What does a Systems Engineer do?
Systems Engineers hold senior positions at IT departments and software development companies where they guide the creation, installation and support for computing systems. They meet with clients to determine their computing and information management needs, then use their technical knowledge to design functional applications, databases and networks to fulfill those expectations. Systems Engineers determine the hardware essential to support an organization’s software and computing functions.
Systems Engineers lead a team of programmers and IT support staff to install and configure new systems, testing for bugs and errors before launching each new feature. They train their team on data security, troubleshooting processes and reporting expectations to ensure consistent support for clients and users. Systems Engineers create automated scripts to improve system efficiency and make it easier for their team to communicate about technical developments.
Systems Engineer skills and qualifications
A Systems Engineer candidate will require a number of prerequisite skills and qualifications in order to be effective in this position, such as:
- Candidates need creativity to imagine innovative, effective new solutions and designs.
- Logic and reasoning are important when troubleshooting difficult issues.
- Candidates must be able to develop solutions to problems, as well as manage multiple issues at the same time.
- Understanding and appropriately responding to feedback is an important aspect of this position.
- Calculus, trigonometry and other advanced math skills are commonly used in analysis and design.
- Both oral and written communication skills are vital to relaying important information, training new staff members and communicating about solutions to complex problems.
Systems Engineer salary expectations
A Systems Engineer makes an average of $101,791 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Systems Engineer education and training requirements
The typical education and training for a Systems Engineer career includes post-secondary education such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in engineering. However, there are specialty roles within systems engineering that have specific educational requirements. For example, mechanical systems engineering or computer systems engineering are specific degrees leading to a specialization in related fields. On-the-job training is generally not required unless the individual is attempting to transition into a higher or managerial position.
Systems Engineer experience requirements
There may be opportunities for a young person interested in a career as a Systems Engineer to attend summer camps geared toward engineering training. These camps prepare candidates for their future careers. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related science is usually required for candidates hoping to begin working in the field. However, it is generally unnecessary for Systems Engineers that are seeking entry-level positions to have specific experience before applying.
In many cases, entry-level Systems Engineers start off working under the supervision of trained Systems Engineers and thus learn the functions and requirements of the job hands-on. Independence during projects occurs as learning is mastered on the job over time. After obtaining enough related experience in this field as well as earning a master’s degree in a related field, a Systems Engineer may become a technical specialist.
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