How Much Does It Cost to Outsource QA? Honestly.

TestFortExpert by TestFortExpert on 08/30/2023

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource QA? Honestly.

QA outsourcing service rates are finally revealed. For the sake of a true comparison. For the love of statistics. To bate your curiosity. Here it goes.

When it comes to the outsourcing budget, a key point is understanding your business goals and determining the desired success criteria. There are two major options that companies include into consideration before product development: hiring in-house employees or working with dedicated teams of developers and testers. Quality assurance is a part of product crafting that’s mistakenly considered not as important as code development. In fact, testing has to be an integral component of the development process, and the sooner you will engage QA experts on the project — the better your results are going to be.

In-house testing vs. outsourcing

One of the reasons why the outsourcing industry is consistently growing and has been doing so for decades is that outsourcing is cheaper than hiring in-house QA employees. This much becomes clear when you start calculating the costs of assembling an internal team and realize that an in-house QA team may be outside of your budget.

However, not all of us know how cheap exactly it may be and why. Let’s say, you have a bunch of code files that need to be tested. The estimated testing time is 100 hours and the number of testing engineers you plan to involve in this process is 3 experts. Take the average hourly rates of the in-house employee and that of a tester from Eastern Europe: the average hourly rate for a QA tester in the United States is almost $50 per hour or $102,375 annually, while the salary of a QA engineer in Eastern Europe begins at $18 per hour, or $37,440 annually.

You should also consider taxes, bonuses, travel costs, and other overhead costs, which you need to cover when working with in-house specialists and which are typically handled by an outsourcing partner in case you choose that over in-house hiring. The difference in pricing is not only impressive, but it explains why enterprise-sized companies tend to outsource big loads of data for quality assurance. Now, we move on to even more numbers.

QA outsourcing rates by location: How much does it cost to test software?

First-rate software testing services are believed to cost a lot, for they’re a highly-demanded solution in the world where over 2,000 apps are released every day. ComputerCareers claims the average quality assurance salary for a Junior-level engineer makes is $30 per hour or $61,410 annually, while a senior QA makes around $120,000 annually after taxes. That’s the reality of developing and testing software in a country with one of the most expensive labor forces globally. But what about other countries? To dig even deeper into the topic, we review the QA costs of the major tech hubs around the world in our ultimate guide.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource QA? Honestly

QA specialist salary in the US, UK, and Australia

BuiltIn estimates that a QA engineer makes, on average, $98,305 annually. That is just the base pay and does not include any benefits, which can add another $20,000 to one engineer’s salary per year. Salaries can get even higher in the many American tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google, who invest a lot of money into nurturing and retaining talent.

It’s clear why QA & testing services in the USA are considered one of the most expensive in the world, along with the UK and Australia. Specifically, SalaryExplorer claims that the average salary of a QA engineer in the UK is around $78,000 annually, while a QA engineer in Australia makes around $103,602 as base pay, according to Indeed.

Let’s see how the experience factor influences the cost of QA & testing services in the US, UK, and Australia:

  • Entry-level QA managers (0-5 years of experience) earn 8% less than the national average tester salary in the USA
  • Mid-career QA professionals (5-10 years) earn 9% more
  • Experienced QA experts (10-20 years) earn 14% more
  • Late-career (more than 20 years) QA specialist salary is 24% higher

It is estimated that 44% of QA engineers have from 1 to 4 years of experience in testing, while 24% have 5-9 years. This means companies have to be ready to pay a higher price to those 24% of proficient engineers.

Being promoted to Quality Assurance Director usually follows up with a salary increase. Glassdoor claims the average Quality Assurance Director makes $160k+ a year. The base pay for this position starts at $115,248, and it’s possible for the QA Director to make up to $270,000 annually.

QA specialist salary in Western Europe

Forbes claims the main Western European tech hubs are Germany, France, and Netherlands. These locations provide many benefits; among other things, clear laws and regulations, along with a strong work ethic of the specialists.


According to Glassdoor, a German QA engineer makes about $65,984 annually. On top of that, the salary situation in the country looks like this:

  • Entry-level QA engineers (0-5 years of experience) earn 6% less than the national average salary
  • Mid-career QA experts (5-10 years) earn 10% less
  • Experienced testers (10-20 years) earn 30% more

About 50% of quality assurance engineers have 1-4 years of experience in testing, while 39% have 5-9 years of experience.

Even though it may seem like Germany’s main IT power has to be congregated in Berlin, hence paid Berlin-based specialists are paid better, the stats prove completely contrary. Testing pros of Berlin earn 6% less than the national average number shows. In fact, Hamburg offers a QA specialist salary of 8% higher, while Munich tempts the experts with an 18% higher salary.


