Project Description

Test Engineer

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Photo credit – National Eye Institute, CC

Who are they and what do they actually do?

Test Engineers(non-software) are testing gurus for all types of physical products. They are not simply test robots that follow instructions, since their knowledge of Engineering principles is highly tuned it allows them to identify the validity of their test data. They are highly skilled, very disciplined and they get to wear cool lab coats!

A Testing Engineer’s expertise may be in consumer products, industrial & scientific products or in high precision military and aerospace applications.

Cognitive processes & intelligence methods used: A testing engineer is using many cognitive functions with a main focus on kinaesthetic, visual & logical. Testing calls on many mental methods for solving problems and for understanding how the test method is affecting the results. This career path offers a good blend of theoretical thinking and practical implementation.

Skills that are needed to begin in this career path: Testing at the minimum requires a good grasp of testing practices & engineering principles. Some data analysis skills are also needed to be able to provide accurate conclusions & reporting of testing results. Since testing is more structured than Design Engineering for example it requires a lot of patience and less global thinking.

Skills that are developed throughout this career path: The learning curve for Test Engineers provides a stable foundation for more advanced Engineering work. After a few years in the industry a Test Engineer has a strong grasp of Industry Standards and has learnt many strategies for getting the most accurate test result. Like many other Engineering functions, different people performing the same test can get a different result. This variability in Engineering is crucial and is the number one factor that a good Test Engineer can manage.

Individual or teamwork: Test Engineering can be a lonely profession as the Engineer spends most of his or her time building an intimate relationship with their test equipment and qualification programmes. Test Engineers collaborate and seek help from fellow Tester’s to solve acute problems, but the bulk of their work is solitary.

Similar Engineering careers:

  • Engineering Technician
  • Compliance Engineer

Read more about the most relevant disciplines: