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What Does A Test Engineer Do?

Test engineers are professionals who observe and record the quality of products, which includes functionality, durability, speed, and safety. They are responsible for checking the materials and procedures thoroughly throughout the production cycle. It is their duty to run tests on different criteria to identify and fix technical issues. They analyze reactions to determine the causes of malfunctions and recommend potential improvements. Moreover, they test products before they are launched to ensure customers get high-quality and functional products.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real test engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage design, correction, and modification of the installations monitor in Citect-SCADA software (HMI).
  • Maintain the Java and selenium test source code and resources in the GitHub source control repository tool.
  • Used selenium grid to execute test cases on multiple machines and create jobs in Jenkins to run test suites.
  • Perform reliability analysis of problems with hardware and applications that include test design and troubleshoot to component level.
  • Perform quality assurance tests to Intel processors and communications components using advance testing equipment in UNIX and Linux environments.
  • Used ruby controls to define methods in cucumber.
  • Experience work in agile teams with BDD approach.
  • Conduct final acceptance testing for DOD security products.
  • Used IOS emulator and simulator in testing the mobile.
  • Experience in writing gherkin test case to use in cucumber.

Test Engineer Overview

Test engineers average about $35.88 an hour, which makes the test engineer annual salary $74,632. Additionally, test engineers are known to earn anywhere from $58,000 to $94,000 a year. This means that the top-earning test engineers make $36,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a test engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an engineer lead quality assurance lead, senior quality assurance engineer, software engineer-consultant, and quality assurance engineer.

Test Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Test Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Test Engineers are proficient in Test Scripts, Python, and Hardware.

We break down the percentage of Test Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Test Scripts, 17%

    Provided accurate and timely projects status reporting, project milestone achievement, automated test tool exposure, and test scripts development/results/errata.

  • Python, 6%

    Created an automated Python based test program updater/optimizer which utilized CP/CPK data collected to help stabilize and enhance tests.

  • Hardware, 6%

    Designed modification hardware for optical bench test system to produce cost-effective solution that allowed for faster testing.

  • Test Equipment, 5%

    Maintained and calibrated all laboratory and production test equipment to assure compliance ISO Standards utilizing GageTrak Calibration Management software.

  • C++, 4%

    Develop mathematical simulations of casino games using C++ in order to perform mathematical analysis to determine jurisdictional compliance of software.

  • C #, 4%

    Designed/maintained automation using in-house C # automation library.

Some of the skills we found on test engineer resumes included "test scripts," "python," and "hardware." We have detailed the most important test engineer responsibilities below.

See the full list of test engineer skills.

We've found that 67.9% of test engineers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 13.2% earned their master's degrees before becoming a test engineer. While it's true that most test engineers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight test engineers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

Those test engineers who do attend college, typically earn either electrical engineering degrees or computer science degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for test engineers include mechanical engineering degrees or electrical engineering technology degrees.

When you're ready to become a test engineer, you might wonder which companies hire test engineers. According to our research through test engineer resumes, test engineers are mostly hired by General Dynamics, Aerotek, and Leidos. Now is a good time to apply as General Dynamics has 292 test engineers job openings, and there are 29 at Aerotek and 18 at Leidos.

But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, test engineers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Take Google for example. The median test engineer salary is $134,774. At Twitter, test engineers earn an average of $132,037, while the average at LinkedIn is $129,462. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

View more details on test engineer salaries across the United States.

We also looked into companies who hire test engineers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Microsoft, IBM, and Lockheed Martin.

For the most part, test engineers make their living in the technology and manufacturing industries. Test engineers tend to make the most in the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $85,264. The test engineer annual salary in the technology and automotive industries generally make $80,945 and $74,354 respectively. Additionally, test engineers who work in the telecommunication industry make 18.1% more than test engineers in the manufacturing Industry.

The three companies that hire the most prestigious test engineers are:

    What Engineer Lead Quality Assurance Leads Do

    Engineer Lead Quality Assurance Leads are responsible for managing the designing and operations of hardware or software testing. Their duties include developing testing plans, implement risk mitigation strategies, communicate process improvements to cross-teams such as marketing and engineering, resolve the conflict between teams, and ensures product or software adheres to the organization and industry standards. They are also involved in reviewing technical design and specification, setting performance targets, and writing progress reports for management updates.

