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Test Engineer Salary

Test Engineers in the United States take home approximately $69K per year on average. 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 $48K to $96K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though the particular city and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Work is enjoyable for Test Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Among survey respondents, men are more common than women; 89 percent of Test Engineers are male. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and most earn dental coverage.
$50,139 - $93,389
(Median)
50K
59K
69K
80K
93K
MEDIAN: $68,502
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$15.06 - $40.94
(Median)
15
19
24
32
41
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$50,139 - $93,389  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,038  
Profit Sharing
$734 - $9,978  
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).
)
$47,992 - $95,733  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,006
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
$15.06 - $40.94  
   
Overtime
$20.78 - $48.91  
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 - $8,038  
   
Profit Sharing
$734 - $9,978  
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).
)
$47,992 - $95,733  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 275
United States (change)

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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Test Engineering Manager. The average Test Engineering Manager bring home $103K per year. 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 Test Engineer role, where pay is often $64K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


Many Test Engineers can be found at The Boeing Company, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin Corp, Texas Instruments, Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc, firms that are at the top of the field. Although Cisco Systems Inc heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $93K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $61K to $127K. Other big spenders include Qualcomm Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Texas Instruments, Inc., top-paying firms where Test Engineers see paychecks nearing $85K, $85K, or $83K.

Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $50K to just $82K — but Lockheed Martin Corp offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $62K. Workers at Flextronics International, Micron Technology, Inc., and Raytheon Co. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $64K, $67K, and $68K respectively.

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey results imply that Test Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Software Test, Project Management, Labview, and Test Automation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 6 percent. Most people skilled in System Testing are similarly competent in Test Planning.

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. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $63K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $74K. On average, Test Engineers make $80K following one to two decades on the job. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Test Engineer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $87K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Test Engineers that is 26 percent greater than the national average, San Jose offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+18 percent), Austin (+16 percent), San Diego (+9 percent), and Washington (+9 percent). Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Baltimore. Employers in Colorado Springs and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (12 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

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

Experience Affects Test Engineer Salaries




National Average
$69,000


Skills That Affect Test Engineer Salaries


up arrow 5%


Test Engineering
up arrow 4%

System Testing
up arrow 4%

Test Automation
up arrow 4%

Test Planning
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
0%

Technical Analysis
0%

C++
0%

National Average
$69,000

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 1%

Electronic Troubleshooting
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 2%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 440 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 9%