uTest Review: Work From Home as a Software Tester

Plenty of companies and entrepreneurs strive to break into the tech industry each year, but before an app or software goes to market, it needs real people to make sure it works. When you sign up for uTest, you can join a large community of software testers who are making money straight from home. Software...

Plenty of companies and entrepreneurs strive to break into the tech industry each year, but before an app or software goes to market, it needs real people to make sure it works. When you sign up for uTest, you can join a large community of software testers who are making money straight from home.

Software testing services are in demand. Applause — the company behind uTest — has led the industry for over a decade, sending quality feedback to top technology brands like Uber, PayPal, and Airbnb. But in order to gather feedback from a diverse user base, they need tech savvy individuals like you to partake in paid projects that are up for grabs on uTest.

If you’re interested in landing a unique work-from-home gig that has the potential to become a full-time job, keep reading to learn more about uTest and how you can make money through software and app testing.

What Is uTest?

The uTest homepage

uTest by Applause is a platform that connects freelance quality assurance (QA) professionals to software testing gigs. When freelancers are needed for any given project, the company allows its global user base to apply and selects the most qualified users. Your main role as a uTester is finding bugs or other issues in a given application so developers know exactly what they need to solve.

Though competitors like Userfeel and Userlytics are becoming increasingly popular in the software testing field, uTest remains one of the most highly trusted QA-outsourcing platforms today. Founded in 2007 by Doron Reuveni and Roy Solomon, the company has maintained an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and close to a 4-star Trustpilot rating for over a decade. It’s a legitimate company that can help you earn cash on a flexible schedule.

How uTest Works

When you join the uTest community, you can apply for any project that’s posted on the user platform. If you’re qualified and selected for a project — known as a “test cycle” — you’ll gain access to an application to start testing.

There are three primary ways software testers can make money on the uTest platform, which we’ll describe below.

Finding Bugs

The most common way that testers earn money on uTest is by submitting one of five types of bugs:

  • Content bugs, which include incorrect grammar and poor translations.
  • Crash bugs, which include mobile apps closing abruptly and frozen web pages.
  • Functional bugs, which include broken links and unresponsive buttons.
  • Performance bugs, which include slow loading and sluggish interfaces.
  • Visual bugs, which include misaligned content and inconsistent colors.

Users are paid per bug that’s found and approved. You’ll always receive a base payment for each of these bugs, but if you find particularly helpful ones — especially those that affect how an app functions altogether — you can receive significant bonuses.

Test Cases

uTest: A hand writes in a notebook about what is on a computer screen

Once in a while, you may be assigned a test case. This usually means that you’ll be asked to verify that a bug exists or that a bug has been fixed. These tend to pay less than bug submissions, but they’re still an easy opportunity to earn.

In rarer cases, you may be asked to write a test case from scratch. Though these gigs do pay more, they typically require some technical knowledge. You won’t be invited to this type of project unless you’ve completed a related course through the “uTest Academy,” which is available on your user platform and can help you build your QA skills.

Usability Surveys

Lastly, you may be asked to perform a usability test instead of a standard test. If this occurs, you’ll be given a survey to complete. This survey will ask you about the overall user interface of whatever app or software you were assigned.

Much like test cases, you’re paid per usability survey you complete.

Tester Requirements

So what does it actually take to become a software tester on uTest? As long as you’re 18 years old with a laptop and smartphone, there’s a good chance you’re qualified to be part of the testing community. Software testers on the platform range from entry-level to professional testers and are located all around the world.

While substantial software experience isn’t a prerequisite — resources on the platform will help you get familiarized with testing and new skills — the most successful users tend to be highly familiar with software testing. QA engineers, developers, project managers, and the like simply tend to qualify for more projects, find more bugs faster, and get better tester ratings as a result.

Still, as long as you meet project-specific qualifications (which are often based on location, devices, and lifestyle), you still have the opportunity to take on plenty of projects.

How Much Money Can I Make on uTest?

uTest job postings page

It’s hard to say exactly how much you’ll make on uTest, as your earnings will vary widely based on the types of projects you work on, the quality of bugs you find, and how much work you’re willing to take on. Some users report an average base pay of $11 per hour, while others are making hundreds of dollars (or even thousands of dollars) per month as part-time testers.

Consistent, high-quality feedback remains one of the best ways to get higher payouts. Not only do you get bonuses for finding valuable bugs, but when you’re selected as a client’s “Favorite Tester,” you’ll get a 5% bonus for all future bugs you find for that client for the remainder of the test cycle.

Your tester rating also has an effect on your earnings. Top-rated testers, known as Gold testers, receive a 10% premium on their approved reports. Silver testers get a 5% premium, while Bronze testers get a 2.5% premium. However, you do need to advance from Unrated to Rated and onto Proven before you get the chance to become a Bronze tester. Again, advancement is all based on the quality of your work.

Payments are all processed via PayPal or Payoneer, depending on your location, twice per month (on the 15th and the last day of the month). No taxes are withheld on these payments, so keep in mind that you’ll be paying independent contractor taxes on top of your income taxes for any earnings you receive.

Getting Started as a Freelance Tester

To start making money as a software tester, you need to first join the uTest community. Follow these steps to complete the simple uTest sign-up process.

First, head to utest.com/signup/personal and fill in the form with your first name, last name, email address, date of birth, gender, and languages spoken. Then, tap the “Next: Location” button.

The uTest web form to sign up as a freelancer

On the next page, enter your city, state, zip code, and country. This information may be auto-filled if you have location permissions turned on, but make sure to double-check for accuracy. Then, tap “Next: Devices.”

The uTest web form to add your address when you sign up as a freelancer

Select the correct information about your computer and mobile device. Again, some of this information may be auto-filled, so you may want to check for accuracy. Then, tap “Next: Last Step.”

The uTest web form to add your devices when you sign up as a freelancer

Enter your preferred password in the spaces provided. Then, read and accept uTest’s terms of use, code of conduct, and privacy and security policy. Once complete, tap “Complete Setup.”

The uTest web form with the last step to sign up as a freelancer

You should receive an email from uTest in your inbox. Open this email and tap “Confirm email address” to officially create your account.

The uTest web form to confirm your email address

Once you’ve confirmed, you’re officially ready to sign up for test projects and start earning money.

How to Receive Your First Testing Projects

Once you complete the steps above, you’ll be a fully activated uTester on the platform. You can start applying to current projects on the uTest Projects page by clicking on the ones you’re interested in, reading the description to see if you qualify, and tapping “Apply” to fill in your information.

However, it can be hard to get accepted for projects based solely on the information you’re required to provide. UTest has a large community, so you may not receive a project invitation even if you do qualify. In order to receive a tester rating and get approved for more projects — or even receive direct project invites — you’ll want to prioritize these two steps:

  • Complete your profile: Once you’re logged in, you can head to this page to input more details about you, your devices, your payment methods, and your current subscriptions.
  • Take uTest Academy courses: These simple courses will help you improve your rank as a tester and get certified for different types of testing opportunities.

When you start receiving projects, make sure your feedback is as thoughtful and valuable as possible so you can become a highly rated tester and stand out.

Test Apps for Real Cash

Whether you have plenty of software testing experience or are willing to learn the best practices, you can make extra cash — or even a full-time living — with uTest. This is one of the most trusted platforms on the web for QA professionals, making it both safe and easy to start earning.

Of course, software testing isn’t for everyone. If you’d prefer to test physical products and websites, or even provide your opinion on apps without looking for bugs, read our guide to 12 of the best product testing gigs available today.
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