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Test Engineer Salary

Test Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $69K per year on average. In the world of Test Engineers, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $8K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $9K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $48K and $97K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geographic location, followed by the company and years of experience. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Most Test Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The vast majority of Test Engineers (89 percent) survey respondents are men. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$50,724 - $95,409
(Median)
$51K
$69K
$95K
MEDIAN: $69,291
10%
50%
90%

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$15.04 - $41.14
(Median)
$15
$25
$41
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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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.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$50,724 - $95,409  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,178  
Profit Sharing
$726 - $9,274  
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).
)
$48,332 - $97,145  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,120
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.04 - $41.14  
   
Overtime
$20.80 - $49.18  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,178  
   
Profit Sharing
$726 - $9,274  
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).
)
$48,332 - $97,145  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 306

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Job Description for Test Engineer

Test engineers are involved in creating and designing processes or experiments to test the quality of a product to be manufactured. Test engineers mainly deal with the inner workings of computer hardware and software; however, many test engineers work with a variety of different fields and test a wide range of equipment and products, from medical equipment such as X-ray machines to commercial transportation vehicles like airplanes. Some independence is expected of test engineers, so they must be able to work both on their own as well as with others as a team. These engineers work hand in hand with the hardware and software engineers to try to achieve a near flawless product. In these group settings, the engineers are involved in reviewing the many steps in designing a product. Test engineers are responsible for reviewing the initial schematics, the electrical wiring and finally the debugging towards the end. Despite working with others, most of the time the test engineers are left to themselves to decide whether the final product is of desirable quality. Test engineers have the last say in determining quality in many situations. To be a test engineer, one must have at least a bachelor’s in computer science, or something similar to that field such as electrical engineering. A master’s or PhD in these fields would be ideal for certain test engineer positions. They need to be familiar in various programming languages, such as Java or C++, as they will be involved in debugging various aspects of software. Additionally, prospective test engineers should be creative, have good problem solving skills, and work well under stressful situations.


Test Engineer Tasks

  • Provide test result information to other teams to improve product quality.
  • Create tests to inform debugging, root cause analysis, and improvement recommendations.
  • Understand complex systems to create test plans and cases.
  • Automate tests and interpret results.

Common Career Paths for Test Engineer


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Test Engineers who go on to become Test Engineering Managers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Test Engineering Managers is $103K annually. The most common career progression for Test Engineers leads to becoming a Senior Test Engineer, where average pay is $86K annually. However, many Test Engineers also opt to become Electrical Test Engineers. Typically, an Electrical Test Engineer brings home $64K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


The Boeing Company, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, and Texas Instruments, Inc. are among the top companies that take on many Test Engineers. Test Engineers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Cisco Systems Inc, where the median salary comes to $90K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($62K) and those starting out ($116K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Other big spenders include Qualcomm Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Texas Instruments, Inc., top-paying firms where Test Engineers see paychecks nearing $85K, $83K, or $83K.

Pay for Test Engineers is the lowest at Lockheed Martin Corp, which has a median salary of $62K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $78K. Flextronics International, Micron Technology, Inc. and Raytheon Co. are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $64K, $67K, and $68K.

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Labview, Project Management, Software Test, and Test Automation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. Most people experienced in System Testing also know Test Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Test Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $63K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $74K. Test Engineers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $81K. 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 $88K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Test Engineers, 26 percent above the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+19 percent), Austin (+16 percent), Phoenix (+10 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Baltimore, 19 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers salaries are below the median are Atlanta and Houston (10 percent lower).

Test Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Test Engineer?

Test Engineer in Lisle:
"Organize Tests, Manage work load, analyze results, write rep."
Pros: Dynamic work with new challenges every project. Manage projects. Great office.
Cons: Workload very heavy at times. Priority projects come through and make other projects late.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Test Engineer Salaries




National Average
$69,000


Skills That Affect Test Engineer Salaries

Software Test
up arrow 4%

Labview
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 4%

Test Engineering
up arrow 3%

System Testing
up arrow 3%

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

C++
up arrow 1%

Test Planning
0%

National Average
$69,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 2%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 435 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 9%