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Principal Test Engineer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a principal test engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $50.6 an hour? That's $105,240 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 8,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Principal Test Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many principal test engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed initiative, speaking skills and writing skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a principal test engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.7% of principal test engineers included test scripts, while 9.8% of resumes included python, and 7.1% of resumes included c++. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the principal test engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most principal test engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Principal Test Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a principal test engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.9% of principal test engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 35.3% of principal test engineers have master's degrees. Even though most principal test engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a principal test engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a principal test engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on principal test engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a principal test engineer. In fact, many principal test engineer jobs require experience in a role such as senior test engineer. Meanwhile, many principal test engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as test engineer or senior software engineer.

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Average Salary
$105,240
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
49,856
Job Openings

Principal Test Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Principal Test Engineer

Top Careers After Principal Test Engineer

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Principal Test Engineer

Principal Test Engineers in America make an average salary of $105,240 per year or $51 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $139,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $79,000 per year.
Average Salary
$105,240

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range112k - 168k$138k$137,786
Edison, NJ
Salary Range101k - 147k$122k$122,274
Columbia, MD
Salary Range96k - 137k$115k$115,252
Colorado Springs, CO
Salary Range94k - 138k$114k$114,179
Seattle, WA
Salary Range92k - 141k$114k$114,161
Boston, MA
Salary Range89k - 129k$108k$107,624
$61k
$168k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Gbsd Principal Test Engineer
Gbsd Principal Test Engineer
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$83,00003/31/2021
$83,000
Principal Testing & Validation Specialist-Test Engineer (Secret Clearance-Remote)
Principal Testing & Validation Specialist-Test Engineer (Secret Clearance-Remote)
General Dynamics
General Dynamics
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$80,00003/30/2021
$80,000
Principal Test Systems Engineer
Principal Test Systems Engineer
Raytheon Technologies Corp
Raytheon Technologies Corp
12/15/2020
12/15/2020
$120,90012/15/2020
$120,900
Principal Tester
Principal Tester
Tzero Group, Inc.
Tzero Group, Inc.
09/16/2019
09/16/2019
$119,50009/16/2019
$119,500
Principal Test Engineer
Principal Test Engineer
VNC LLC
VNC LLC
08/28/2019
08/28/2019
$107,59008/28/2019
$107,590
See More Recent Salaries

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Principal Test Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

83.1 %

female

12.8 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

72.3 %

Asian

11.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Japanese

50.0 %

Greek

25.0 %

Korean

25.0 %
See More Demographics

Principal Test Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

68.5 %

Masters

14.0 %

Associate

8.5 %

Top Colleges for Principal Test Engineers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

7. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

10. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835
See More Education Info
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Internship
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Top Skills For a Principal Test Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.7% of principal test engineers listed test scripts on their resume, but soft skills such as initiative and speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Principal Test Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a principal test engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Principal test engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $128,753. Whereas in New Jersey and New Hampshire, they would average $122,271 and $122,083, respectively. While principal test engineers would only make an average of $115,275 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Principal Test Engineer Jobs:
7,521
Highest 10% Earn:
$189,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Principal Test Engineer Jobs:
382
Highest 10% Earn:
$172,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Principal Test Engineer Jobs:
614
Highest 10% Earn:
$170,000
Location Quotient:
2.16
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Principal Test Engineer Employers

1. Broadcom
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$137,408
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
39+
2. Cypress Semiconductor
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$153,255
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
11+
3. Dell
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$148,753
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
11+
4. Microchip Technology
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$100,934
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
8+
5. Cadence Design Systems
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$110,321
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
7+
6. Liberty Mutual
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$116,249
Principal Test Engineers Hired: 
7+
Updated October 2, 2020