Test Automation Engineer Career Path: Strategy & Skills

This blog article will cover everything necessary to know an automation engineer's career path. Let's get started.

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The software industry has made significant advances in the past two decades. Technology has advanced beyond what we would have considered cutting-edge 50 years ago, creating an endless need for software. Technology is getting more complicated, and the needs of end users are also getting more complicated at an alarming rate. Programmers are getting more and more pressure to make new software and updates as quickly as possible. However, intensive testing is necessary for finding bugs and guaranteeing software quality.

So, it's not surprising that many companies use automated testing to speed up processes and get the most out of their QA efforts. Manual testing will always have its place, but automation can help small and large companies cut costs. Fortunately, this is where test automation engineers can step in and help out.

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If you have decided that learning to become an automated test engineer is a path you want to pursue, Ronwell is here to support you along the way.

We will cover everything here that's important to know before diving into test automation. We will do our best to cover everything you need to know to get started in the field of automated testing, from the job description to the training requirements.

What Do Automation Testers Do?

Testers must use automation technologies to do monotonous or time-consuming activities, yet this simplifies complex work. What companies demand from you will be significantly influenced by their business needs. They seek testers who can think critically, identify defects and inconsistencies, use various tools, and use concrete testing approaches for well-implemented test automation.

Organizations in a wide range of fields are always looking for testers who are up-to-date on the latest software testing technologies. This helps them automate their testing process and get software or products out the door faster.

  • You must have a thorough understanding of the application domain as well as software testing ideas in general.
  • To create automation frameworks and test scenarios, better technical and programming abilities are required.
  • You must create goals and pick test cases to achieve those goals.
  • You must save the time of the entire QA team by automating various repetitive test procedures such as report comparisons and data extraction from excel sheets.
  • Interact with your team regularly to explore other methods to improve the testing process.
  • Automation testing enables businesses to improve product delivery times or meet current security standards. Several SaaS companies use automation testers to provide precise reporting capabilities, simplify testing, improve problem identification, speed up testing, cut expenses, and reduce human participation.

Read our article about test automation: What is Automation Testing? Types, Examples, Process.

Is Test Automation Engineering A Good Career?


Pursuing a profession as an automation engineer is, without a doubt, a wise decision. There's no denying that the rise of automation testing technology has made automating tests much simpler and more efficient. Manual testing with adequate knowledge of the company cannot replace the automated process as quickly as it would appear. Despite this, the need for automation experts in the business world is higher than ever.

Virtually anybody can execute automated test programs designed by experts. In contrast, creating such applications is an achievement in and of itself. Different skills and more extensive practical knowledge are required, which can be rapidly acquired by manual testers.

Rather than focusing on a single aspect of automation, modern QA automation engineers must provide their employers with an automated strategic strategy for the entire program or production process.

Considering both the high demand in the business and the scarcity of qualified automation engineers, it's clear that this is a highly lucrative field. You can take advantage of the fact that not many people know about the area if you start early. Due to the rapid development of technology, employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow rapidly over the next few years.

Test Automation Career Path

The topic of "what is the career ladder for a test automation engineer?" comes up regularly in the field of test automation. This is a reasonable concern, as it is not often apparent to managers and practitioners how one can advance in this position, even though it is commonly viewed as relatively unstructured.

Junior Automation Engineer

Someone getting started in test automation is called a "junior automation engineer." They might have experience with testing, but they are new to the coding world. Alternatively, they can know how to code but need to learn how to test it.

The engineer can begin adding tests to the suite when the test project and automation framework are complete. They are simply putting together tests out of preexisting components.

Test automation is a software development project requiring knowledge ranging from coding and architecture to testing. A junior engineer is not the right person to work on this project, and the senior automation engineers or feature developers should help them.

Mid-Level Automation Engineer

Mid-level automation engineers are highly skilled in coding and testing, so they can automate tests and add new test features to an existing test project and framework.

Instead of waiting for other team members to create the framework, a mid-level automation engineer may create the necessary framework classes and functions for components, new pages, or new services as they arise. Compared to a senior-level automation engineer, a mid-level engineer needs to prepare to begin a test project from scratch.

Senior Automation Engineer

Expertise in both programming and testing is expected of a senior automation engineer. They are capable of writing automated tests and constructing a whole test automation project from the ground up.

