Lead Test Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very generous salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $101K) surpassing six figures annually. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Men account for the majority of Lead Test Software Development Engineers who responded to the questionnaire — 89 percent to be exact. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$82,160 - $132,482
MEDIAN: $101,481

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$82,160 - $132,482  
$1,927 - $18,383  
Profit Sharing
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).
$82,121 - $134,708  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 80

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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.


Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Tasks

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

Lead Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Job Listings

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

Lead Test Software Development Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Python, Java, and C++ are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 21 percent, 14 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Selenium Automated Test Tool and Test Planning. Most people skilled in C# are similarly competent in 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 Lead Test Software Development Engineers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $92K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $99K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $118K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Lead Test Software Development Engineer generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $132K.

Related Job Salaries

Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

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

up arrow 28%

National Average

up arrow 10%

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

up arrow 21%

up arrow 14%

up arrow 12%

up arrow 11%

up arrow 9%

Software Test
up arrow 7%

up arrow 3%

C# Programming Language

National Average

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

Test Planning
up arrow 5%

Selenium Automated Test Tool
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 10 votes.


11 %
89 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 75%
dental benefits
None: 10%