Test Drivers


Test Drivers


Test drivers drive, evaluate, and grade new automobiles and other vehicles before they are made available for sale to the public. They spend many hours driving their assigned model in various driving situations, climates, and speeds. As members of a new product development team, test drivers make suggestions for specific alterations to the car's design, function, and performance. Test drivers are employed by auto manufacturers worldwide, though some may work for contractors specializing in automotive testing or development. Others w...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Several years experience





Personality Traits

Hands On


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) does not provide salary information for test drivers. Some test drivers have backgrounds in mechanical engineering. The DOL reports that mechanical engineers employed in motor vehicle parts manufacturing earned mean annual wages of $88,430 in May 2019. Salaries for all mechanical engineers ranged from less than $57,130 to $138,020 or more.

Reporters and...

Work Environment

Test drivers spend the majority of their workday behind the wheel of a car. They are often assigned to drive various types of roads to gauge the car's performance in different situations. Travel is sometimes necessary if the car is manufactured abroad. After a performance test, drivers may meet other team members in an office setting to give reports or brainstorm new alterations. Test drivers w...


The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on all aspects of the automotive industry, with disruptions in manufacturing and production due to lockdowns or staff reductions. Consumer demand for cars has increased, however, and more new cars, as well as test drivers, will be needed to meet the demand. In the coming years, automobile manufacturers will continue to create new models and improv...