Test Engineer Salary

Earnings for Test Engineers in the United States come in at around $71K annually on average. Total cash compensation to Test Engineers approaches anywhere from $50K on the lower end to $100K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $9K from bonuses and upwards of $12K from profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by geography and tenure. There are far more male Test Engineers survey respondents than women, making up 85 percent. Most enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$52,725 - $98,544
$53K
$70K
$99K
MEDIAN: $70,042
10%
50%
90%

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$16.63 - $43.53
$17
$26
$44
MEDIAN: $26.05
10%
50%
90%

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$0$100K
Salary $52,725 - $98,544
Bonus $0.00 - $8,628
Profit Sharing $203.47 - $11,635
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).
)
$50,074 - $100,464
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 1,847
Hourly Data $0$59
Hourly Rate $16.63 - $43.53
Overtime $24.01 - $59.52
Annual Data $0$100K
Bonus $0.00 - $8,628
Profit Sharing $203.47 - $11,635
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).
)
$50,074 - $100,464
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 292

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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. (Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)


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


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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. The most common career progression for Test Engineers leads to becoming a Senior Test Engineer, where average pay is $88K annually. However, many Test Engineers also opt to become Electrical Engineers. Typically, an Electrical Engineer brings home $69K.

Test Engineer Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Test Engineer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Test Engineers, Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Cisco Systems Inc, L-3 Communications, and Qualcomm Inc are leading firms in the industry. The biggest paychecks can be found at Cisco Systems Inc — the median salary there is $93K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $65K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $117K. Other big spenders include Northrop Grumman Corporation, Qualcomm Inc, and The Boeing Company, top-paying firms where Test Engineers see paychecks nearing $88K, $85K, or $85K.

Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Flextronics International ($64K), Lockheed Martin Corp ($66K), and Honeywell International Inc ($69K).

Popular Skills for Test Engineer


Survey results imply that Test Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in C, Labview, Test Automation, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Office, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Technical Writing. Those proficient in Test Engineering are, more often than not, also skilled in System Testing, Electronic Troubleshooting, and Test Automation.

Pay by Experience Level for Test Engineer

Pay by Experience for a Test Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Test Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $65,000 based on 1,264 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Test Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $79,000 based on 569 salaries. An experienced Test Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $86,000 based on 375 salaries. A Test Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $88,000 based on 149 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $70,058

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

Home to some of the best pay for Test Engineers, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 33 percent above the national average. Test Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Mountain View (+33 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), Boston (+12 percent), and San Diego (+10 percent). Melbourne ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 6 percent below the national average. Workers in Chicago and Los Angeles earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (2 percent less and 1 percent less, respectively).

Test Engineer Reviews

Q: 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 Fort Collins:
"A little of everything."
Pros: Dont spend every day doing the same thing. Plenty of slow times where hours are flexible.
Cons: Very challenging work and usually under a very tight schedule.

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

Key Stats for Test Engineer

Gender

Female
15 %
Male
85 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 284 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Test Engineer Salaries

▲25%

▲23%

▲13%

National Average
$70,000

▼7%

Skills That Affect Test Engineer Salaries

C
▲4%


▲3%

C++
▲2%

System Testing
▲1%



National Average
$70,000









Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 284 votes.

Gender

Female
15 %
Male
85 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
vision benefits
Vision: 69%
no benefits
None: 10%
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