Learn About Being a Systems Engineer

What Does a Systems Engineer Do?

Systems engineers are critical to the development, maintenance and security of a company’s technology infrastructure. As a systems engineer, you will be responsible for installing, testing, configuring and optimizing computer hardware and software systems. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Monitor existing systems to ensure structural integrity.
  • Oversee the development and installation of new hardware and software.
  • Install and configure operating systems and other software and routinely test installed software for glitch detection and other issues.
  • Provide technical direction to IT support staff.
  • Ensure constant availability of technical resources.
  • Design and implement security systems and redundant backups to maintain data safety.
  • Write custom scripts to reduce the need for human intervention.



Typical Salary

Common salary in US: $91,342 yearly
Typical salaries range from $59,741 – $139,657 yearly
Find more information on Indeed Salary

Common Skills and Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Engineering or related field required (Master’s preferred)
  • 6+ years’ experience in system engineering and IT support required
  • Proven track record of success in installation and maintenance of LINUX-based software
  • Experience creating automated scripts and software preferred
  • Willingness to sign confidentiality agreement and protect trade secrets
  • Exceptional networking skills and knowledge

How to Become a Systems Engineer

  1. Familiarize yourself with industry requirements
  2. To qualify for systems engineer positions, you should have a thorough understanding of both business and engineering as well as experience installing and maintaining business software and hardware. Some employers also require additional credentials, such as a license from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) or International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

  3. Gain the necessary education
  4. While there is no national requirement to become a systems engineer, most employers require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in systems engineering, computer science, information systems, mathematics or another related field.

  5. Learn the right technical skills
  6. To become a systems engineer, you should have in-depth technical knowledge of how technology systems are designed, built and maintained. Successful systems engineers also have expertise in a wide variety of computer hardware and software, desktop and mobile operating systems, cybersecurity best practices, data backup and management and automation. You should also have a working knowledge of popular operating systems including Microsoft, Apple and Linux.

  7. Build relevant soft skills
  8. To prepare for a career in systems engineering you should focus on developing skills in problem-solving, interpersonal communication and team leadership.

  9. Prepare for your interview
  10. Always take time to prepare a few speaking points before meeting with an employer. When interviewing for a job as a systems engineer, it’s important to highlight your technical skills and relevant education as well as soft skills such as written and verbal communication, project management, patience and attention to detail. Be prepared to share examples of how you’ve overcome complex engineering issues in previous experiences.

Working as a systems engineer is an exciting and fulfilling career with plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement. Following these steps can help you find and prepare for your next systems engineer job.

Example Systems Engineer Job Description

We’re looking for a talented Systems Engineer who has the experience necessary to help build out our existing infrastructure and troubleshoot problems as they arise. We’re a growing company with a team of highly dedicated IT professionals who give their all to help our enterprise flourish. The ideal candidate for this position can prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the construction and expansion of our systems so updates and other maintenance tasks don’t get in the way of daily operations. We’re interested in automating as many of our processes as possible to reduce the potential for human error.

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