The following article discusses the career path of Systems Engineer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Systems Engineers.
Systems engineers are responsible for the overall development of their employers’ and clients’ computer system. They must make sure that this meets their particular needs. To achieve this, they work hand in hand with product development staff, programmers, hardware technicians, system administrators, software engineers, and hardware engineers.
Systems engineers not only develop computer systems, they also customize existing ones after they have been bought. Hence, they have close relationships with software and hardware vendors, which enable them to make the overall computer system’s architecture fit for purpose. They regularly meet with team members, users, vendors, and clients to ensure this.
Furthermore, systems engineers are responsible for evaluating designs and changing them accordingly, developing standard operating procedures, and reviewing documents relating to change control. They may have to ensure the firewall is up to date, resolve computer problems, and create documentation of every step they have taken in developing a computer system. Furthermore, if changes to a system are suggested, they review these and then approve or deny it, making sure that anything approved is then implemented as soon as possible.
Other job duties of a systems engineer include:
- Ensuring that all new messaging systems are integrated in a smooth manner
– Providing tier 3 tech support on access and messaging issues in an organization
- Developing, implementing, and supporting messaging systems for clients, including Exchange, Notes, and GroupWare
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 391,300 network and computer systems administrators in 2016, a profession closely related to that of the systems engineer. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 18%
- Information: 11%
- Educational services; state, local, and private: 10%
- Finance and insurance: 9%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
How to Become
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, information systems, or similar field is generally required. Additionally, it is expected that systems engineers have a personal interest in computer networks and technology.
A bachelor’s degree is the acceptable standard for a systems engineer. The degree should be in a field that relates to information or computer science. Those that focus specifically on computer system and network administration have the greatest prospects.
However, it is equally acceptable for someone to have a degree in electrical or computer engineering, for instance. This is because the role of a systems engineer is also closely related to maintaining equipment. What generally matters most is that they have completed classes in areas such as systems design, networking, and computer programming.
Network technology changes very rapidly and frequently. As a result, a systems engineer has to be committed to lifelong learning. Through their career, they will have to attend IT conferences and training events to keep their knowledge up to date. This is why many now have a master’s degree.
There are no legal requirements for licensure or certification, but it is common for systems engineers to have to be certified at least in the systems they use themselves. These certifications and licenses come from some vendor-neutral providers, but mainly from vendors themselves. When someone has been certified, they can demonstrate they have the relevant knowledge to implement best practice standards. Cisco and Microsoft are examples of vendors offering respected certifications for systems engineers.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective systems engineers have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Excellent multitaskers
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Systems Engineer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $111,230 while North Dakota had the smallest quoted salary of $63,487.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Systems Engineer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|EMF Industries System Engineer||Virginia||$229,374|
|Washington Defense Corporation System Engineer||Maryland||$172,453|
|Zachary Piper Solutions System Engineer||Virginia||$169,604|
|MCM Technology,LLC System Engineer||Virginia||$169,090|
|Wells Fargo System Engineer||California||$151,476|
|Dell System Engineer||Washington||$151,224|
|VORTECHX Applied Technologies System Engineer||Colorado||$149,098|
|Joseph Harry Ltd System Engineer||New Jersey||$148,434|
|Cisco System Engineer||Washington||$148,163|
|Amer Technology, Inc System Engineer||DC||$146,605|
|Strategic Analytix, Inc. System Engineer||Maryland||$144,753|
|Bertram & Associates System Engineer||DC||$141,601|
|LinQuest Corporation System Engineer||California||$140,893|
|Career Cloud LLC (Agency) System Engineer||Maryland||$140,000|
|System Soft Technologies LLC System Engineer||Oregon||$139,008|
|CRW Innovations System Engineer||Maryland||$137,623|
|CyberCoders System Engineer||Oklahoma||$135,575|
|Piper Companies System Engineer||Virginia||$135,548|
- Systems engineering – Wikipedia
- What is Systems Engineering – incose.org
- Systems Engineering Overview – SEBoK
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Director of Marketing||$90,048|
|Systems Project Manager||$86,680|
|Supply Chain Manager||$85,591|