France provides lower rates for the services of QA engineers: the average annual pay for a QA specialist is $48,755, according to PayScale. Moreover, only 25% of QA testers have from 1 to 4 years of experience in testing, while 63% have from 5 to 9 years of experience. Almost a three times bigger number of experts with 5-9 years of working experience means fewer people in France opt for this profession nowadays.


The Netherlands is an up-and-coming destination for IT services and a place that attracts not only companies looking to cut costs, but also expats searching for a new place to live and develop their careers. PayScale estimates that a QA engineer in the Netherlands makes about $51,106 in base pay — that does not include benefits and other overheads. Total pay for a Junior QA can be well above $75,000 and can understandably increase with a higher seniority level.

First-rate software testing services in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is famous for such a rare and appreciated combo of high quality and reasonable price. Numerous companies outsource software testing there, successfully meeting their peculiar business needs. Here is what you’ll pay for outsourcing to Eastern Europe.


Ukraine is one of the leading destinations for IT outsourcing not just in Eastern Europe, but also globally. And it’s hardly surprising, considering that Ukrainian QA vendors effortlessly combine two coveted traits: talented and seasoned QA experts and more than affordable rates. Glassdoor estimates that a Ukrainian quality assurance engineer earns a little over $21,000 on average annually, and the salary can get lower when working with Trainee and Junior QAs.


Bordering on the Western part of Ukraine, Poland has become a large IT hub in Eastern Europe. Polish outsourcing vendors provide high-quality services at Eastern European rates, which makes Polish outsourcing companies in high demand among Western European and North American businesses. PayScale reports that a QA engineer in Poland can expect a base pay of $23,486.


Hungary offers work conditions, types and quality of services, and rates that are similar to Poland, which is why foreign companies often face the difficult choice between the two. Moreover, Hungary has become a new home for many European IT expats looking for a new location to work from and eventually joining the Hungarian workforce. claims that a Hungary-based QA engineer will make about $26,597 per year.

QA tester rate in Asia

Asia is famous for having one of the cheapest IT services in the world. They conquer startups and SMBs with a tempting affordable QA testing cost. Unfortunately, the quality usually corresponds to the price of provided services, so it’s important to carefully choose a vendor if you decide to outsource QA to Asia.


Approximately 69% of QA testers in India have 1-4 years of experience, while 21% have 5-9 years of experience. An interesting fact is that 5% of QA engineers in India have less than 1 year of working experience. Quite a large number of people have from 1 to 4 years of working experience in testing, which means this profession is quite new to the country and is only starting to gain popularity.

From the outsourcing perspective, India surprises with two things: a low base pay for a QA engineer of $8,078 annually, according to Indeed, and a ridiculously big difference in salaries depending on how many years of testing experience people acquire:

  • Entry-level (0-5 years of experience) QA tester rate is 10% lower than the national average tester salary
  • Mid-career QA experts (5-10 years) earn 51% more
  • Experienced QA professionals (10-20 years) earn 123% more


Here we can trace the unusual number of highly-experienced testing engineers. China’s contribution to technology is vast, so it’s not a surprise there are so many quality assurance engineers who stick to their calling for decades. Moreover, many of those engineers eventually become interested in venturing into the international QA market, making them the perfect candidates for outsourcing. According to, a remote QA engineer in China makes an equivalent of $30,973. Additionally, Payscale claims that:

  • 33% of QA engineers in China have 1-4 years of experience in testing
  • 33% have 5-9 years of experience
  • 20% have 10-19 years of experience
  • 13% have less than a year of experience

How much QA engineers make in Latin America

Over the past few years, Latin American countries have emerged as a popular destination for software testing outsourcing. As is often the case, the number one reason for the surge in popularity is the combination of the growing number of testing engineers and an affordable outsourcing QA rate with no overheads. Here is a quick overview of the cost of outsourcing quality assurance in the Latin American region.


Mexico is the go-to choice of an outsourcing location for many US-based companies because of how close the two countries are, meaning one can easily visit their outsourcing team and vice versa, provided that visa issues are taken care of. According to SalaryExplorer, a Mexican QA engineer makes about $1,755 monthly or $21,066 annually, which is more than reasonable, compared even to Eastern Europe.


Should you choose to outsource some or all of your software testing needs to Brazil? First, let’s look at the rates charged by testing engineers in this country. estimates that on average, a QA engineer working in Brazil remotely makes $27,381 per year. The number can get even lower depending on the location: the further away from the biggest IT hubs like São Paulo and Recife, the lower the salary of QA engineers.


