Test Engineer Salary
Test Engineers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $71K per year. Final cash compensation to Test Engineers varies from around $50K to approximately $100K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $9K and $12K, respectively. While the particular city and years of experience impact pay for this group, the company is the most influential factor. There are far more male Test Engineers survey respondents than women, making up 86 percent. 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 data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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. More often than not, a Senior Test Engineer role is the next step for Test Engineers moving up in the field. Senior Test Engineers usually make $88K per year. Many other Test Engineers choose to take on an Electrical Engineer role, where salaries are typically $69K.
Test Engineer Job Listings
Search for more jobs:
Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer
Dominating the field, Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, L-3 Communications, Cisco Systems Inc, and Qualcomm Inc are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Test Engineers. 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 big spenders include The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc, top-paying firms where Test Engineers see paychecks nearing $88K, $88K, or $86K.
Lockheed Martin Corp, Flextronics International, and Honeywell International Inc are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($64K, $64K, and $69K respectively).
Popular Skills for Test Engineer
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in C, Labview, Test Automation, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Technical Writing. Those educated in Test Engineering tend to be well versed in System Testing, Electronic Troubleshooting, and Test Automation.
Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Test Engineers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $65K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $79K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Test Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $86K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $89K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Test Engineers, 30 percent above the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+16 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), San Diego (+13 percent), and Boston (+11 percent). With compensation 5 percent below the national average, Columbus is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.
Test Engineer Reviews
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for Test Engineer
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 230 votes.