Systems Engineer Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 12 minutes

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.

Job Duties

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.

Education Requirements

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

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Systems Engineer was $87,511. This number is estimated from over 6,728,824 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $45.58 and monthly of $7,293.

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$26,000

$183,000

Salary Distribution

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.

Alabama Idaho Mississippi Oregon
Arkansas Illinois Montana Pennsylvania
Arizona Indiana North Carolina Rhode Island
California Kansas North Dakota South Carolina
Colorado Kentucky Nebraska Tennessee
Connecticut Louisiana New Hampshire Texas
DC Massachusetts New Jersey Utah
Delaware Maryland New Mexico Virginia
Florida Maine Nevada Vermont
Georgia Michigan New York Washington
Hawaii Minnesota Ohio Wisconsin
Iowa Missouri Oklahoma West Virginia
Alabama$92,129 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Northrop Grumman System Engineer, Lockheed Martin System Engineer, CyberCoders System Engineer, and TEKsystems System Engineer.

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$27,000

$194,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$64,998 Rank: 46th

The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Walmart System Engineer, TEKsystems System Engineer, Infosys System Engineer, and Real Soft Inc System Engineer.

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$23,000

$126,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$74,487 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Honeywell System Engineer, Intel System Engineer, Compqsoft Inc System Engineer, and Valley Metro System Engineer.

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$23,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
California$99,715 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Wells Fargo System Engineer, Cisco System Engineer, LinQuest Corporation System Engineer, and Facebook System Engineer.

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$31,000

$207,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$91,095 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Hewlett Packard Enterprise System Engineer, Braxstaff Technical System Engineer, Fahrenheit IT System Engineer, and HP System Engineer.

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$30,000

$185,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$73,369 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Pratt & Whitney System Engineer, Towne & Locke System Engineer, Tech Mahindra System Engineer, and L&T Technology System Engineer.

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$20,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
DC$111,230 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Piper Companies System Engineer, Amer Technology, Inc System Engineer, Bertram & Associates System Engineer, and Scalar System Engineer.

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$41,000

$214,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$71,125 Rank: 38th

The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Infosys System Engineer and CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$26,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$79,047 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Principle Solutions Group System Engineer, U.S. Air Force System Engineer, Verizon System Engineer, and Syniverse Technologies System Engineer.

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$29,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$81,413 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Principle Solutions Group System Engineer, Macy's System Engineer, Veredus System Engineer, and CHASE Professionals System Engineer.

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$31,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$85,300 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ALTRES System Engineer and Express Employment Professionals System Engineer.

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$31,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$83,292 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer, Palmer Group System Engineer, Robert Half Technology System Engineer, and TEKsystems System Engineer.

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$31,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$85,456 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International System Engineer, Micron Technology, Inc. System Engineer, ConsultNet System Engineer, and CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$30,000

$169,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$81,528 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Solution Partners Inc. System Engineer, Parallel Partners System Engineer, Washington Mutual System Engineer, and Hirewell System Engineer.

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$27,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$70,417 Rank: 40th

The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TECHNICAL RECRUITING SOLUTIONS System Engineer, Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. System Engineer, Ashley Ellis System Engineer, and Cummins System Engineer.

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$21,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$70,362 Rank: 41st

The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Equity Staffing Group System Engineer, Aerosource, LLC. System Engineer, PCM System Engineer, and Garmin System Engineer.

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$20,000

$150,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$67,331 Rank: 44th

The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International System Engineer, PROSOFT System Engineer, Philips Recruiting Services System Engineer, and Aerotek System Engineer.

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$20,000

$142,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$77,609 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer, Robert Half Technology System Engineer, Tech Mahindra System Engineer, and IBM System Engineer.

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$30,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$94,369 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Cameron Craig Group System Engineer, Akamai Technologies System Engineer, PMG Employment Consultants System Engineer, and Ashley Ellis System Engineer.

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$35,000

$180,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$98,691 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Washington Defense Corporation System Engineer, Strategic Analytix, Inc. System Engineer, Career Cloud LLC (Agency) System Engineer, and CRW Innovations System Engineer.

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$36,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$69,194 Rank: 42nd

The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Ashley Ellis System Engineer and Infosys System Engineer.

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$28,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$85,929 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like U.S. Army System Engineer, The Job Jobber System Engineer, Ford Motor Company System Engineer, and Cameron Craig Group System Engineer.

