Test engineer(s) check the quality of the products throughout the production cycle to make sure it matches the needs and expectations of the customer. Depending on the product, different criteria are used to check the quality, e.g, functionality, durability, safety and speed. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of a test engineer?
What is test engineering?
The first thing to note in terms of test engineering is that it is neither Quality Assurance Engineering nor Quality Control Engineering. It is, infact, the bridge between the two.
Test engineering requires a test engineer to thoroughly test materials, processes, and mechanical or electrical systems to ensure that customers receive high quality and functional products. Tests are performed for various components and functions in order to identify and fix technical problems.
Most electronic and computer components go through extensive development and testing periods. Test engineering is done to ensure that as a product goes through various stages in the design process, it is properly tested for a variety of potential manufacturing problems or defects.
Some companies start this type of testing early in the design process to identify potential issues as soon as possible. Other companies may wait until later in the design phase to begin testing.
Responsibilities of a Test Engineer
A test engineer or a manufacturing test engineer is entrusted with activities that vary depending on the industry they work in, though generally, a Test Engineer is in charge of the conception or development and implementation of qualification and development tests with regard to new, improved or optimized products and systems.
Test engineers are involved in all stages of testing and must first meet with the product design team and discuss the testing parameters. They must then write up test plans for the product accordingly and set up test environments. These types of tests can include burn-in tests, accelerated life tests (HALT), and a variety of other types of product tests.
Test engineers are also in charge of comprehensively documenting, evaluating and analyzing the test results and simulations and identifying the root cause of malfunctions. They are also then expected to provide feedback on product usability and serviceability and derive and implement further development and optimization measures.
Test engineers must be in close cooperation with the in-house development and research departments, with production and quality management as well as with explicit external bodies. They must also provide technical assistance when needed.
Experienced test engineers may also be responsible for training and leading less experienced team members.
Tasks and responsibilities of a test engineer:
- Conception and implementation of development tests
- Meeting with the product design team to discuss testing parameters
- Writing up test plans for product
- Setting up test environments
- Comprehensively documenting test results
- Evaluating and analysing test results
- Identifying the root cause of malfunctions
- Providing feedback on product usability and serviceability
- Deriving and implementing further development and optimization efforts
- Closely cooperating with in-house development, research departments, production and quality management and explicit departments
- Providing technical assistance when needed
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Test Engineers for hire
Technical knowledge and the ability to analyze are two very important skills required for Test Engineer jobs. These are crucial in order to carry out systematic tests, record measurement data and evaluate results.
A Test Engineer must also have extensive knowledge of testing methodologies i.e. the different types of testing and how to create and execute test plans and cases.
They must also have knowledge of engineering and testing procedures as well as hands-on knowledge of Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Test engineers also need to be familiar with a few testing tools like Selenium, Apache, TestComplete, JMeter and TestStand.
Soft skills like communication, the ability to collaborate with others, meet deadlines and make quick decisions is also a must for a Test engineer. An understanding of business administration also helps: you have to be able to assess test methods for their profitability.
A Test engineer must also have the ability to troubleshoot and must be familiar with a few bug tracking tools like JIRA and Stryka. Knowledge of basic SQL and UNIX commands also goes a long way.
Skills required for a Test Engineer:
- Technical knowledge of QMS & SDLC
- The ability to analyze
- Extensive knowledge of testing methodologies
- Knowledge of engineering and testing procedures
- Familiarity with testing tools like Selenium and TestComplete
- Strong communication skills
- Strong collaboration skills
- Ability to make quick decisions
- An understanding of business administration
- Ability to troubleshoot
- Familiarity with bug tracking tools like JIRA
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Knowledge of basic SQL and UNIX commands
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Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree is the first step to becoming a Test engineer. A degree in Engineering or Computer Science is usually required. If you’re interested in a specific field, choosing a degree in Engineering that relates to that field is a good way to go.
Some employers do prefer candidates with Master’s degrees for higher-level jobs.
Salary & Freelance rates
The salary of a test engineer may vary depending on the industry they work in or the role they have.
Junior-level test engineers or fresh graduates can earn around $56,000 annually. Test engineers with a few years of experience behind them can earn up to $73,000 annually whereas senior-level test engineers can earn up to $103,000 annually.
In Germany, test engineers can make anywhere between €39,000 and €66,000 annually, while in the UK, they make between £19,000 and £41,000 per year.
What is a Test Engineer salary?
What does a freelance Test Engineer earn?
The average freelancer hourly rate of a Test Engineer is $96. Considering an 8-hour working day, the daily rate would be around $768 (freelancermap price index – December 2020).
Test Engineer job description template
Testing is an essential part of developing new systems and products. Test engineers are responsible for creating, planning and implementing tests that help ensure the quality, reliability and functionality of the product.
If you’re looking for a test engineer, here’s a job description template that will help you find the perfect candidate:
We are looking to hire a skilled Test engineer that can design and implement tests to check the quality of our products. You will be primarily responsible for developing testing parameters, setting up testing environments, evaluating and analyzing test results and providing constructive feedback.
– Conception and implementation of development tests
– Meeting with the product design team to discuss testing parameters
– Writing up test plans for product
– Setting up test environments
– Evaluating and analysing test results
– Providing feedback on product usability and serviceability
– Cooperate with in-house development, research departments, production and quality management teams
– Providing technical assistance when needed
– Technical knowledge
– The ability to analyze
– Extensive knowledge of testing methodologies
– Knowledge of engineering and testing procedures
– Strong collaboration skills
– Familiarity with testing tools like Selenium and TestComplete
– Strong communication skills
– Ability to troubleshoot
– Familiarity with bug tracking tools like JIRA
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