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Average Automation Engineer Salary Worldwide Research

Team Lead of IT Researchers at Alcor
Experienced IT researcher with a solid knowledge of sourcing tools for attracting the best tech talents.
1 August 2022
14 min

Nowadays, software becomes more complex, its production pace speeds up, and the application updates can occur multiple times a day. In this scenario the quality assurance process is paramount, as it ensures the customers’ trust. For clarity, almost 1 in every two apps is uninstalled within 30 days because of a user expectation mismatch, 30% of mobile shoppers have abandoned buying from a site because it wasn’t optimized for the mobile device, and a one-second delay in webpage load speed can cost 7% in sales, 11% fewer page views, and 16% lower customer satisfaction.


Therefore, automated quality testing is one of the basics of DevOps, and it is an essential process for any development project, requiring knowledge of programming languages and specific test frameworks. The competition for specialists in this field is high and will grow according to global forecasts. This article discusses the roles and salaries of QA professionals worldwide.  



Average Automation Engineer Salary: Key Takeaways


In this review, my team focused on technical talent salaries, thus did not include the wages for QA managers and analysts in the research. For average salary value determination, we used information from Payscale, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and Salaryexpert, and a number of local websites. To provide clear comparisons, we used the base annual average salary. All wages are presented in US dollars at an exchange rate for July 2022. 


Average base pay, USD

Northern America

Western & Nordic

Eastern Asia

South Africa

Central & Eastern

South & Central

QA Software Engineer$83,000$51,000$46,000$30,000$25,000$18,000

QA Software Tester


Performance Engineer


Software Test Engineer



The highest salaries of QA specialists are in North America. The average salary for a mid-level specialist ranges from $77,000 to $106,000 for different roles. Countries of Western and Northern Europe rank second, where the automation programmer’s salary hovers from $47,000 to $60,000. It is noteworthy that the wages of Performance and Software Test Engineers in Europe are lower than those of QA Software Testers. 




In the middle segment are East & South Asia and South Africa. In those regions, the salary of a middle QA specialist ranges from $27,000 to $50,000 for various roles. At the same time, the wages of QA Software Engineers and QA Software Testers in South Africa are almost equal to the salaries of their Eastern European counterparts. The Eastern European and South American locations are in the lower segment of salaries.



Software Test Automation Market Trends


The global market for automated testing is growing and developing. According to market forecasts, its global size will grow from $20.7 billion in 2021 to $49.9 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2% during the forecast period.



This market growth explained is due to the rational implementation of quality standards in most Agile and DevOps processes. Implementing quality assurance is integral to Agile Development, Continuous Deployment, and Continuous Delivery for any technology industry project, whether cloud computing or mobile application development.


Therefore, the demand for specialists experienced in scripting and automated testing is strong and will continue to rise. The average demand for Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers is growing by 2.32 percent per year in the USA and is expected to increase (with 308,390 new jobs filled by 2029). The importance of test automation development is growing for all key QA roles.



Quality, Expertise, and Education of QA Automation Engineers Worldwide


Due to the development of DevOps methodology, quality assurance automation covers almost all stages of software development. Therefore, the demand for specific skills for an individual specialist depends on work specifics in a particular area, as quality assurance standards evolve in parallel with the development of digital technologies. There are specific frameworks, platforms, and tools for each standard, such as Selenium, ADB, TestNG, UIAutomator, Postman, WebDriver, Docker, Appium, or Katalon Studio etc. Knowledge of these frameworks for a software engineer is equally essential, as well as knowledge of SQL, Java, Python, C#, JavaScript, and Ruby programming languages. Therefore, there are many educational programs and certificates for each specific instrument. In addition, there are international certifications confirming QA specialist qualifications. One of the most widespread and unified is the global software testing certification board – ISTQB.



The stack of technical specialties in QA Automation is represented by four main areas: QA Software Engineer, QA Automation Engineer, Performance Engineer, and Software Test Engineer.


Quality Assurance Engineer/ Software QA Engineer


QA engineers analyze science, engineering, business, and user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. This professional may analyze or recommend commercially available software for QA automation. The hallmark of quality engineers is the ability to troubleshoot automation tools. Some QA engineers become QA analysts by working with product teams and analytics tools to identify test cases.


Test Automation Engineer/ Software QA Tester


Test automation engineers develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Test automation engineers communicate with QA leaders, other test automation engineers, and developers, so they require strong organizational skills. Testers may analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. As well, they may supervise computer programmers.


