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What Does a Test Engineer Do? — Role, Skills, and Responsibilities

Posted on 
February 10, 2022
Dipen Dadhaniya

When we read about testing in software engineering, a lot of questions pop up. What exactly does a test engineer do? What does a typical day in the life of a test engineer entail? Few people are fully aware of what it entails to be a test engineer. 

The market performance of a product is directly related to how well it is built or its quality. Test engineers are hired to ensure that the quality of the products being launched is satisfactory. This adequately answers the question, "What does the test engineer do?"

In this article, we’ll discuss more about testing in software engineering and what are the duties of a test engineer.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

Having trained over 10,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors, who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies. Our reviews will tell you how we’ve shaped the careers of thousands of professionals aspiring to take their careers to new heights. 

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We’ll give you a better understanding of what test engineers do and some insights into testing in software engineering.

This article will cover the following topics

What Does a Test Engineer Do?

Contrary to what one might think, testing in software engineering is neither about quality assurance engineering nor quality control engineering. It acts as a bridge between the two. So what does a test engineer do?

Test engineers are responsible for thoroughly testing materials, processes, as well as mechanical or electrical systems so that customers receive only the best quality and functional products. These tests are carried out for several components and functions to determine and resolve any technical issues that may be present. 

Most electronics and computer components have to go through extensive development and testing periods that keep test engineers pretty busy. These are done to ensure that there are no potential manufacturing defects once the product is created.

While some companies have test engineers begin the testing stage early in the design process to find any potential issues as soon as possible, others wait until after the design phase to begin testing in the software engineering process.

Conclusively, what does a test engineer do? They are responsible for every step of the production process to put together and carry tests that’ll help build a high-quality product. Constantly supposed to learn on the job, testing in software engineering is a very detail-oriented job. 

Role and Responsibilities of a Test Engineer

A test engineer's role is critical to the production process of any company. They must be extremely skilled at what they do, and what a test engineer does on a daily basis varies depending on the industry and the project. Here are some job duties of a test engineer:

  • Maintain the company's standards and keep an eye on the safety measures during the production or development stages.
  • Collaborate with other departments to understand the product goals and, as a result, create a high-quality product.
  • Create a testing framework and define testing parameters based on input from the product design team.
  • Monitor the process using the testing framework, keep detailed progress records, and troubleshoot as needed.
  • Create multiple test cases and the necessary testing environments to determine how well the product works.
  • Make improvements to the product in question.
  • Ensure that all quality standards are met in accordance with the wishes of the team and the client.
  • Analyze the data based on the test results.

So that answers the question of what a software test engineer does daily. It also tells us what testing in software engineering involves.

Skills Required to Become a Test Engineer

The ability to analyze products and sound technical knowledge are the two primary skills expected of test engineers. They must also be well-versed in testing methodologies and should know how to create and implement plans and cases.

Some critical skills that all test engineers must possess to do testing in software engineering are:

  • Technical knowledge of QMS & SDLC
  • Knowledge of engineering and testing procedures
  • Know how to use testing tools such as Selenium and TestComplete
  • Deep understanding of materials, circuits, and equipment function
  • Strong communication skills
  • Being a good team player

Furthermore, if you're interested in testing in software engineering and want to know what testing tools a test engineer uses, we've listed them below:

  • Jira
  • Stryka
  • Apache JMeter
  • LabVIEW
  • AutoCAD
  • Mantis

How Much Does a Test Engineer Make?

A test engineer in the US earns an average of $$86,634 per year and can go up to $100,000 for lead test engineers ( A test engineer's salary is determined by industry standards and your position within the company. Your skills, geographical location, and company all play a role in determining your salary.

When it comes to developing new systems, testing is an essential component that will not be phased out anytime soon. So, if you're interested in the creation, planning, and implementation of tests, consider studying testing in software engineering!

And if you need help in taming those pre-interview jitters, do read How to Pitch Yourself as a Must-Hire at a FAANG Interview.

FAQs on What Does a Test Engineer Do

Q1. What does a test engineer do?

Test engineers are in charge of designing and implementing all tests that ensure a product's quality and functionality.

Q2. Is test engineering a good career choice?

Test engineering is a great career option because new products are released on a daily basis, and there are numerous systems that must be tested. There is a lot of scope in testing in software engineering. 

Q3. What technical skills does a test engineer need?

Some important technical skills that a test engineer needs are: Agile Testing, Automation Testing, Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Technologies in Web and Mobile, among others.

Q4. Where does a test engineer work?

Test engineers usually work in large companies alongside other professionals to meet their clients’ needs. A bachelor's degree is required for the position, with many holding advanced degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or related engineering fields.

Q5. Which is more difficult, testing or coding?

While software testing is an important part of software development, coding/programming is more difficult than testing in software engineering.

Ready to Nail Your Next Tech Interview?

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As pioneers in the field of technical interview prep, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the most challenging tech interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

Sign up for our free webinar to learn more!

Last updated on: 
August 8, 2023

Dipen Dadhaniya

Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart

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