Test Engineer Salary

Pay for Test Engineers in the United States sits in the ballpark of $70K per year. Cash earnings for Test Engineers — including $8K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $49K to $99K depending on individual performance. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by the particular city and tenure. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and most earn dental coverage. Most Test Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The vast majority of Test Engineers (87 percent) survey respondents are men. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$51,227 - $96,862
(Median)
$51K
$70K
$97K
MEDIAN: $70,142
10%
50%
90%

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$15.58 - $43.24
(Median)
$16
$25
$43
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$51,227 - $96,862  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,212  
Profit Sharing
$508 - $9,950  
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).
)
$49,246 - $98,561  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,613
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$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$15.58 - $43.24  
   
Overtime
$21.59 - $51.32  
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 - $8,212  
   
Profit Sharing
$508 - $9,950  
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).
)
$49,246 - $98,561  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 381
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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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As Test Engineers transition into upper-level roles such as Test Engineering Manager, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Test Engineering Managers earn $104K on average per year. The most common career progression for Test Engineers leads to becoming a Senior Test Engineer, where average pay is $87K annually. However, many Test Engineers also opt to become Mechanical Engineers. Typically, a Mechanical Engineer brings home $63K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


Many Test Engineers can be found at L-3 Communications, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Cisco Systems Inc, firms that are at the top of the field. Google, Inc. offers the largest salaries in town — $110K on average. Other big spenders include Cisco Systems Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Qualcomm Inc, top-paying firms where Test Engineers see paychecks nearing $93K, $90K, or $85K.

Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at Lockheed Martin Corp — the median salary comes to just $61K, just about half of the top paying company's median. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Flextronics International ($64K), Raytheon Co. ($68K), and L-3 Communications ($69K).

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Labview, Test Automation, Project Management, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Microsoft Office, and Technical Writing. The majority of those who know System Testing also know Test Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer

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


Test Engineers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $64K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $76K. On average, Test Engineers make $83K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $88K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $70,342

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Test Engineers will find that San Jose offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 27 percent. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+26 percent), Austin (+14 percent), Boston (+9 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). The lowest-paying market is Baltimore, which sits 17 percent below 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

Test Automation
up arrow 2%

Labview
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 2%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Test Engineering
up arrow 1%

System Testing
up arrow 1%

Software Test
up arrow 1%

National Average
$70,000

Test Planning
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 2%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 431 votes.

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

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%
medical benefits
Vision: 69%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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