There's different types of QA jobs, and it depends on the company that you're looking at (the same title, in 2 different companies, can mean completely different types of work).
I'm an SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test). My job is functionally equivalent to an SDE, but my focus is to write things like...
- Automation infrastructure
- Automated integration tests (unit tests, etc. and the like would be written by SDEs)
- Live service monitoring infrastructure and monitors
- Training others to do the same
For this kind of role, you should consider the requirements to be equal to that of an SDE. The timelines are the same (or worse). The only upside that I could see for yourself is that you can get into the position where you've been writing tests and monitoring code for long enough that it becomes easy. However, if you're good at it and more than slightly ambitious, you'd probably get promoted or laterally transitioned before that happened.
I'm aware of some companies that have split this role into two similar roles where one writes and maintains the test infrastructure and the other writes all of the tests.
Neither of these positions, however, don't require you to stay as current as the developers.
There is also the STE (Software Test Engineer). I haven't worked specifically as an STE but I have helped perform those duties during crunch time before a heavy deliverable in the past. This role is usually comprised of:
- Writing test plans (ie. all of the test cases)
- Performing test cases manually (click x, observe y. type "abc", observe z)
- Possibly/potentially record the manual tests and re-run them after changes
- Some exploratory testing (good test plans usually negate the vast majority of exploratory testing)
In my experience, it's basically a manual testing role. All of your development experience and expertise will all be definite plusses for this kind of role.
As usual though, remember that pay generally scales with the difficulty of the position, and programming is often hard work. That said, the time I spent manual testing was heaven. I had just quit from a position where I had been ridiculously overworked, and it was nice to just "work" for a couple of months, where I knew exactly what I had to do, how to do it, what tools I could use and it was all laid out.