Test Engineer Salary
Median pay for Test Engineers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $71K per year. Total cash compensation for Test Engineers runs from $50K to $100K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $9K and profit sharing that can reach almost $12K. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group — the particular city and tenure are driving factors as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Test Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Test Engineers who took the survey are largely men, dominating at 85 percent. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$52,657 - $98,686|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $8,568|
|Profit Sharing||$40.00 - $11,899|
|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).)
|$49,927 - $100,255|
|Hourly Rate||$16.31 - $42.06|
|Overtime||$22.58 - $56.56|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $8,568|
|Profit Sharing||$40.00 - $11,899|
|Total Pay (||$49,927 - $100,255|
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
- Understand complex systems to create test plans and cases.
- Automate tests and interpret results.
- Provide test result information to other teams to improve product quality.
- Create tests to inform debugging, root cause analysis, and improvement recommendations.
Common Career Paths for Test Engineer
Test Engineers who transition into a Test Engineering Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $104K per year. 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 $88K per year. Another common career choice for Test Engineers is to move into an Electrical Engineer role. Typically, Electrical Engineers get paid $69K.
Test Engineer Job Listings
Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer
Leading companies who hire large numbers of Test Engineers include Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Cisco Systems Inc, L-3 Communications, and Qualcomm Inc. Employees of Cisco Systems Inc can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $93K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $65K to $117K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Northrop Grumman Corporation, Qualcomm Inc, and The Boeing Company, where Test Engineers typically earn around $88K, $85K, or $85K, respectively.
Flextronics International, Lockheed Martin Corp, and Honeywell International Inc are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($64K, $66K, and $69K respectively).
Popular Skills for Test Engineer
Survey takers working as Test Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in C, Labview, Test Automation, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Technical Writing. Most people familiar with Test Engineering also know System Testing, Electronic Troubleshooting, and Test Automation.
Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer
Pay by Experience for a Test Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Test Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $65,000 based on 1,264 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Test Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $79,000 based on 569 salaries. An experienced Test Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $86,000 based on 375 salaries. A Test Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $88,000 based on 149 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Test Engineers, San Jose provides a pay rate that is 33 percent greater than the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Mountain View (+33 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), Boston (+12 percent), and San Diego (+10 percent). Melbourne ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 6 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (2 percent lower) and Los Angeles (1 percent lower).
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