System engineering is one of the most popular engineering fields, with the demand for system engineers growing steadily. System engineers help design and implement software. But what separates them from software engineers is that system engineers play a significant role in the infrastructure side of the solution. Becoming a system engineer involves a mix of working with hardware and software to create the best system for their business objectives. Moreover, it oversees the engineering, management, and business aspects of a project. So if you have strong analytical and decision-making skills, you might want to consider a career as a system engineer.
Systems Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
While systems engineers can work in various industries, their job usually remains consistent. Systems engineers are responsible for assessing systems, identifying problems, providing solutions to the issues that arise, designing and maintaining systems, and brainstorming possible improvements that can be made to a system.
Some of the primary responsibilities of a system engineer include:
- Installing, testing, and maintaining operating systems, application software, and system management tools
- Communicating and collaborating with a variety of people such as vendors, clients, and IT staff regarding design, software and hardware components, installation, and usage of data
- Providing guidance on the design concepts and changes, costs, and support in the development
- Engaging in control procedures to ensure that systems are operational and efficient
- Evaluating emerging technologies to consider the implementation of upgrades for compatibility, usability, and security
Systems Engineer Career Paths
To start a career as a software engineer, you need to have some experience in software development and the ability to design, implement, and maintain hardware and network infrastructure. Systems engineers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, such as computer engineering or computer science. However, some senior-level positions may require a master’s degree. Below are the system’s engineer job requirements for different experience levels:
Entry-Level Systems Engineer
Many systems engineers start out in other entry-level roles, such as software engineer, systems administrator, or network administrator. The knowledge and experience gained in these jobs can prepare you for the work of a system engineer. To land an entry-level position, you need to have some experience with transport layer software and network layer software. In addition, you should have relevant experience with virtualization tools like VMware and Virtual Box. The average entry-level systems engineer salary in the United States is $86,342, according to Glassdoor.
Mid-Level Systems Engineer
To become a mid-level systems engineer, you need to have at least five years of working experience. Some mid-level systems engineer roles include IT support engineer, systems engineer, team lead-solutions engineer, and senior software consultant. According to Glassdoor, the average mid-level systems engineer salary in the United States is $115,098.
Senior-Level Systems Engineer
Senior systems engineers design new system architecture, troubleshoot and resolve system errors, monitor and maintain computer networks, and ensure that computer systems run efficiently. Besides that, they also train junior systems engineers and technicians. The senior-level systems engineer roles include senior solutions architect, IT senior manager, IT-architecture senior project manager, and senior lead data engineer. The average senior-level systems engineer salary in the United States is $124,618.
How to Find a Job as a Systems Engineer
A great place to start your job search is checking out job openings on online job sites. If you already know a company you would like to work for, you can go directly to the career section of that company’s website. And if you don’t see any job listings posted there, you might consider making a cold call. Reach out to people in the organization, ask about upcoming vacancies, and attach a copy of your resume.
You can also seek professional help from tech recruitment agencies like Employa. Employa works with companies that are actively looking for tech professionals, including systems engineers. You can check the available vacancies under our “Find Job” tab and apply if you think you would want to become a part of our client’s team.