Test Engineer Salary

Test Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $69K per year on average. Cash earnings for Test Engineers — including $9K in bonuses and $9K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $49K to $97K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is location, though the company and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. The vast majority of Test Engineers (89 percent) survey respondents are men. 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.

$51,090 - $95,526
(Median)
$51K
$69K
$96K
MEDIAN: $69,392
10%
50%
90%

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$15.21 - $41.65
(Median)
$15
$25
$42
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
$51,090 - $95,526  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,575  
Profit Sharing
$690 - $9,230  
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).
)
$48,835 - $97,280  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,270
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
$15.21 - $41.65  
   
Overtime
$21.00 - $49.16  
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 - $8,575  
   
Profit Sharing
$690 - $9,230  
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).
)
$48,835 - $97,280  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 319
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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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Test Engineering Manager. The latter position pays an average of $103K annually. The most common promotion for Test Engineers is Senior Test Engineer, a position that typically pays $86K annually. Another standard transition for Test Engineers seeking advancement is to assume an Electrical Engineer role, where pay is often $68K.

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, Lockheed Martin Corp, The Boeing Company, Cisco Systems Inc, and Texas Instruments, Inc. Although Cisco Systems Inc heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $90K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $62K to $116K. Northrop Grumman Corporation, Qualcomm Inc, and Texas Instruments, Inc. also offer top salaries for Test Engineers. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $87K, $85K, and $82K, respectively.

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 $80K, limiting employee salary growth. Also approaching the lower end are Flextronics International at $64K, Micron Technology, Inc. at $67K, and Raytheon Co. at $68K.

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. 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. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Technical Writing, and Quality Assurance / Quality Control. 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $63K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $75K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $82K in this role. Test Engineers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $87K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Test Engineers, busy San Jose offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+20 percent), Austin (+15 percent), Washington (+11 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Baltimore is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Atlanta and Houston (12 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

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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 1%

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 413 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
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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