Expert automation engineers know when to apply different types of test-centric design patterns.

This engineer level is usually responsible for reviewing test-related pull requests and contributing to the team's best practices. These automation experts can instruct programmers on creating testable code and composing tests, and they can also determine which tests are worth automating and which aren't.

It's common practice for senior automation engineers to delegate test writing to developers and less experienced automation engineers. Instead of focusing on writing examinations themselves, they put in extra time to facilitate the work of those who do. Additionally, these engineers are more involved in build monitoring and triage to hear more attentively what the tests have to say about the product's current state.

Automation Architect

Automation architects understand every facet of the process of delivering software. Additionally, they can build testing projects from scratch in a reusable style that is easy to update. In addition to a solid understanding of programming and software design concepts, they also have a firm grip on the appropriate usage of abstractions.

Experts in automation architecture are well-versed in a wide range of automation approaches and can accurately evaluate new technologies in light of their team's requirements.

A competent automation architect can create automated tests at the unit, integration, and end-to-end levels. Expert architects are also comfortable using various techniques and tools to improve their test suites.

Even though automation architects can produce some of the most effective tests, they should not always spend their time doing so. Instead, they focus on building internal tools and test frameworks for use by other engineers. Some of these resources go beyond just testing to provide comprehensive productivity enhancements.

Because automation architects have so many skills, they are often put in charge of whole departments instead of just one sprint team.

Automation Team Lead

Leaders in automation are responsible for overseeing a team of automation engineers. They help others beneath them by serving as guides and offering advice.

Like automation architects, leaders of automation teams use their knowledge to optimize test execution, and delivery pipelines, build continuous integration, and ensure that automated tests regularly give the team quick and accurate feedback.

Most of the time, it's up to the leaders of automation teams to hire more software development engineers and testers (SDETs) for the company.

Automation leaders frequently collaborate with other stakeholders, such as managers, company owners, Scrum masters, developers, and testers. With their help, these key people may better understand the importance of automation and how it could help the organization do well.

Consulting Automation Engineer

Automation engineers in consulting are typically sought after for their expertise in developing and enacting efficient test automation procedures. Consulting firms usually hire automation engineers because they know how to make and use effective test automation procedures. They will often construct a preliminary test project and a few tests to establish proof of concept that the team can utilize and improve upon.

While many businesses hire automation consultants temporarily to get the team back on track, some even have consulting automation experts on staff full-time. In contrast to full-time employees, consulting automation engineers usually work with people from different teams and departments to create the company's overall approach to test automation.

Expert-level automation engineers have worked on various projects and examined their collective knowledge to determine the most prevalent issues, methods, and approaches to automation. This allows them to anticipate challenges before they happen and provides guidance on how to deal with them effectively.

The most outstanding consulting automation engineers offer technical know-how and assist businesses in fostering an environment where test automation projects thrive.

Technical Skills

If you are wondering how to be a test automation engineer, you need to know the basics. Automated testing is becoming more common in the corporate world. Even if you're just starting in the testing industry, you'll benefit from learning at least one programming language so you can grasp the product under test. To reach your goals, you must first find out what platform the program was built on, what databases it uses, and whether or not it is connected to any online services.

Experience with APIs and standard data formats like XML and JSON are also valuable technical abilities. So is fluency in Python, Java, PHP, C, C++, or Java.

You must also meet the following requirements to be considered for a job as an entry-level or junior test automation engineer:

Average Salary for an Automation Test Engineer

The quality assurance engineer position encompasses most of the IT automation engineering field. Glassdoor reports an average annual income of $100,580 for QA automation engineers and related roles. The average annual compensation for a senior QA automation engineer is $124,000.

What Is the Future of Automation Testing Engineers?

The future of automated testing seems promising. Even though automation tools will construct the test cases and code tests, it is still necessary for the quality assurance team to verify the accuracy of the tools' results. For this reason, the current period of rapid development and progress will continue for some time to come.

So, the future of test automation engineers is promising! Interested in a future as a testing engineer?

You can contact our experts at any time to get information and follow our LinkedIn account for career opportunities.


Ministry of Testing - Navigating a Career Path in Software Testing

Microfocus - QA Testing Careers

Zippia - Automation Test Engineer Jobs

Hired - QA Test Atuomation Engineer

Cio - What is an Automation Engineer

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