    In this section, we compare the average test engineer annual salary with that of an engineer lead quality assurance lead. Typically, engineers lead quality assurance lead earn a $28,915 higher salary than test engineers earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both test engineers and engineers lead quality assurance lead positions are skilled in test scripts, c++, and c #.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a test engineer responsibilities require skills like "python," "hardware," "test equipment," and "test procedures." Meanwhile a typical engineer lead quality assurance lead has skills in areas such as "api," "jmeter," "dev," and "backend." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Engineers lead quality assurance lead receive the highest salaries in the media industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $108,122. But test engineers are paid more in the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $85,264.

    Engineers lead quality assurance lead tend to reach similar levels of education than test engineers. In fact, engineers lead quality assurance lead are 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer?

    A senior quality assurance engineer oversees the testing procedures conducted in software development, ensuring technical accuracy and efficiency. They are primarily responsible for working alongside software designers and quality engineers, reviewing quality control reports, inspecting specifications, and devising particular test procedures. Moreover, it is also essential to troubleshoot issues and identify any inconsistencies or bugs. As someone with more experience in the team, they must supervise and serve as a mentor to the younger quality assurance engineers in the joint effort to develop efficient software.

    Now we're going to look at the senior quality assurance engineer profession. On average, senior quality assurance engineers earn a $22,308 higher salary than test engineers a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Test engineers and senior quality assurance engineers both include similar skills like "test scripts," "python," and "c++" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that test engineer responsibilities requires skills like "hardware," "test equipment," "troubleshoot," and "data analysis." But a senior quality assurance engineer might use skills, such as, "api," "git," "backend," and "data validation."

    Senior quality assurance engineers may earn a higher salary than test engineers, but senior quality assurance engineers earn the most pay in the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $106,979. On the other side of things, test engineers receive higher paychecks in the telecommunication industry where they earn an average of $85,264.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, senior quality assurance engineers tend to reach similar levels of education than test engineers. In fact, they're 4.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Software Engineer-Consultant Compares

    A software engineer consultant develops and recommends strategies to optimize a company's software engineering operations. Their responsibilities revolve around conducting extensive research and analysis to find new opportunities, performing software evaluations and risk assessments, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of existing processes, and developing solutions against problem areas. Through the findings of their research, a software engineer consultant draws conclusions and recommendations that will help the company to reach their short and long-term goals and resolve issues or concerns.

    Let's now take a look at the software engineer-consultant profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than test engineers with a $33,374 difference per year.

    Using test engineers and software engineers-consultant resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "test scripts," "python," and "c++," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from test engineer resumes include skills like "hardware," "test equipment," "c #," and "test results," whereas a software engineer-consultant might be skilled in "software development," "architecture," "api," and "database. "

    Interestingly enough, software engineers-consultant earn the most pay in the professional industry, where they command an average salary of $114,342. As mentioned previously, test engineers highest annual salary comes from the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $85,264.

    Software engineers-consultant are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to test engineers. Additionally, they're 8.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.8% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Quality Assurance Engineer

    A Quality Assurance Engineer's role is to oversee the overall production and ensure that the product is cost-efficient and aligns with the company's standards. The responsibility mainly revolves around conducting activities that examine and scrutinize the condition of a product or service to identify issues and come up with possible solutions to resolve the issue or attain stronger customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the Quality Assurance Engineer must also ensure that the product adheres to the government regulations and market guidelines.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than test engineers. On average, quality assurance engineers earn a difference of $2,977 higher per year.

    While their salaries may vary, test engineers and quality assurance engineers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "test scripts," "python," and "c++. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a test engineer might have more use for skills like "hardware," "test equipment," "test procedures," and "troubleshoot." Meanwhile, some quality assurance engineers might include skills like "api," "git," "bug fixes," and "backend" on their resume.

    In general, quality assurance engineers make a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $102,900. The highest test engineer annual salary stems from the telecommunication industry.

    The average resume of quality assurance engineers showed that they earn similar levels of education to test engineers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 2.0% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.2%.