Companies have high competition for test automation engineers because the role usually requires a rare combination of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.


Software Developer Engineer in Test/Software Test Engineer


SDET is a software developer with an expert understanding of test theory and fundamental quality assurance methodology, which has a holistic vision of development and testing as a continuous process. SDET is the specialist who participates both in the development and runs test software. These are rare technical talents, and the demand for them is among the highest among QA specialists.


Performance Test Engineer/Performance Engineer


Most organizations recognize that poor software performance reduces conversions, drops transactions, and decreases user loyalty. Therefore, performance management (a software quality specialty) is gaining prominence. Such specialists are necessary for the overall UX improvement and understanding of how the product deploys on the client side. For example, it makes sure that downloading an application or a website does not keep the end user waiting, or overload their device when being used. 


The Performance Engineer collaborates with Product Engineers and Program Developers to design post-deployment performance testing. They analyze test runs and results for performance; identify and define abnormalities; verify and solve performance issues, including executing design, code, and load tests to validate system performance and stability. These specialists also provide performance ideas, recommendations, solutions, and technical assistance that are smart and scalable to the business – which will improve system performance, capacity, durability, and reliability.



QA Automation Engineer Salary in North America



The United States has the highest salary rates for Test Automation specialists globally. The average salary for a middle QA Automation Engineer is about $80,000. The highest salaries are in California: the highest paying cities are  San Francisco, Fremont, and San Jose.


Average base pay, USD

The United States

 California Washington Michigan Illinois

QA Software Engineer

$72,000$97,000$125,000$66,000 $89,000$120,000$69,000$91,000$10,000$70,000$84,000$113,000

QA Software Tester

$54,000$68,000 $104,000 $46,000 $78,000$109,000$68,000$93,000 $8,500$61,000$80,000$110,000

Performance Engineer

$80,000$117,000$140,000 $82,000 $110,000$147,000$87,000$103,000$12,250$83,000$116,000$160,000

Software Test Engineer

$75,000$106,000$149,000 $67,000 $89,000$120,000$72,000$93,000$12,250$67,000$94,000$123,000



The average senior QA automation engineer salary in Canada is about $73,000 per month. Ontario and British Columbia are the highest paying cities for QA automation services. Canadian salaries are on average one thousand dollars lower than wages in Australia and more than two thousand lower than in the USA. They are also slightly lower than wages in Germany and Norway. 


Average base pay, USDCanada
QA Software Engineer$40,000$53,000$73,000
QA Software Tester$40,000$66,000$105,000
Performance Engineer$48,000$72,000$108,000
Software Test Engineer$39,000$58,000$85,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in Australia


Australia has one of the highest wages globally, with an average salary of $85,000 for a Senior Software Test Engineer position, which is a little lower than the United States pay level. Interestingly, the Australian QA software test automation engineer’s salary is slightly higher than the Performance Engineer’s. 


Average base pay, USDAustralia
QA Software Engineer$48,000$56,000$83,000
QA Software Tester$44,000$55,000$79,000
Performance Engineer$62,000$88,000$103,000
Software Test Engineer$43,000$63,000$85,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in the United Kingdom


The Software Test Automation Engineer salary in the United Kingdom is competitive with the European region. In England, the average junior QA Software Tester salary is $34,000 per year, and senior-level QA Software Testers earn $72,000 annually. According to Glassdoor, the most popular cities for the QA profession are London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cambridge, Bristol, Glasgow, Belfast, Birmingham, and Nottingham.


Average base pay, USDThe United Kingdom
 England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
QA Software Engineer$35,000$54,000$72,000$42,000$57,000$65,000$40,000$47,000$64,000$31,000$45,000$56,00
QA Software Tester$34,000$41,000$61,000$32,000$46,000$59,000$32,000$44,000$56,000$30,000$41,000$53,000
Performance Engineer$38,000$55,000$81,000$43,000$59,000$71,000$42,000$60,000$74,000$37,000$53,000$66,000
Software Test Engineer$31,000$47,000$66,000$34,000$46,000$59,000$31,000$41,000$55,000$34,000$40,000$60,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in Western & Nordic Europe


Western and Northern European countries demonstrate a wide range of salaries with about $19,000 for junior specialists and $98,000 for senior engineers. A QA Software Tester is the highest paying role among this region, except for Germany and Spain where a Software Test Engineer’s salary is slightly higher. Germany and Norway have the highest QA Automation Engineer developer wages in Europe; France, Belgium, Austria, and the Netherlands make up the middle range; Italy, Spain, and Sweden represent the lowest wages in Western Europe. 



