Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salary

Salaries for Test Software Development Engineers in the United States average out at around $94K per year, but Mountain View employers pay the most, offering approximately $121K on average. Test Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Palo Alto (+21 percent), New York (+11 percent), San Francisco (+10 percent), and San Jose (+8 percent). The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$62,937 - $117,874
(Median)
$63K
$94K
$120K
MEDIAN: $94,286
10%
50%
90%

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$19.73 - $52.92
(Median)
$20
$40
$53
MEDIAN: $39.00
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
$62,937 - $117,874  
   
Bonus
$766 - $13,923  
Profit Sharing
$986 - $14,000  
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).
)
$62,347 - $125,261  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 629
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
$19.73 - $52.92  
   
Overtime
$26.12 - $50.57  
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
$766 - $13,923  
   
Profit Sharing
$986 - $14,000  
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).
)
$62,347 - $125,261  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 67
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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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A lot of Test Software Development Engineers move on to become Senior Software Test Development Engineers, that group gets paid a slightly higher $107K on average. The most common promotion for Test Software Development Engineers is Lead Test Software Development Engineer, a position that typically pays $102K annually. Another standard transition for Test Software Development Engineers seeking advancement is to assume a Software Development Engineer role, where pay is often $94K.

Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Job Listings

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


Amazon.com Inc offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $102K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $72K to $123K.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)


Test Software Development Engineers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in C++, C, HTML, and Test Automation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Selenium Automated Test Tool, Linux, and Java. Those familiar with .NET also tend to know 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.


Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $88K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $105K. Test Software Development Engineers bring in $109K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $104K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $96,987

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

Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Reviews

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).

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Experience Affects Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET) Salaries



Late-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$97,000


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

C++
up arrow 4%

C
up arrow 4%

HTML
up arrow 4%

C#
up arrow 3%

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 2%

ASP.NET
up arrow 2%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

.NET
up arrow 1%

National Average
$97,000

Python
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 82 votes.

Gender

Female
19 %
Male
81 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
35%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 84%
medical benefits
Vision: 76%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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