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Test Automation Engineer

Career Overview

Test automation engineers are the experts who strive to catch the software product defects and find ways to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of software systems. Software testing involves a lot of time and cost. It often gets neglected in many projects which leads to customer dissatisfaction and low product quality. However in an automated testing environment this process can run fast and the efforts are quickly paid off. Test automation tools are capable of executing tests that can be run repeatedly, reporting the outcomes and comparing the results with earlier tests. Therefore, test automation engineers are considered an essential and critical component of a successful software development project. They help improve accuracy and fetch detailed results of software testing. The process of test automation also increases the depth and coverage of tests performed and thereby improves software quality. As opposed to manual testing, automation testing takes up less effort & time, which is why companies prefer these engineers. The broad responsibilities of a test automation engineer are:

  • Develop and design test automation networks and programs for testing
  • Implement, document and maintain test automation programs
  • Create software tools for verification and regression tests
  • Work with cross functional teams like development, marketing, usability, quality assurance and customer support
  • Conduct regular regression tests to ensure performance levels and review test results
  • Educate and train team members on test automation process
The career in test automation requires a passion for testing and a strong focus on quality assurance. The job involves persistence and the ability to work in a dynamic & challenging work environment, the rewards for which are potentially big for talented individuals.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs
Projected Growth Rate

Test automation engineers enjoy good job prospects as they are considered a necessary part of any company's tech team. Most large and complex software projects invest in test automation engineers as they help in bringing the costs down, ensure timelines being met and allow the core team to focus better on other tasks at hand more efficiently. Test automation engineers are in great demand in most software projects as they help eliminate manual errors and speed issues making the organization successful in achieving its testing goals. They work in most IT infrastructural environment such as telecom, IT, e-commerce or financial services companies. Experience and skills play an important role in the compensation of test automation engineers. Most MNCs pay a minimum package of INR 7 lacs p.a. The average salary of a test automation engineer ranges between INR 7.0 lacs p.a to 8.0 lacs p.a.

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology B.Tech.

A bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology is mostly preferred by employers of test automation engineers. A good knowledge of programming and scripting languages is advantageous for this profession. There are several testing certifications one can apply for to become a certified tester. A hands-on test experience as a test lead is desirable to become a test automation engineer. Some employers may seek test automation engineers to have a prior experience in scripting languages and exposure to specific programming languages, networking & operating systems.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Communication Skills
Analytical Skills
Detail Oriented
Leadership Skills
Time-Management Skills

Career Opportunities

Test automation engineers play a key role in developing and deploying effective test automation solutions for the long and short term testing goals of an organization. They are indispensible to provide quality software products for most large software projects. The career provides ample scope for progression with experience and skills gained. Test automation engineers' start early as software test engineers and later progress to test leads, test designer and finally as test architects. Practical freelancing projects may be of good value and also provide an opportunity to get selected in large software MNC firms. Other career tracks for test automation engineers are QA (quality assurance) analyst, test manager or business analyst. Following are some of the career opportunities for test automation engineers:

QA (Quality Assurance) Analyst

Quality assurance analysts are responsible for creating an end-to end test plan working closely with managers, developers, business analysts and operations. They test software and other computer applications in terms of functionality, performance, reliability and stability and also make sure they are well planned and executed.

Performance Tester

They define the performance test scope and create test plans using performance tools. Performance testers design strategies for web applications by working closely with other teams such as QA (quality assurance), product management and support staff.

Business Analyst

One can also transition from testing to business analysis. They are responsible for analyzing and assessing an organization's business model and the integration with technology and drive process improvements based on their observations.

Top Companies

  • IBM
  • Siemens Technology India
  • Vodafone
  • Flextronics
  • CGI
  • Visa
  • Akamai Technologies
  • Tyco

Interview: Test Automation Engineer

“As competition increases, your education and skill-set will become the key differentiator for getting chosen over other candidates.”
Vinay Srinivasan