Norway leads in wages in the Western European region. A QA Software Tester gets the highest salaries among the other positions. The middle QA Software Tester’s salary in Oslo is $60,000. The difference between a senior QA Software Tester and Software Test Engineer’s salary is about  $10,000.


Average base pay, USDNorway
QA Software Engineer$52,000$65,000$76,000
QA Software Tester$45,000$51,000$82,000
Performance Engineer$57,000$80,000$98,000
Software Test Engineer$59,000$65,000$78,000



Germany lags behind Norway with a slight gap in average wages. A Senior Test Automation Engineer salary in Berlin is $64,000.


Gross monthly income,
QA Software Engineer$44,000$58,000$70,000
QA Software Tester$35,000$47,000$61,000
Performance Engineer$44,000$64,000$83,000
Software Test Engineer$45,000$60,000$70,000



Wages in Belgium are lower than Norwegian and German salaries. QA Automation Engineer salaries range from $32,000 for a junior QA Software Tester to $73,000 for a senior QA Software Engineer.


Average base pay, USDBelgium
QA Software Engineer$42,000$59,000$73,000
QA Software Tester$32,000$43,000$52,000
Performance Engineer$41,000$50,000$59,000
Software Test Engineer$33,000$62,000$71,000



Austria and the Netherlands closely follow Belgium. The average salary for most positions in Austria is slightly higher than in the Netherlands. For example, a Senior Automation Engineer salary is $63,000.


Average base pay, USDAustria
QA Software Engineer$37,000$58,000$69,000
QA Software Tester$30,000$41,000$63,000
Performance Engineer$48,000$67,000$84,000
Software Test Engineer$38,000$51,000$64,000


The Netherlands

Salaries for junior and middle specialists in the Netherlands are practically identical to those in Austria. The only difference is the position of Performance Engineer which is slightly higher in the Netherlands.


Average base pay, USDThe Netherlands
QA Software Engineer$42,000$56,000$75,000
QA Software Tester$36,000$47,000$57,000
Performance Engineer$40,000$56,000$86,000
Software Test Engineer$33,000$44,000$64,000



For most positions, wages are lower than in the Netherlands, except for senior roles. For example, the salary for a senior QA Automation Engineer salary is lower. In general, the wage level of French automation engineers is more comparable to Japan.


Average base pay, USDFrance
QA Software Engineer$36,000$48,000$58,000
QA Software Tester$30,000$39,000$60,000
Performance Engineer$36,000$58,000$80,000
Software Test Engineer$33,000$47,000$62,000



Wages in Italy are lower than in France with a difference starting at $4,000. So, a QA Software Engineer salary varies from $24,000 for junior to $58,000 for senior positions. Meanwhile, we can see a $11,000 gap between senior QA Software Testers: $49,000 in Italy and $60,000 in France.


Average base pay, USDItaly
QA Software Engineer$25,000$35,000$50,000
QA Software Tester$26,000$32,000$49,000
Performance Engineer$25,000$42,000$58,000
Software Test Engineer$24,000$30,000$42,000



For most quality assurance positions, wages in Sweden are slightly lower than in Japan.


Average base pay, USDSweden
QA Software Engineer$35,000$46,000$60,000
QA Software Tester$36,000$50,000$66,000
Performance Engineer$40,000$59,000$72,000
Software Test Engineer$39,000$48,000$60,000



Spain has the lowest salaries in Western Europe, as the junior QA Software Engineer salary level in Spain is almost equal to the Czech Republic. The other roles have significantly higher wages. As an example, a Performance Engineer’s salary in Spain is $54,000 against $45,000 for the same position in the Czech Republic.


Average base pay, USDSpain
QA Software Engineer$23,000$30,000$44,000
QA Software Tester$19,000$28,000$39,000
Performance Engineer$27,000$38,000$52,000
Software Test Engineer$22,000$36,000$54,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in Israel


Israel’s salary distribution is more American than European, except for being proportionally lower. A Software Test Engineer’s salary is the highest and ranges from $31,000 for a junior position to $87,000 for a senior role, about $10,000 higher than a QA tester’s salary.


