Test TechnicianJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Test technicians conduct tests on products and equipment. They then record data from those tests and give that data to the product and engineering teams. Test technicians work in a wide variety of industries, including transportation, textiles, software, and manufacturing. It’s up to the test technician to interpret the quality standards, engineering diagrams, and specifications for the products, then execute tests according to those instructions.
In some cases, test technicians also offer ideas for how to improve testing processes or resolve equipment malfunctions. For this reason, test technicians need high-level interpersonal communication skills. Keen attention to detail and organization skills are also a crucial part of this role, to compile data and keep track of testing specifications.
Sample job description
We’re looking for a new test technician to work at [Your Company Name]. The job will be full-time. The test technician will be responsible to ensure the quality of products and ensure that products are not defective in any way. Test technicians should have a good understanding of how to ensure that a product is working properly. Previous experience is not required but would be beneficial. The technician will be required to perform daily functions as well as monitor tests and quality assurance of equipment. Ideally, the candidate should have impressive problem-solving skills and be able to properly diagnose, troubleshoot, and report problems that arise with any specific product or equipment. An associate degree is required. If this sounds like you and you are interested, don’t hesitate to apply to this position!
Typical duties and responsibilities
Inspect components before assembly
Test trial products during development
Test finished goods
Record testing data and analyze results to determine whether products meet quality standards
Maintain testing methods and equipment
Assemble and calibrate testing equipment
Use testing data to recommend improvements to the production process
Education and experience
This position requires an associate degree in engineering technology or a related field.
Required skills and qualifications
Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
Basic engineering and scientific knowledge
Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
Keen attention to detail
Experience using mathematical concepts such as geometry, trigonometry, ratios, fractions, and proportions
Ability to define problems verbally and in writing
Experience analyzing data and drawing valid conclusions from that data
Desire and ability to learn
Ability to meet deadlines while overseeing multiple projects
Must be detailed and organized
Excellent written and verbal skills to communicate with a demonstrated ability to produce technical reports
Proficiency with data handling in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Ability to work in a cross-functional group environment
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a test technician is $56,300 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Test technicians may work in a large variety of fields, including manufacturing, factory quality ensuring, and software troubleshooting. The location of the test technician position may vary, and test technicians may be required to stand on their feet for multiple hours at a time. Test technicians are required to ensure that a product or specific aspect of a product performs properly and follows the correct standards and guidelines of production. Monitoring, calibrating, and ensuring the quality of the relevant testing equipment is also often times required in this position. Test technicians will usually work full-time, and an associate’s degree is often required with this position. Technicians may specialize in the mechanical aspect of certain projects or the electronic aspect. Duties can vary depending on the specialization of the technician.
The typical work hours for a test technician are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
Testing technicians can benefit from certifications and degrees, as this field is highly technical. Some of the relevant degrees would be:
NETA Certified Technician. Becoming a NETA Certified Technician can be extremely beneficial for technicians in general as well as test technicians in order to prove competency and quality of work and skills. NETA provides examinations, testing, and certifications relevant to the technician fields. NETA is a nationally recognized certification agency, so this certification can be beneficial to any technician.
Acceptance Test Technician Certification Providers (ATTCP). The Acceptance Test Technician Certification Providers aim to provide quality assurance as well as training, certifications, oversight, and testing for test technicians. This certificate is available in restricted districts but can be extremely beneficial for a test technician to have, especially depending on the location where the technician operates and the field in which they work.
This position requires an associate degree in engineering technology or a related field. Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) can also be attractive to potential employers or for career advancement. Successful test technicians can advance to team leader positions, and from there, into quality assurance management roles.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 51-9061
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
According to the professional services firm Accenture, several current trends will bring change to the field of quality assurance and product testing. The first is the use of big data and applied analytics. With companies finding ways to obtain new types of data about their processes, test technicians have more tools at their disposal to use in collecting test data.
Another trend in product testing is the use of machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). These new processes will help optimize the tests that test technicians use. They’ll provide extra speed and accuracy, leading to even more sophisticated quality monitoring systems.
Sample interview questions
How is your ability to work under pressure?
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
Do you have the necessary degrees and certificates that this position requires?
If this instrument is having issues running properly, how would you go about troubleshooting it?
How would you test a lightbulb circuit?
What work locations are acceptable to you? Are you willing to work outside of the office in order to accurately troubleshoot equipment when needed?
How would you go about troubleshooting a faulty product, and how would you present the required fix for this product?
Can you stand for long hours at a time?
How did you help solve problems with products at your last position?
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