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Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Lead Test Software Development Engineers in the United States, with median pay hovering around $106K per year. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The vast majority of Lead Test Software Development Engineers (84 percent) who took the survey are men. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$79,608 - $131,018
(Median)
$80K
$110K
$130K
MEDIAN: $106,365
10%
50%
90%

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$16.74 - $88.77
(Median)
$17
$45
$89
MEDIAN: $45.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$79,608 - $131,018  
   
Bonus
$992 - $19,851  
Profit Sharing
$7,807 - $10,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$80,988 - $140,105  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 127
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$16.74 - $88.77  
   
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$992 - $19,851  
   
Profit Sharing
$7,807 - $10,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$80,988 - $140,105  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 11
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Job Description for Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

Lead software development engineers in test (SDET) are responsible for leading the testing process for software engineering applications. They are in charge of providing technical leadership for the design and implementation of test automation and applications. Lead SDETs convey software concepts to other development staff, as well as non-technical professionals. Additionally, they lead the testing efforts for small cross-functional engineering teams to meet customers' deadlines and requirements. They also write performance test plans and automation for integrated services and clusters. Additionally, lead SDETs work with other information technology (IT) professionals to develop automation-based solutions that comply with all project specifications.

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Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Tasks

  • Find bugs, defects, and regressions.
  • Design, implement, execute and debug information technology test cases and scripts.
  • Validate and document completion of testing and development.
  • Automate test cases.
  • Verify fixes.

Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)


Survey results suggest that Lead Test Software Development Engineers use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in C#, C++, .NET, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include SQL. The majority of those who know C# also know Java.

Pay by Experience Level for Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Lead Test Software Development Engineers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. In this occupation, salaries for the relatively untested average out to $90K, but folks in the five-to-10 year range enjoy a much heftier median of $106K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $122K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $130K on average.

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Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 15%


National Average
$113,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

Entry-Level
up arrow 20%

Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salaries

C#
up arrow 4%

C++
up arrow 2%

.NET
up arrow 1%

Java
0%

National Average
$113,000

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

Software Test
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 22 votes.

Gender

Female
16 %
Male
84 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
12%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 77% employee benefits None: 8%
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