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Test Engineer Salary

Test Engineers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $69K per year. In the world of Test Engineers, total cash compensation can vary between $49K and $97K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $8K and $9K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but the company and tenure are influential factors as well. Men account for the majority of Test Engineers who responded to the questionnaire — 89 percent to be exact. 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.

$51,086 - $95,494
(Median)
$51K
$69K
$95K
MEDIAN: $69,359
10%
50%
90%

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$15.08 - $41.31
(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
$51,086 - $95,494  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,178  
Profit Sharing
$718 - $9,030  
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).
)
$48,804 - $97,171  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,201
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
$15.08 - $41.31  
   
Overtime
$20.72 - $49.31  
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
$718 - $9,030  
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).
)
$48,804 - $97,171  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 310

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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. As Test Engineers progress in their field, many go on to become Senior Test Engineers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $86K per year. Another common career choice for Test Engineers is to move into an Electrical Test Engineer role. Typically, Electrical Test Engineers get paid $64K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


Test Engineers fill the offices of leading firms L-3 Communications, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Cisco Systems Inc. Test Engineers flock to Cisco Systems Inc for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $90K lead the pack in compensation; however, Cisco Systems Inc also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $62K at one end to $116K at the other end. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries at Qualcomm Inc (+$85K), Northrop Grumman Corporation (+$85K), and Texas Instruments, Inc. (+$82K).

The lowest salaries can be found at Lockheed Martin Corp — median pay is $61K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $49K and only reaching $78K. 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 Labview, Project Management, Test Automation, and Software Test are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Quality Assurance / Quality Control and Microsoft Office. It is often found that people who know System Testing are also skilled in Test Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer

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


For Test Engineers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $63K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $75K. Test Engineers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $81K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $87K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Test Engineers that is 26 percent greater than the national average, San Jose offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+19 percent), Austin (+15 percent), Washington (+11 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 19 percent, Baltimore is the market with the smallest paychecks. Below-median salaries also turn up in Houston and Atlanta (11 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

Labview
up arrow 4%

Test Automation
up arrow 3%

Software Test
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

Test Engineering
up arrow 2%

System Testing
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 2%

Test Planning
0%

National Average
$69,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 3%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 427 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
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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