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SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?

~ 6 min read
SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?



Discover SDET salaries and compare pay scales, trends, and factors affecting Software Development Engineers in Test earnings. Get insights now! In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Software Development Engineers in Tests (SDETs) play a crucial role. They are the unsung heroes who ensure that software applications work seamlessly and without glitches. But have you ever wondered about the compensation these professionals receive for their invaluable contributions?

In this article, we delve into the intriguing world of Software QA Engineer salaries, uncovering the factors that influence earnings and providing insights into what you can expect as a Software Development Engineer in Test.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re considering a career as a Software Test Engineer or looking to advance in this field, you might find valuable resources and guidance at Wedevx, a platform known for its expertise in Software Development Engineer in Test training and career development.

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Factors Influencing SDET Salaries

SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?

Software Development Engineer in Test salaries are influenced by a multitude of factors, each contributing to the overall compensation package. Understanding these factors is essential for both SDETs and those considering this career path.


Experience is a cornerstone when it comes to determining Software Test Engineer salaries. Entry-level Software QA Engineers can expect a base salary, but as they gain more experience and expertise, their earning potential increases significantly. Senior SDETs, who possess extensive knowledge and have proven their skills, typically command the highest salaries in the field.


The geographical location in which a Software Development Engineer in Test works plays a significant role in salary variations. Tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Seattle tend to offer higher salaries to Software QA Engineers due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for tech talent. In contrast, Software Test Engineers in smaller cities or regions with a lower cost of living may receive comparatively lower salaries. In the US you can expect a salary range anywhere from 87$k to 193$k with a healthy medium of 128$k annual salary, according to Glassdoor.

SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?

and what if you don’t live in the United States? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are the figures for other regions, according to . In the graph below we can see that Western/Northern Europe along with East/South Asia are in the middle of the chart, with other regions dropping quite significantly below the average (CEE is a Central/Eastern Europe).

SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?


The industry in which a Software Test Engineer works can also impact their earnings. For example, SDETs in the finance and healthcare sectors often receive higher salaries due to the critical nature of their work and the need for stringent testing. Tech companies and startups also tend to offer competitive compensation packages to attract top Software Development Engineers in Test talent.

Education and Certifications:

Educational qualifications and certifications can boost a Software QA Engineer’s earning potential. Many Software Test Engineers hold degrees in computer science or related fields, and some choose to obtain certifications like ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) or AWS (Amazon Web Services) certifications to enhance their expertise.

Average SDET Salaries by Experience Level

Let’s dive deeper into Software Test Engineer salaries based on experience levels:


Entry-level Software Development Engineers in Test, typically those with less than two years of experience, can expect an average salary ranging from $60,000 to $80,000 per year, depending on location and industry. These positions are ideal for those new to the field, offering opportunities for skill development and career growth.


Mid-level Software Development Engineers in Test, with approximately three to five years of experience, enjoy an earnings boost. Their salaries often fall in the range of $80,000 to $110,000 annually. At this stage, Software Test Engineers have honed their skills and are entrusted with more significant responsibilities.


Senior Software QA Engineers, with over five years of experience and a proven track record, are rewarded with substantial salaries. They can earn anywhere from $110,000 to $150,000 or more per year. These professionals are instrumental in guiding teams, making critical testing decisions, and ensuring the highest software quality.

Regional Disparities in SDET Salaries

Location plays a pivotal role in Software Development Engineers in Test salary disparities. Here’s a glimpse of regional variations (US only):

Silicon Valley:

As the epicenter of the tech industry, Silicon Valley boasts some of the highest Software Test Engineer salaries in the world. Entry-level Software QA Engineers here can earn around $80,000 to $120,000, while senior-level professionals can command salaries well above $150,000.


Another tech hotspot, Seattle offers competitive salaries to Software Development Engineers in Test. Entry-level positions start at approximately $70,000 to $100,000, with senior Engineers in Test earning upwards of $140,000 annually.


Cities in the Midwest, like Chicago and Minneapolis, offer relatively lower Software Test Engineer salaries. Entry-level salaries range from $60,000 to $90,000, and senior SDETs typically earn between $100,000 and $130,000 per year.

SDET Salaries Across Different Industries

Different industries place varying degrees of importance on software quality assurance, which directly influences Software Development Engineers in Test salaries:


The finance industry prioritizes rigorous testing to ensure data security and compliance. As a result, Software QA Engineers in finance can earn substantial salaries, with senior professionals reaching six-figure incomes.


In the healthcare sector, Software Test Engineers focus on testing critical software applications, including electronic health records (EHR) systems. Salaries here are competitive, with opportunities for specialization.

Tech Companies/Startups:

Tech companies and startups, driven by innovation, offer competitive compensation packages to attract top Engineer in Test talent. These roles often come with additional perks, such as stock options.

The Influence of Education and Certifications

Education and certifications are vital for enhancing a Software Test Engineer’s earning potential. While a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is common, certifications can set you apart. For example, ISTQB certification validates your testing expertise, while AWS certifications demonstrate your cloud testing proficiency. Holding these credentials can lead to higher-paying roles and career advancement.

Negotiating SDET Salaries

Negotiating Software QA Engineer salaries is an art (and an incredible stress, if you’re quite new at it). Here are some tips to help you secure the compensation you deserve:

  1. Research: Understand the average salaries for Software Test Engineers in your location and industry.
  2. Showcase Your Skills: Highlight your expertise, certifications, and contributions.
  3. Leverage Offers: If you receive multiple job offers, use them as negotiation leverage.
  4. Timing: Discuss compensation once you have a clear understanding of the role and its requirements.
  5. Be Flexible: Consider other benefits, such as remote work options or additional paid time off.

Also, make sure to check out our material on how to prepare for an SDET interview!

SDET Salary Trends

The tech industry is dynamic, and Software Test Engineer salary trends continue to evolve. Recent developments, including the rise of remote work, have influenced salary expectations. As remote work becomes more common, professionals in regions with lower living costs may have the opportunity to earn competitive salaries from tech hubs. In the realm of Software Development Engineer in Test careers, compensation mostly varies with experience. Here’s a snapshot of what Software QA Engineer professionals can expect in terms of average total compensation, encompassing tips, bonuses, and potential overtime pay, according to

SDET Salaries Uncovered: How Much Do Software Development Engineers in Test Earn?


Yes, Software QA Engineer salaries often continue to surpass the six-figure mark even in economic downturns. The demand for software quality remains high, contributing to competitive compensation for Engineers in Test.
Engineers in Test with 5 years of experience can expect an average total compensation of approximately $104,621, as mentioned in the article. What is the salary of SDET with 6 years of experience?
While specific data for Software QA Engineers with exactly 6 years of experience may not be available, the article provides insights into salary progression, showcasing an increase in earnings with experience.
The article offers a salary guide for Software QA Engineers based on different experience levels, providing a reference point for compensation expectations.
Both SDEs (Software Development Engineers) and Software QA Engineers have distinct roles and are essential in software development. Whether one is “better” than the other depends on individual career goals and preferences.
The article hints at the continued demand for Software QA Engineers in the tech industry, with their contributions being increasingly recognized and rewarded. The future scope appears promising for those pursuing careers in this field.

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Artur Aliev

Artur Aliev

Since 2013 i am building a vibrant online presence for e-commerce and retail brands across diverse industries. In 2021 I turned my passion towards the exciting world of programming and turned newfound knowledge into insightful articles that guide and inspire learners of all levels. While working with WEDEVX for almost a year i learned a lot about software testing, QA and coding bootcamps firsthand from instructors and top-earners in their field.


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