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$39,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$81,635 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Blue Cross Blue Shield System Engineer, CyberCoders System Engineer, Nigel Frank International System Engineer, and Robert Half Technology System Engineer.

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$32,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$81,285 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Midwest Consulting Group, Inc. System Engineer, CRTechnical System Engineer, Boeing System Engineer, and CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$24,000

$172,000

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$67,481 Rank: 43rd

The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer and Robert Half Technology System Engineer.

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$20,000

$142,000

Salary Distribution
Montana$64,628 Rank: 47th

The average salary ranks 47th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$31,000

$109,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$77,091 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Innovative Solar Systems, LLC System Engineer, FMR LLC System Engineer, Dell System Engineer, and 3coast System Engineer.

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$28,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$63,487 Rank: 48th

The average salary ranks 48th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Spherion System Engineer.

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$27,000

$114,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$83,081 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Farm Credit Services of America, ACA System Engineer, Union Pacific System Engineer, First Data System Engineer, and Strategic Professional Resources System Engineer.

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$36,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$87,395 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer, Infosys System Engineer, Apollo Professional Solutions, Inc System Engineer, and Apollo Professional Solutions, Inc. System Engineer.

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$31,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$81,938 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Joseph Harry Ltd System Engineer, Specialty Systems, Inc. System Engineer, D-hunters Inc USA System Engineer, and Talener Group System Engineer.

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$27,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$87,794 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Los Alamos National Laboratory System Engineer, Infosys System Engineer, Impala Networks System Engineer, and Aerotek System Engineer.

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$22,000

$196,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$75,936 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International System Engineer, Robert Half Technology System Engineer, CyberCoders System Engineer, and IGT System Engineer.

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$31,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
New York$91,911 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Tech-Nique Partners System Engineer, Verizon System Engineer, Cisco System Engineer, and Princeton Consulting System Engineer.

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$24,000

$203,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$79,185 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like NORTH STAR System Engineer, Fast Switch System Engineer, PMG Employment Consultants System Engineer, and JPMorgan Chase System Engineer.

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$27,000

$158,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$78,788 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerosource, LLC. System Engineer, Affinity Executive Search System Engineer, Edwards Place of Employment System Engineer, and PMG Employment Consultants System Engineer.

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$29,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$80,896 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Gables Search Group System Engineer, NewCareers System Engineer, Genesis Financial Solutions System Engineer, and Cameron Craig Group System Engineer.

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$24,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$80,633 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like BNY Mellon System Engineer, Motion Recruitment Partners Prod System Engineer, ALSTOM System Engineer, and Lockheed Martin System Engineer.

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$28,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Rhode Island$66,355 Rank: 45th

The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer, City of Providence System Engineer, L&T Technology System Engineer, and Infosys System Engineer.

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$26,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$72,296 Rank: 37th

The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerotek System Engineer, Jones Grove IT Recruiting System Engineer, CyberCoders System Engineer, and The Job Jobber System Engineer.

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$25,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$83,451 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Thorndale Partners System Engineer, AutoZone System Engineer, PMG Employment Consultants System Engineer, and Protech Systems Group, Inc. System Engineer.

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$30,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$81,718 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Inovant LLC System Engineer, Cisco System Engineer, Samsung Electronics System Engineer, and Agile Premier System Engineer.

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$29,000

$160,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$73,500 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ConsultNet System Engineer, Robert Half Technology System Engineer, L-3 Communications System Engineer, and CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$25,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$108,795 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like EMF Industries System Engineer, Zachary Piper Solutions System Engineer, MCM Technology,LLC System Engineer, and Piper Companies System Engineer.

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$28,000

$240,000

Salary Distribution
Vermont$80,022 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders System Engineer.

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$26,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$89,772 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Expedia, Inc. System Engineer, T-Mobile System Engineer, Dell System Engineer, and Cisco System Engineer.

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$30,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$70,628 Rank: 39th

The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like GE Medical Systems, LLC System Engineer, Johnson Controls System Engineer, Element6 System Engineer, and Sun Plus Data Group Inc. System Engineer.

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$27,000

$133,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$89,165 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Honeywell System Engineer, Compqsoft Inc System Engineer, Manpower System Engineer, and Nigel Frank International System Engineer.

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$33,000

$172,000

Salary Distribution

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

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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