Average base pay, USDIsrael
QA Software Engineer$38,000$56,000$75,000
QA Software Tester$44,000$64,000$78,000
Performance Engineer$49,000$66,000$81,000
Software Test Engineer$31,000$58,000$87,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in Eastern & South Asia



Japan has the highest Test Engineer salaries in Eastern Asia for most positions. The only exception is the QA Software Engineer’s role, whose wage is slightly lower there than in Singapore.


Average base pay, USDJapan
QA Software Engineer$45,000$65,000$80,000
QA Software Tester$49,000$69,000$86,000
Performance Engineer$50,000$72,000$90,000
Software Test Engineer$56,000$80,000$98,000



For most quality assurance positions, wages in Singapore are slightly lower than in Japan; the difference is usually less than $1,800-2,400.


Average base pay, USDSingapore
QA Software Engineer$46,000$67,000$83,000
QA Software Tester$48,000$68,000$84,000
Performance Engineer$50,000$71,000$88,000
Software Test Engineer$55,000$78,000$98,000



China ranks third in the region with a significant wage gap, and the difference can range from $18,000 to $30,000+. For example, the average Performance Engineer in China gets $43,000, almost $30,000 less than the wage for the same role in Singapore.


Average base pay, USDChina
QA Software Engineer$31,000$42,000$54,000
QA Software Tester$27,000$40,000$49,000
Performance Engineer$30,000$43,000$53,000
Software Test Engineer$37,000$51,000$66,000


South Korea

South Korean salaries are slightly lower than Chinese ones. The QA Software Tester’s salary is $1,200-$3,600 higher than the Performance Engineer, while Software Test Engineers get the highest wages among the roles listed.  


Average base pay, USDSouth Korea
QA Software Engineer$30,000$42,000$52,000
QA Software Tester$33,000$48,000$57,000
Performance Engineer$32,000$44,000$55,000
Software Test Engineer$34,000$48,000$60,000



India has one of the lowest wages, with a range for QA Automation Engineer salary from $12,000 per QA Software Engineer to $21,000 and $24,000 per senior Software Test Engineer. Wage levels are comparable with Argentina and Ukraine.


Average base pay, USDIndia
QA Software Engineer$12,000$17,000$20,000
QA Software Tester$12,000$17,000$21,000
Performance Engineer$10,000$13,000$17,000
Software Test Engineer$13,000$19,000$24,000



QA Automation Engineer Salary in Eastern Europe


Czech Republic

The Czech Republic leads the Eastern European region with salaries from $26,000 for an entry-level to $48,000 for a senior QA Software Tester and $25,000 to $45,000 for a Performance Engineer. Wages in the Czech Republic are about twice as high as in Ukraine.


Average base pay, USDCzech Rebuplic
QA Software Engineer$24,000$34,000$46,000
QA Software Tester$26,000$38,000$48,000
Performance Engineer$25,000$36,000$45,000
Software Test Engineer$29,000$42,000$51,000



The difference between Polish and Czech salaries hovers from $2,000 to $5,000+. The most significant gap can be seen in the salary of a senior QA Software Tester role, which is $41,000 in Poland and $48,000 in the Czech Republic.


Average base pay, USDPoland
QA Software Engineer$22,000$31,000$39,000
QA Software Tester$23,000$32,000$41,000
Performance Engineer$24,000$34,000$42,000
Software Test Engineer$26,000$38,000$46,000



Hungary represents the middle range in Eastern Europe. A Senior Test Automation Engineer’s salary is $30,000 and a junior’s salary is $18,000. It is noticeable that the wages of QA Software Testers and Software Test engineers are practically equal.


Average base pay, USDHungary
QA Software Engineer$18,000$24,000$30,000
QA Software Tester$20,000$29,000$36,000
Performance Engineer$19,000$26,000$32,000
Software Test Engineer$20,000$30,000$37,000


Average salaries in Romania are slightly lower than in Hungary. The salary for a QA Software Engineer role is $26,000 – almost the Software Test Engineer’s salary, which is $27,000.


Average base pay, USDRomania
QA Software Engineer$16,000$26,000$32,000
QA Software Tester$18,000$23,000$30,000
Performance Engineer$19,000$29,000$37,000
Software Test Engineer$20,000$27,000$35,000


Ukrainian QA Engineer salaries are one of the lowest in the region, with $46,000 for the senior Performance Engineer role as the highest salary among quality assurance wages. It is noticeable that the Quality Assurance Automation Engineer’s salary is higher than the QA Software Tester’s.


