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Become A Project Engineer/Software Engineer

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Working As A Project Engineer/Software Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $104,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Engineer/Software Engineer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Project Engineer/Software Engineer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Project Engineer/Software Engineer Career Paths

Project Engineer/Software Engineer
Software Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Systems Engineer Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Project Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Consultant Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Administrator Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Leader Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Project Engineer/Software Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Designer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Project Engineer/Software Engineer
Internship 6.9%
Programmer 4.1%
Top Careers After Project Engineer/Software Engineer
Consultant 2.5%

Do you work as a Project Engineer/Software Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$104,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$77,000
Min 10%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
Menlo Park, CA
Highest Paying State
Vermont
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Project Engineer/Software Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Engineer/Software Engineer in the United States is $104,968 per year or $50 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $77,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Project Engineer/Software Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Project Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Mar 21, 2016 $149,000
Software Engineer/Project Management Knowledgent Group Inc. Warren, NJ May 10, 2016 $140,000
Project Engineer, Software Dolby Laboratories, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2012 $129,022 -
$146,200
Project Engineer, SW Applications Dolby Laboratories, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 01, 2013 $124,987 -
$140,000
Project Engineer, Software Test Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 13, 2013 $117,146 -
$134,000
Project Engineer for Software Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Jul 11, 2016 $110,000
Project Software Engineer Whispertext, Inc. CA Aug 03, 2016 $110,000
Project Engineer for Software Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Nov 07, 2016 $110,000
Project Engineer-Software FMC Technologies, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 03, 2016 $106,080 -
$177,717
Project Engineer, Embedded Software CNH Industrial America LLC New Holland, PA Feb 07, 2015 $100,360
Software Project Engineer Byteware, Inc. Suwanee, GA Sep 27, 2011 $98,000
Software Localization Project Engineer Xerox Corporation Rochester, NY May 15, 2010 $96,625
SR. Project Engineer/Software Integration Engineer General Motors Company Milford, MI Oct 01, 2010 $95,520
Project Software Engineer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA May 11, 2016 $94,500
Project Engineer, Embedded Software Rockwell Automation, Inc. Mayfield Heights, OH Aug 31, 2010 $93,510
Project Engineer/Electric Drive Software Engineer General Motors Company Torrance, CA Aug 06, 2011 $86,748
Project Software Engineer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Aug 15, 2016 $86,500
Software Project Engineer Dalet Digital Media Systems USA, Inc. New York, NY Feb 03, 2014 $82,000
Project Engineer, US ESS Mail Finishing Software D Pitney Bowes Inc. Shelton, CT Oct 21, 2010 $80,995 -
$89,500
Project Engr, US ESS Mail Finishing Software DEV. Pitney Bowes Inc. Shelton, CT Dec 26, 2009 $80,995 -
$89,500
Project Software Engineer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Jan 08, 2016 $80,500
Project Software Engineer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA May 01, 2014 $80,200
Project Software Engineer Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. Phillips, WI Oct 01, 2012 $79,227
Project Software Engineer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA Sep 18, 2014 $75,000
Software Project Engineer The Veeder-Root Company Simsbury, CT Jun 02, 2011 $73,410 -
$107,500
Project Engineer Embedded Software Validation Navistar, Inc. Melrose Park, IL Dec 13, 2010 $73,008
Software Project Engineer United Printing Equipment & Material Corporation Skokie, IL Dec 19, 2007 $73,000

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Top Skills for A Project Engineer/Software Engineer

  1. Software Development
  2. Database
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Hired as Project Engineer focused on supporting an IC software development and maintenance organization.
  • Determined bid specification had inadequate database architecture.
  • Developed an eVent Silverlight web application.
  • Project management and implementation/conversion of new software for office sites.
  • Created, documented, implemented and supported script generation applications utilizing Microsoft SQL Server, PowerBuilder and Excel.

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Top 10 Best States for Project Engineer/Software Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Virginia
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Texas
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. District of Columbia
  10. North Carolina
  • (7,237 jobs)
  • (19,875 jobs)
  • (6,448 jobs)
  • (640 jobs)
  • (6,750 jobs)
  • (4,793 jobs)
  • (4,371 jobs)
  • (2,997 jobs)
  • (979 jobs)
  • (2,423 jobs)

Project Engineer/Software Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

65.3%

Female

20.6%

Unknown

14.1%
Ethnicity

White

50.8%

Asian

25.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.8%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

21.4%

Chinese

14.3%

Mandarin

14.3%

Bulgarian

7.1%

Czech

7.1%

Greek

7.1%

Burmese

7.1%

Slovak

7.1%

Spanish

7.1%

Thai

7.1%
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Project Engineer/Software Engineer Education

Schools

University of Texas at Dallas

8.0%

Purdue University

6.9%

Texas A&M University

5.7%

California State University - Fullerton

5.7%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.7%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

University of Southern California

5.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.7%

San Jose State University

4.6%

University of Central Florida

4.6%

Wayne State University

4.6%

Bradley University

4.6%

University of California - Irvine

4.6%

Georgia College and State University

4.6%

University of Florida

3.4%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.4%

Wright State University

3.4%

Saint John's University - New York

3.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

35.7%

Computer Engineering

15.1%

Electrical Engineering

12.9%

Business

8.0%

Computer Information Systems

3.6%

Computer Applications

3.3%

Information Technology

3.0%

Physics

2.5%

Mechanical Engineering

2.5%

Mathematics

2.2%

Management

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Engineering Technology

1.1%

Systems Engineering

0.8%

Psychology

0.8%

Project Management

0.8%

General Studies

0.8%

Biology

0.8%
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Degrees

Masters

45.0%

Bachelors

41.8%

Other

5.0%

Doctorate

3.7%

Associate

2.3%

Certificate

1.1%

Diploma

1.1%
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