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Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salary

Lead Test Software Development Engineers receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $111K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $20K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $81K and hits $140K on the high end. The vast majority of Lead Test Software Development Engineers (85 percent) survey respondents are men. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
$77,150 - $128,541
MEDIAN: $104,226

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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.
$77,150 - $128,541  
$991 - $19,805  
Profit Sharing
$3,020 - $19,866  
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).
$80,887 - $140,032  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 119
United States (change)

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.


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 show that Lead Test Software Development Engineers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in C#, Software Test, C++, and .NET are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Test Automation and SQL. Those with knowledge of .NET tend to be skilled in C# as well.

Related Job Salaries

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

up arrow 15%

National Average

up arrow 7%

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

up arrow 6%

Software Test
up arrow 6%

up arrow 4%

up arrow 3%

National Average

up arrow 3%

up arrow 7%

Test Automation
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 26 votes.


15 %
85 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 76% employee benefits None: 7%