10 Amazing Product Tester Jobs

By: Debra Ronca  | 

boy opens box
What's inside the box? Lots of companies want you to try out new products. Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

Product testers, usually hired by marketing firms for companies launching new products, get to evaluate and provide feedback on items before they hit the shelves. The best perk of being a product tester is getting to try out new goods before anyone else and keeping them when you're done. Most firms consider the product itself as payment enough, but some marketing panels may also offer monetary compensation.

Depending on the type of product, you can do testing at home, or a marketing firm may ask you to come to a location and participate in a panel. Most marketing websites and consumer panels try to match you to the demographic to which they're selling, so you'll typically test products that appeal to you.

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If you're a parent, you might investigate baby items and toys. If you're really into makeup, you might get free samples to try out. Then you'll fill out a survey, talk to a marketing team or, if you're a social media mogul, post your reviews of the products online. We chose 10 cool product tester jobs we found for you to check out. Keep on reading!

10: Video Game and Technology Tester

woman playing video game
Turn your favorite hobby into a profession by getting a job as a video game tester. Alistair Berg/Getty Images

Video game testers can try out games either on-site at the developer's headquarters or at home with their own systems. Some companies hire testers as paid positions, while others simply offer their fans the opportunity to test new games. The biggest qualification for a full-time job testing video games is that you should be a fan of video games and understand how they work. Testers must be task-oriented, observant and willing to play a game over and over to check for certain details.

Microsoft regularly invites the general public to sign up for product research studies in its Washington state headquarters. If selected for a study, you answer questions, play with some new technology and maybe come home with software in your pocket as compensation. Kids under 17 are also welcome to participate with parental consent.

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Another cool resource is BetaTesting.com, a website that pays "early adopters" to test out new websites and tech products. You have to be 18 to sign up for an account, but each test pays between $10 and $20 with up to five test jobs a month.

9: Cosmetics Product Tester

3 latina women putting on makeup
Companies can send you free cosmetics and health products just to get your opinion of them. andresr/Getty Images

If you're the type of person who prowls the aisles of Sephora on a regular basis, testing new cosmetics could be a dream job. Many makeup and cosmetics companies look for consumers to try out new products. One example is Friends & Neighbors, a product testing program run by the health and beauty brand Johnson & Johnson. Get paid to test new products at home (mascara, moisturizer, dental floss, etc.), respond to surveys and participate in focus groups. If you live in New Jersey, you can train to become a member of Johnson & Johnson's "Sensory Panel," a regular gig testing skin care products [source: J&J].

Some fashion and beauty magazines also offer contests to be a reader tester. Look in your favorite magazine, fill out a survey and you might find a box of cosmetics at your door just waiting for your opinion. Companies want to know how you experience the makeup — is it good value for the price; how does it look on the face or lips; is it durable, easy to apply, and with a good color selection? You'll get to try out new products for yourself, as well as be a part of putting the "finishing touches" on makeup products for consumers everywhere.

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8: Nike Product Tester

Nike Sneakers Ruohan Wang
If you're part of Nike's product testing program, you may get to try amazing sneakers like these designed by Ruohan Wang. Nike

The Nike company offers athletes all over the United States the chance to test out its footwear and athletic apparel through its Nike Product Testing website. Product testing happens either on-site with one day of trial or at home with several weeks or even months of testing. Potential testers fill out an online application and choose the category in which they wish to participate, then Nike contacts them to let them know whether they've been accepted to the program.

Nike is serious about its testing program, as the running shoes are not yet on the market and the field is very competitive. Nike can remove you for not returning reviews in a punctual manner or for violating confidentiality by posting pictures of a product online or wearing the footwear to a public racing event without permission. You also must immediately return the footwear after testing, so the designers at Nike can examine it for damage or wear and tear.

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7: Consumer Taste Tester

A group of professional tasters sample beer.
Consider your taste buds refined enough to recognize the subtleties of flavor? Try being a consumer taste tester. © Oliver Berg/dpa/Corbis

Consumer taste testers sit on panels and sample different foods, beverages and snacks. Some companies use marketing firms to set up taste panels, and some set up their own consumer taste-test programs and call on their consumer database when needed. As a taste tester, you can give your opinions on-site or at home.

For example, the McCormick food company keeps a database of signed-up consumers, so they know whom to contact when they want to test foods on a specific demographic, and pays its participants.

