Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer Salary
Test Automation Engineers in the United States take home approximately $90K annually on average. Final cash compensation to Test Automation Engineers varies from around $67K to approximately $123K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $12K and $15K, respectively. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction for Test Automation Engineers is high. The vast majority of Test Automation Engineers (80 percent) survey respondents are men. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer
Senior quality assurance and test automation engineers design applications that will convert manual test preparation into automated test preparation. They design, create, test and implement these solutions in order to automate as much of the manual test preparation as possible by using codes and scripts. Test automation engineers are usually part of a team: They work with the test lead to identify any challenges that could cause problems during the test automation process. They work with test designers to understand exactly what the requirements of the test are. They also work with the developers who have created the application being tested. All must work together in order to ensure that the testing process goes smoothly. In order to get the most out of the automation process, a test automation engineer must know when to implement automated solutions and in what order.Read More...
Test automation engineers have many responsibilities that vary based on the phase of the testing process in which they are working. The first testing phase is the unit test phase where the test automation engineer utilizes an application code. This code must be able to be used repeatedly before it is incorporated into the current build. The next testing phase is the function and system test. In this phase, test automation engineers develop automated solutions to increase the speed and efficiency of the test preparation process. They may do this by creating test cases or tooling with the software code.
Test automation engineers then implement an acceptance test. This is typically the same process as in the function and system test phase, except that the acceptance test is expedited as part of the system being deployed. If any changes are required, the designer of the test will be alerted and will review where improvements can be made.
Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer Tasks
- Develop and execute test cases to diagnose issues and bugs, creating test data when required..
- Participate in defining and communicating best practices.
- Improve and automate test strategies and software configurations.
- Define test strategies and test manuals for tracking and fixing software issues.
Common Career Paths for Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer
It doesn't happen often, but some Test Automation Engineers do move on to become Software Quality Assurance Managers. The average pay for that role is slightly higher at $103K per year. Many Test Automation Engineers choose to become Software Quality Assurance Managers and Software Quality Assurance Leads as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $5K less and $11K less, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer
Test Automation Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Python, GUI Test Automation, Web Software Quality Assurance, and Test Automation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 11 percent. Those familiar with Automated Testing also tend to know Test Automation, GUI Test Automation, and Quality Assurance / Quality Control.
Pay by Experience Level for Senior Quality Assurance (QA) / Test Automation Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Test Automation Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $80K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $92K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Test Automation Engineers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $98K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $101K.
Pay Difference by Location
San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Test Automation Engineers, 25 percent above the national average. Test Automation Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+25 percent), Santa Clara (+20 percent), New York (+16 percent), and Irvine (+9 percent). Chicago is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 6 percent. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Minneapolis and Dallas (4 percent less).