On average, QA engineers in Colombia make the least money out of the three Latin American countries where QA services are on the rise. According to SalaryExplorer, the average Colombian QA engineer makes around $1,083 per month, or almost $13,000 annually. However, with the growing number of Colombian IT companies and the increasing popularity of Colombia as an outsourcing destination, QA engineer salaries are projected to increase as well.

Should you hire QA engineers in-house or use the outsourcing model?

Should you hire QA engineers in-house or use the outsourcing model?

The reasonable cost of outsourcing quality assurance is probably the reason companies consider most often when deciding to outsource their software testing and quality assurance needs. But how exactly is the cost to hire in-house software testers different from the cost of outsourcing quality assurance to external QA teams? Let’s look at the average expenses of using QA services in-house and through outsourcing.

Type of expensesIn-houseOutsourcing
Hourly rate$55$18
Yearly rate$114,400$37,440
Cost of hiring$3,500$0
Benefits & insurance$6,000 per year$0
Taxes & overhead costs$9,000 per year$0


Therefore, from the financial standpoint, QA outsourcing companies are definitely the preferred choice when you are looking for lower prices and better budgeting. However, affordable rates are not the only reason why so many companies now entrust their quality assurance needs to outsourcing partners. Here is why else you need to consider outsourcing QA services to create high-quality products:

  1. Outsourcing gives you access to a larger talent pool. When you are no longer confined to your own city or country in your search for new team members, the composition and quality standards of your QA team can increase significantly. With the help of outsourcing, you can also work with niche experts who may be difficult or too expensive to hire where you operate.
  2. Outsourcing gives you absolute flexibility. Outsourcing companies typically offer very flexible conditions to their customers. With the exception of certain engagement models, you can adjust your cooperation with an outsourcing company to your changing testing demands, which is exactly what the market in 2022, 2023, and beyond demands. Specifically, you can choose the duration of the project, the size and composition of the team, and many other aspects.
  3. You can get an unbiased opinion. One of the benefits of QA outsourcing is that it helps get rid of the bias, which can prevent you from achieving a higher quality of software. Since your outsourced team does not yet know the development team and did not participate in the development process, the QA engineers can provide you with a fresh perspective and help you identify quality issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.

But where exactly should you outsource your software testing project? To answer this question, let’s first look at the annual salary of QA engineers around the world:


CountryAnnual QA engineer salary
The Netherlands$51,106


At the same time, you cannot base your choice on the QA cost alone. Some other factors to take into account are cultural differences, language barrier, different time zones, approach to work, and even the crime situation in the country. From that perspective, you’d be better off working with a QA team in Eastern Europe, where

Quality assurance outsourcing: The ultimate solution

Our research proves that in-house testing is very expensive, which logically leads you to outsourcing solutions. We can’t tell you that quality assurance of your code is cheap. It’s usually not. Moreover, the higher quality you wish to receive — the more expensive the project turns out.

Still, a crucial question to ask is: what matters when outsourcing a project? There are many things to be mentioned including trust, cost-efficiency, velocity, transparency, etc. But really, you know that the MOST important is the quality of what you get. We are here to provide you with all of the aforementioned. Our award-winning team of QA experts is ready to help you finally meet those business goals. Contact us to get first-rate software testing services.

Frequently asked questions

What is QA outsourcing?

Outsourcing quality assurance is the practice of entrusting the entire QA process or some of its aspects to a remote QA team. Companies frequently outsource software development and software testing to service providers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America to cut costs and increase the quality of their products.

Should you outsource testing?

Businesses around the world choose to outsource software testing because of the many benefits of outsourcing. Most importantly, software testing outsourcing allows companies to create spotless software without hiring an entire QA department. Software outsourcing provides access to rare, niche specialists who may be impossible or too expensive to hire in-house. It can also help you avoid bias, since an outsourced QA engineer usually doesn’t know a single software developer and has no relation to the development process. And, by taking advantage of the time zone difference, it’s possible to achieve a round-the-clock development cycle and release software faster.

How much does it cost to outsource software testing?

The software quality assurance cost can vary widely depending on several factors, including the scope of the project, the size and location of the testing team, the duration of testing, and the specific technologies used on the project. The hourly rate of offshore software testers can range from $18 per hour for a Junior QA in Southeast Asia to $120 per hour for a Senior QA in North America.

Where can I find the lowest rates for IT services?

Judging by the outsourcing application fees per hour, the best locations to look for outsourcing companies include Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. However, when venturing into a foreign outsourcing market, you need to be aware of the potential language and cultural differences, as well as different time zones. These are not the reasons to give up on the outsourcing model, but rather the areas that need to be carefully considered before the services are delivered.


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