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Taste testers help companies fine-tune their products. You taste a sample then answer some simple questions about the experience. You might be asked if a product is too salty, too sweet, too spicy, too bland, visually appealing — just about anything you can think of. Of course, if you have food allergies like nuts, soy, gluten, eggs or other common ingredients, being a consumer taste tester may not be a safe job for you.

6: National Consumer Panel Participant

Smiling young pregnant woman shopping for home necessities in shop
You can earn points while you shop. d3sign/Getty Images

The National Consumer Panel (NCP) is a consumer insight joint venture. One of the companies involved is Nielsen of the famous Nielsen family television surveys. It supplies consumer behavior to companies so the companies can make marketing decisions about their products, prices and inventory. If chosen as a panelist for NCP, you're not paid in cash or products, but you do earn points that you can later cash in for merchandise or cash cards.

Once you're an NCP panelist, you'll receive a hand scanner or (more likely) access to a mobile app. Then you use that app or scanner every time you go shopping. Scan the barcode of every object you purchase, and record where you shopped, how many items you bought and other relevant information. In addition to earning gift points, panelists also get automatic entry into monthly raffles and discounts at some retail stores [source: NCP].

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5: Parent Product Tester

A mother helps her daughter build a tower with blocks.
Do you have trouble finding the right toys for your child? As a parent product tester, you'll get to try out new products on someone else's dime. petrograd99/iStock/Thinkstock

Part of being a parent is finding the right products for your picky kid. Unfortunately, another part of being a parent for many people is not having the money to try out every single variation. However, if you sign up on the myriad product testing sites geared toward mommy bloggers and parents, you'll receive free samples in the mail just about every day.

One parent product tester opportunity is the Canadian company Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA). PTPA tests and reviews children's products and gives the highest-rated ones its seal of approval. If you live in North America, you can sign up to be a product tester and receive free products as well as access to contests and giveaways.

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After you receive and use a product, you review and rate it for PTPA, which gives that information to the manufacturer for its marketing teams. The site also lists reviewed products for consumers, so they can see which products received the highest ratings.

4: Professional Beer Taster

A woman drinks beer.
Bottoms up! Here is a career where you can drink on the job. brown54486/iStock/Thinkstock

This product tester job is an actual, paying job. Nice work if you can get it, a professional beer taster works for a specific brewery and travels to bars and pubs and ensures that its beer tastes the way it's supposed to.

This means making sure it's being stored and served correctly, as well as kept at the right temperature. The technical name for this job is "beer quality technician," and the job doesn't just entail tasting the beer. It also includes troubleshooting and pinpointing any issues with the keg lines or coolers [source: Merz].

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Because of the technical aspects, this can be an on-call, 24-hour-a-day job. Beer tasters check their products for the perfect pour, the right clarity, taste and aroma. And if the beer isn't up to snuff, they can ask a pub to stop serving the beer until the problem is resolved.

3: Luxury Car Test Driver

A driver has both hands on the steering wheel.
Take enough Ferraris out for test spins and you might end up with a luxury car to call your own! PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Photo Alto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Another full-time, paid job is a luxury car test driver. This means taking the car onto a private course and giving it a workout. Test car drivers are used by companies like BMW, Porsche and Ferrari. If you can't afford a high-end car of your own, this is the next best thing!

Test car drivers should have advanced technical knowledge of automobile mechanics and engineering, as part of their job is reporting performance from nose to tailpipe and many cars are still prototypes. Driving tests measure acceleration, braking, high-speed performance, road performance, comfort, visibility and drivability and are done in conjunction with mechanical engineers [source: Inside Jobs]. You can usually find these jobs at the car manufacturer.

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2: Bed Tester

A woman sleeps in bed.
Think getting some shut-eye and working at the same time is impossible? Not as a professional bed tester. monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock

Here's a product tester job you can literally sleep through. Some luxury bed companies conduct sleep surveys for feedback on how to get a good night's sleep. One company in England hired a cash-strapped student to sleep in its beds for a month and write about her experience [source: Telegraph].

She spent eight hours a day in bed under different conditions, experiencing variations in lighting and temperature. She also imbibed different amounts of alcohol or caffeine to experience other sleeping conditions. How do you get a job like this? In this particular instance, the student answered a call for applicants, and her writing skills gave her the edge over the hundreds of others who also wanted to sleep for cash.

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Some hotel chains also hire bed testers to give feedback on different styles of mattresses, pillows and bedding before rolling out the products at hotels nationwide [source: ZipRecruiter].

