Test Engineer Salary

The average Test Engineer in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $69K annually. 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 $49K and $97K. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and tenure are driving factors as well. Male Test Engineers far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. The majority of Test Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$51,131 - $95,637

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$15.38 - $42.32

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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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$51,131 - $95,637  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,495  
Profit Sharing
$724 - $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).
)
$48,960 - $97,499  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,291
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.38 - $42.32  
   
Overtime
$21.39 - $49.36  
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
$0.00 - $8,495  
   
Profit Sharing
$724 - $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).
)
$48,960 - $97,499  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 320
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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. Becoming a Senior Test Engineer is, more often than not, the most common role that Test Engineers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $86K. Another frequent advance is for Test Engineers to assume an Electrical Engineer role; in this role, workers often earn $68K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Test Engineers include L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin Corp, The Boeing Company, Cisco Systems Inc, and Northrop Grumman Corporation. With a median salary of $91K, Cisco Systems Inc offers Test Engineers the highest pay. However, earnings don't seem to live on a large spectrum; they generally peter out at $63K and are capped at $108K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Qualcomm Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Texas Instruments, Inc., top-paying firms where Test Engineers rake in a $85K, $85K, or $82K, respectively.

Test Engineers will find the worst pay at Lockheed Martin Corp, where the median salary crawls in at $61K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $80K, leaving little room for growth. Also approaching the lower end are Flextronics International at $64K, Micron Technology, Inc. at $67K, and L-3 Communications at $68K.

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Test Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Labview, Project Management, Test Automation, and System Testing 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, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Technical Writing. Most people familiar with Test Engineering also know 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $64K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $75K. On average, Test Engineers make $82K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $88K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Sunnyvale (+22 percent), Austin (+13 percent), Washington (+11 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Atlanta is the lowest-paying area, 13 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 1%

Test Planning
0%

National Average
$70,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 2%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 402 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
42%
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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