Test Engineer Salary

Average Test Engineers in the United States make around $69K per year. With some bonuses approaching $9K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $9K, overall incomes of Test Engineers spread between $49K and $97K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residence, though the company and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Test Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The vast majority (88 percent) of Test Engineers who answered the questionnaire are male.

$51,072 - $95,814
(Median)
$51K
$69K
$96K
MEDIAN: $69,475
10%
50%
90%

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$15.33 - $41.05
(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
$51,072 - $95,814  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,710  
Profit Sharing
$695 - $9,192  
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).
)
$48,852 - $97,484  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,278
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
$15.33 - $41.05  
   
Overtime
$21.34 - $48.97  
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 - $8,710  
   
Profit Sharing
$695 - $9,192  
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).
)
$48,852 - $97,484  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 321
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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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For Test Engineers, progressing to a Test Engineering Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Test Engineering Manager can earn $103K annually. Going from Test Engineer to Senior Test Engineer is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $86K. Many others choose to work as Electrical Engineers, where pay is typically $68K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


L-3 Communications, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, and Texas Instruments, Inc. are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Test Engineers. Although Cisco Systems Inc boasts the highest average salary in town at $90K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $62K or as much as $116K. Also paying near the top of the field are Northrop Grumman Corporation at $87K, Qualcomm Inc at $85K, and Texas Instruments, Inc., where Test Engineers annually earn $82K.

With a median salary of $61K, Lockheed Martin Corp provides Test Engineers with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $81K, limiting employee salary growth. Employees at Flextronics International, Micron Technology, Inc., and Raytheon Co. can also expect below-average earnings of $64K, $67K, and $68K.

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey results imply that Test Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Labview, Test Automation, and Software Test are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Office, Technical Writing, and Engineering Design. It is often found that people who know Test Engineering are also skilled in System Testing, Test Automation, and Electronic Troubleshooting.

Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer

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


For Test Engineers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $64K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $75K. Test Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $82K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $88K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Test Engineers in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+20 percent), Austin (+13 percent), Washington (+11 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Baltimore is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average.

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

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Experience Affects Test Engineer Salaries




National Average
$70,000


Skills That Affect Test Engineer Salaries

Labview
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 4%

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

Test Engineering
up arrow 2%

System Testing
up arrow 2%

Software Test
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 2%

Test Planning
0%

National Average
$70,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 2%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 408 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 9%
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