Test Engineer Salary

The average Test Engineer in the United States earns approximately $70K per year. Cash earnings for Test Engineers — which occasionally include more than $8K from bonuses and more than $10K from profit sharing — stretch from around $49K to approximately $99K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though the particular city and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Male Test Engineers far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. For the most part, Test Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$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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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. With an annual salary of $87K, Senior Test Engineer is the most common role for Test Engineers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Mechanical Engineer role — which usually pays $63K — is also typical for Test Engineers, though less common by comparison.

Test Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


L-3 Communications, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Cisco Systems Inc are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Test Engineers. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Google, Inc. offers the most; Test Engineers earn $110K on average there. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Cisco Systems Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Qualcomm Inc, where Test Engineers typically earn around $93K, $90K, or $85K, respectively.

Lockheed Martin Corp employees cannot expect much in terms of compensation — the median salary amounts to only $61K, just about half of the top paying company's median. Flextronics International, Raytheon Co., and L-3 Communications are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($64K, $68K, and $69K respectively).

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey results imply that Test Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Labview, Test Automation, Project Management, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Microsoft Office, and Technical Writing. Most people experienced in 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.


For many Test Engineers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $64K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $76K. Test Engineers see a median salary of $83K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Test Engineers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $88K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $70,342

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

For Test Engineers, San Jose provides a pay rate that is 27 percent greater than the national average. Test Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Sunnyvale (+26 percent), Austin (+14 percent), Boston (+9 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 17 percent south of the national average, can be found in Baltimore.

Test Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Test Engineer?

Test Engineer in Santa Barbara:
"Test Engineer for Small Aerospace Manufacturing Company."
Pros: Multi-faceted. Great people and work atmosphere. Perform testing on Space Flight Hardware with no supervision. Endless learning. Amazing experience for first job out of college. Room for growth.
Cons: Understaffed and overworked. A lot of overtime. A lot of travel.

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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