What Does a Software Test Engineer Do? - Job Description & Salary

Jan 13, 2022

Career Definition of Software Test Engineers

The role of a software test engineer is to coordinate the process for analyzing software programs. This process will involve creating and implementing testing methods, recording the test results, and providing recommendations to improve software programs based on the results. As a software test engineer, you can work for a variety of companies. If you work for a government agency or contractor, you may need to obtain a security clearance level.

Your job duties as a software test engineer may include collaborating with organizational management to streamline operations, utilizing programming languages to create testing scripts, and documenting software testing procedures. You could be tasked with evaluating your organization's technical infrastructure for security issues. You could also be tasked with working with team members to develop software programs that meet business needs. As a software test engineer, you may also be responsible for interfacing with end users to ascertain areas of improvement, such as cost reduction solutions and automation solutions.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Excellent technical skills, creativity, and strong communication skills
Average Salary (2021)* $81,110
Job Outlook (2020-2030)** 22% (Software Developers)

Sources: *Glassdoor, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

As a software testing engineer, you will need a bachelor's degree. Suitable fields of study for this career will include computer science, software engineering, computer information systems, or information technology. Some employers may accept relevant work experience in place of a bachelor's degree. You can choose to pursue certification through an organization like the International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB), which offers six types of certifications for software test engineers.

Required Skills

If you desire to work as a software test engineer, you will need excellent technical skills in areas such as programming languages. This career requires a thorough understanding of creating, implementing, and maintaining software programs. Although this is a technical position, you will also need a sense of creativity. When faced with a programming issue, you must be able to develop an alternate solution. As a software test engineer, you should also have strong communication skills in order to serve as part of a technology team.

Career Outlook and Salary

Glassdoor lists a 2021 average annual salary of $81,110 for software test engineers. This career is not specifically covered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); however, they do have an employment category for software developers. The BLS lists a 22% job growth for software developers during 2020-2030, which is much faster than average. This field will experience solid job growth due to the rising need for software programs on everything from smart phones to computers.

Related Careers

Excellent technical skills are required to work as a software testing engineer. Learn about other related careers, such as a hardware engineer or software testing technician, that may interest you.

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