Average base pay, USDUkraine
QA Software Engineer$20,000$30,000$38,000
QA Software Tester$16,000$22,000$33,000
Performance Engineer$18,000$32,000$46,000
Software Test Engineer$16,000$24,000$36,000





QA Automation Engineer Salary in South & Central America



Brazil’s average salary is  higher than in Argentina, and wages for the QA Software Engineer, QA Software Tester, and Performance Engineer are nearly equal.


Average base pay, USDBrazil
QA Software Engineer$13,000$17,000$25,000
QA Software Tester$12,000$17,000$23,000
Performance Engineer$17,000$21,000$30,000
Software Test Engineer$15,000$21,000$31,000



Mexico ranked in the top. The automation programmer salary varies from $17,000 for a junior engineer to $31,000 for a senior specialist. Like in Ukraine, the QA Software Engineer’s wage is slightly higher than the QA Software Tester’s salary.


Average base pay, USDMexico
QA Software Engineer$14,000$20,000$30,000
QA Software Tester$13,000$21,000$25,000
Performance Engineer$19,000$30,000$39,000
Software Test Engineer$17,000$24,000$31,000



Argentina’s annual junior-level wage starts at $9,000 and is the lowest salary for an Automation Engineer of all countries we researched in this review. Interestingly, the Performance Engineer’s salary in this country is lower than the QA Software Engineer’s wage.


Average base pay, USDArgentina
QA Software Engineer$9,000$16,000$20,000
QA Software Tester$10,000$13,000$19,000
Performance Engineer$12,000$14,000$24,000
Software Test Engineer$11,000$17,000$26,000



Your Business Needs the Best QA Engineers for a Fair Price!


As you may have noticed, the QA talent market is very heterogeneous, and salaries for specific positions vary greatly depending on the region. Among the possible reasons for this is the frequent confusion between the name of the role and the list of requirements. Understanding the specifics of these differences can help you significantly reduce the cost of hiring. But to avoid unforeseen difficulties, it’s better to entrust recruitment to specialists.



Alcor is an international IT recruitment service provider focusing exclusively on technical positions for IT product companies. Starting as an IT recruitment agency in Kyiv, Alcor proved its high reputation and trustworthiness to its clients by helping them hire developers in Eastern Europe effectively. 


One such company was Ledger, which struggled to find a suitable QA specialist and had no success. To rectify the situation, our team brought in various IT recruiters who took a fresh look at the candidate’s profile. That is what helped us find the perfect match with the first candidate. As a result of this partnership, Alcor has hired over ten quality assurance engineers for Ledger, including Lead and Manager positions.


Our database is formed from our daily communication with developers and consists of in-depth data such as the soft skills of candidates, current job preferences, expectations, and requirements – which makes the selection of developers more accurate. We vouch for the quality of our hires and provide a 3-month employee replacement guarantee, i.e. our team will substitute a candidate if you’re not satisfied with them.


Our services also cover all the necessary legal and organizational support – with all back-office functions including IT recruitment, real estate, office maintenance, HR payroll & accounting, and other BPO services from operational help in managing offshore teams to organizing your own offshore software development center.



Contact us to find the most talented QA automation specialists from Poland or Romania – and expand the team all over the EU!


Rate this post


❓ What country has the lowest salary for a QA specialist?

💡 The lowest salaries for QA engineers are in Eastern Europe and South & Central America. The range starts from $9,000 for a junior QA engineer role in Argentina and ends at $51,000 for a Senior Software Test Engineer role in the Czech Republic.

❓ Where is the highest salary of a QA specialist?

💡 According to open sources, the North American region offers the highest salaries for QA specialists. And the highest-paid middle specialist role in North America is Software Test Engineer (also known as SDET), with an average annual base salary of $106,000.

❓ What are the essential hard skills for a QA specialist?

💡 Knowledge of testing frameworks such as Selenium, WebDriver, Cucumber, Appium, as well as specific programming languages SQL, Java, Python, C#, JavaScript, and Ruby are required for most QA automation engineers.

❓ What certificates can confirm the qualification of a QA specialist?

💡 There are quite a few certified courses on individual tools and frameworks for automated testing. Each attests to some specific experience and skill, but the most universal and widespread is the ISTQB certification.

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Contact us to receive a free analysis of your positions!

It includes the salary ranges and availability of the requested developers in Poland, Romania, and other countries in EE (as well as time-to-hire metrics and other KPIs for your case).

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