post a question.)

I check with the teams who have developed the product to be tested and then plan the scripts myself. As for experience, I've been with the company for a year now in a different role until two months ago when I took on testing under the pretense of doing so temporarily (until they hired someone). I did well at it and they offered me the job more officially this week.

This is in NYC proper. Let me know if there are any other questions! Thanks for your input.
posted by hagelslaag at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2009

Your "Usability tester" salary seems accurate; I would expect something 10-15k less for an Assistant position. But that's just my gut instinct. (I've been working as a usability professional for about 3 years now.)

Human Factors International is an organization that certifies usability professionals and facilitates a significant CUA (Certified Usability Analyst) community that might be able to give you a better idea.
posted by citywolf at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2009

I personally think the responsibilities you describe are closer to a full-blown "Usability Tester" than an assistant. I would expect an assistant to execute tests but not write test plans, for example. However, since I think you're saying that you don't have alot of dedicated experience, they might not be willing to pay you as much as someone with certifications and experience.

That said, I second rhizome in having them give you a number, and negotiate from there. I think 50-60k is probably reasonable, and in line with citywolf's estimate. If you think that this is a definite career path for you, you should find out if they're willing to pay for certifications or other professional development.

Caveat: I'm a business analyst, not a testing professional.
posted by cabingirl at 7:09 PM on November 6, 2009

I do creative/tech hiring consulting in NY and LA. I just flipped through a folder of old info for you and calculated some rough spreads on all the entry-level QA and testing jobs for web firms, consultancies and agencies.

In NYC or SF 45-55,000/a.
Elsewhere 32-42,000/a.
posted by rokusan at 9:35 PM on November 6, 2009

Thanks so much, everyone. I really appreciate the input and feel a lot more confident about negotiating this. (Of course, any additional input is still welcome!)
posted by hagelslaag at 12:10 PM on November 7, 2009

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