1: Waterslide Tester

A man goes down a waterslide.
Testing waterslides may be a dream job for thrill-seekers who have the guts to brave all sorts of rides, even in chilly weather. Creatas Images/Creatas/Thinkstock

We've saved the best for last — a job testing out waterslides. A waterslide tester visits resorts to try out new water features to ensure they're working safely and correctly, and above all, are fun. As a tester, you check off items like height, water flow, speed and landing, making sure they're all up to the quality of the resort's reputation. Testers generally learn on the job, but have to also pass courses in first aid, CPR and customer service [source: Young].

Some testers remain with one park, while others get to travel around the world to different resorts. A waterslide tester at Wet 'n Wild Hawaii said the best part of his job was he and his team testing a new slide 100 times in a day [source: Young]. Worst part of the job? One international waterslide tester said it was testing the slides and flumes in cold weather [source: Daily Mail]. That may be a downside, but it's not too bad, considering you're testing a product that brings fun and excitement to families on vacation everywhere.

Originally Published: Jun 1, 2015

Product Testers FAQ

Do product testers get paid?
Usually, in-home product testers can make around $10 to $15 per hour. In some cases, they can even get $30 per hour.
How do I become a product tester?
You will have to contact a market research firm and register with them. They will provide you with products to test at home or in their office. Afterward, they will send you emails to determine whether you are eligible for product testing.
Does Amazon have product testers?
People who like to write reviews on Amazon have the opportunity to become their product tester. There are many Amazon reviewer trade program websites for this purpose where you can register and test products. Amazon also uses the Amazon Vine Program for recruitment.
Is product testing a real job?
Yes, it is. Product testing helps businesses to collect user feedback about their products/services before they release them. For this purpose, they give the product free for an authentic review. After the testing period ends, they let the tester keep the item.
Is product testing legal?
Federal law requires importers and manufacturers to test various consumer products for compliance with consumer product safety requirements. Therefore, product testing is legal.

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Author's note: 10 Amazing Product Tester Jobs

These jobs sure sound pretty fun. Be warned, though, for most of them, you can't just walk in the door and ask for a job. For many, you might have to work your way up to the cool stuff. These positions require a high level of detail and note-taking. Still, to me, it seems pretty worth it. I'm addicted to naps, and the bed tester job sure sounds like my ultimate dream career! Pun intended, of course.

Related Articles

More Great Links

  • Daily Mail. "Is this the most fun job in the world? The man who travels the globe testing holiday resort waterslides." Dec. 30, 2008. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1103046/Is-fun-job-world-The-man-travels-globe-testing-holiday-resort-waterslides.html
  • Inside Jobs. "Car Test Driver." 2013. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.insidejobs.com/careers/car-test-driver
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • McCormick. "Consumer Testing." 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.mccormickcorporation.com/consumer-testing.aspx
  • Merz, Theo. "A day in the life of a professional beer taster." The Telegraph. Aug. 29, 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11046041/A-day-in-the-life-of-a-professional-beer-taster.html
  • Microsoft. "Playtest." 2014. (Jan. 31, 2021) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/usability/default.aspx
  • National Consumer Panel. "How It Works." 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://join.ncponline.com/how
  • Nielsen. "Nielsen Families." 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/about-us/nielsen-families.html
  • NIKE. "Footwear." 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) https://producttesting.nike.com/footwear/7055
  • Palermo, Elizabeth. "How to Become a Video Game Tester." Business News Daily. April 2, 2013. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4259-how-to-become-a-video-game-tester.html
  • Parent Tested Parent Approved. "PTPA - The Endorsement Parents Look For." 2014. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://ptpa.com
  • The Schwan Food Company. "Become a Taste Tester." 2009. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.schwanstastetesting.com/learnmore.htm
  • Self. "Do You Love Beauty Products? Test Them For SELF!" Oct. 14, 2013. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.self.com/flash/beauty-blog/2013/10/beauty-2014-healthy-beauty-award-tester/
  • The Telegraph. "Student paid to sleep in designer beds." Aug. 10, 2009. (Nov. 29, 2014) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6001095/Student-paid-to-sleep-in-designer-beds.html
  • Young, Jackie M. "Cool Jobs: What It's Like Being a Water Slide Tester at Wet'n'Wild Hawai'I" Honolulu Magazine. April 9, 2019 (Feb. 3, 2022) https://www.honolulumagazine.com/cool-jobs-water-slide-tester-wet-n-wild-hawaii/

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