The median salary for Test Software Development Engineers in the United States is $86K per year, and compared to other cities, Mountain View offers the biggest paychecks at around $121K on average. Test Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Palo Alto (+33 percent), Santa Clara (+27 percent), San Francisco (+24 percent), and New York (+23 percent). The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$56,018 - $115,596
$56K
$86K
$120K
MEDIAN: $85,808
10%
50%
90%

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$24.57 - $60.92
$25
$41
$61
MEDIAN: $41.28
10%
50%
90%

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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.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$56,018 - $115,596  
   
Bonus
$500 - $14,170  
Profit Sharing
$1,500 - $19,775  
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).
)
$55,993 - $120,264  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 345
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$24.57 - $60.92  
   
Overtime
$57.00  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$500 - $14,170  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,500 - $19,775  
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).
)
$55,993 - $120,264  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 39

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Job Description for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

Software development engineers, test (usually abbreviated as SDETs), are software developers working inside the testing team. He or she has full access to code and carries a variety of responsibilities. One of the key things that sets the SDET apart is his or her access to code; he or she actively participates in debugging and altering code as necessary. In this capacity, at times, the SDET almost assumes something of a hybrid role between the developers and the testers.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)


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While Test Software Development Engineers do not often become Senior Software Engineers, the job pays $108K per year on average. The most common next step for a Test Software Development Engineer is to become a Test Senior Software Development Engineer or a Lead Test Software Development Engineer. The former position pays an additional $18K per year on average, and the latter position pays $14K more per year.

Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)


Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)


Test Software Development Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in C++, C, C#, and UNIX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like .NET, C# Programming Language, and SQL. Most people skilled in .NET are similarly competent in Test Automation.

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

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


The relatively untested earn a median of $79K per year, but survey respondents who have racked up five to 10 years of experience report a six-figure median of $101K. Test Software Development Engineers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $110K. Test Software Development Engineers who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $96K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $88,105

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)?

Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) in Seattle:
"I like the challenge."
Pros: I get to write code, test hypotheses, and identify problems. It's a seller's market for SDET skills.
Cons: It's difficult to keep current with constantly-changing technology (but, that is also part of the appeal).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 28 votes.
046
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
3%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salaries



Late-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$88,000


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

C++
up arrow 15%

C
up arrow 15%

C#
up arrow 13%

up arrow 12%

UNIX
up arrow 12%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 7%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 3%

Test Automation
0%

National Average
$88,000


up arrow 1%

Test Planning
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 5%


up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 28 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 81%
vision benefits
Vision: 75%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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