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  • A man is performing systems tests on his tablet

  • A man is recording test results

  • Test Engineer

Test Engineer

Introduction

New products and new ways of making products (processes) are being designed and developed everyday. All of these products and processes first need to be carefully checked however, and it is the job of the Test Engineer to carry out these vital tests.

As a Test Engineer you will be designing, implementing and maintaining the automated and manual test procedures for various different projects.

Work Activities

As a Test Engineer you will be designing, implementing and maintaining the automated and manual test procedures for various different projects.

From these test procedures you will need to carefully gather and analyse test data, in order to improve the process or product on which you are working. You will need to fully understand your business and/or users needs and also their technical requirements.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • introducing automated and/or manual testing processes
  • testing products in accordance with set standards
  • analysing and acting upon gathered test data
  • producing test documentation such as technical reports
  • monitoring test activity
  • translating technical user language into non-technical language
  • making process improvement recommendations to management teams
  • performing electrical safety tests, where needed

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Test Engineer, you need:

  • experience within a relevant engineering or manufacturing environment
  • an awareness of the safety standards and legislation which exists within the industry
  • database programming skills (SQL, Oracle, RDBMS)
  • to be able to identify and solve potential problems
  • to be willing to keep up to date with advances in technology in this fast-changing area

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates below are approximate

  • Starting: £20,000 - £20,500
  • With experience: £22,500
  • Senior Test Engineers earn £30,000 - £33,000

Hours of work

You will most likely work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Occasional late finishes and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include firms operating in all different areas of the manufacturing industry, including:

  • transport
  • retail
  • renewable energy
  • electronics
  • aerospace
  • credit card companies
  • pharmaceutical

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

www.greenjobs.co.uk/browse-jobs/engineering/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Many employers require you to have a HND ,HNC or a degree before you become a Test Engineer. HNDs, HNCs and degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities. In order to get onto one of these courses, you will usually need at least two A levels.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great first step into this career. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Work Experience

Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in the engineering and/or manufacturing industry. Industry experience is very highly valued by employers

Progression

Depending on your qualification, Test Engineers can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of engineering projects and teams of Engineers.

Some Engineers choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Skills/experience

Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in the engineering and/or manufacturing industry. Industry experience is very highly valued by employers

Funding

Funding for postgraduate courses is available through universities from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Further Information

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Careers Wales

Welsh enquiries

Tel: 0800 100900

Email: post@careerswalesgyrfacymru.com

Website: www.careerswales.com

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

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