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Become A Senior Computer Engineer

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Working As A Senior Computer Engineer

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

  • $110,460

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Computer 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 Senior Computer 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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Senior Computer Engineer jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Computer Engineer 3.0 years
Solutions Engineer 2.7 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 3.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.7%
Engineer 3.5%

Senior Computer Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.5%

Female

9.5%

Unknown

4.0%
Ethnicity

White

68.0%

Asian

15.0%

Hispanic or Latino

10.5%

Unknown

6.0%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Senior Computer Engineer Education

Schools

University of Southern California

15.6%

University of Phoenix

9.4%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6.3%

Oakland University

6.3%

York Technical Institute

6.3%

University of Louisville

6.3%

George Mason University

6.3%

Johns Hopkins University

6.3%

Castleton State College

3.1%

Syracuse University

3.1%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.1%

More Tech Institute

3.1%

Community College of the Air Force

3.1%

Siena Heights University

3.1%

Saint Petersburg College

3.1%

University of Bridgeport

3.1%

Brigham Young University

3.1%

University of Dallas

3.1%

Suffolk County Community College

3.1%

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

22.7%

Electrical Engineering

17.0%

Computer Engineering

10.2%

Business

8.0%

Computer Information Systems

6.8%

Mathematics

3.4%

Marketing

3.4%

Information Technology

3.4%

Engineering

3.4%

Management

2.3%

Finance

2.3%

Architecture

2.3%

Communications Technology

2.3%

Biomedical Engineering

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Political Science

1.1%

Information Sciences

1.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.6%

Other

23.1%

Masters

20.2%

Associate

10.6%

Doctorate

7.7%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

1.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Computer Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR CAD Engineer-PDV Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 17, 2015 $182,000 -
$202,000
Senior Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 13, 2015 $180,000 -
$200,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Flyby Media, Inc. New York, NY Mar 01, 2014 $175,000
Senior CAD Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Austin, TX Sep 10, 2012 $175,000
SR. Computer Vision Engineer Flyby Media New York, NY Jan 09, 2015 $175,000
Senior CAD Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor, L.L.C. Austin, TX Sep 03, 2012 $175,000
SR. CAD Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 25, 2015 $162,000 -
$175,807
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Meta Company Redwood City, CA Sep 13, 2016 $160,000
SR. Physical Design CAD Engineer Apple Inc. Austin, TX Jun 24, 2015 $153,000 -
$173,000
Senior Computational Geometry Engineer Otherlab, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 24, 2016 $150,000
Senior Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 11, 2015 $145,000 -
$165,000
Senior Engineer, Computer Vision Magic Leap, Inc. Mountain View, CA May 18, 2016 $145,000
SR. Data & Computer Vision Engineer Netgear, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 07, 2016 $140,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Magic Leap, Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 03, 2015 $135,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Van GOGH Imaging McLean, VA Aug 28, 2013 $114,000
Senior CAD Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Apr 12, 2016 $113,834
Senior CAD Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 23, 2012 $110,000 -
$120,000
Senior Computer Engineer Wayne Fueling Systems LLC Richardson, TX Sep 28, 2016 $110,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Perceptimed, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 12, 2013 $110,000
Senior Computer Engineer Simmons Sirvey Corporation Richardson, TX Sep 27, 2016 $110,000
Senior 3D Computer Vision Engineer Vangogh Imaging, Inc. McLean, VA Jan 09, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Senior Computer Engineer Selling Source LLC Las Vegas, NV Jul 29, 2016 $109,262
Senior CAD Engineer Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation San Diego, CA Sep 01, 2015 $95,930 -
$100,000
Senior Computational Mechanics Engineer Third Wave Systems Eden Prairie, MN Mar 09, 2015 $95,000
SR. CAD Engineer 1 Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Austin, TX Aug 05, 2015 $95,000 -
$115,000
Senior CAD Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 23, 2016 $94,200 -
$153,000
Computer Tomography Imaging Senior Engineer Instarecon, Inc. Champaign, IL Oct 01, 2015 $94,000 -
$110,000
Senior CAD Engineer Ensphere Solutions Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 30, 2012 $91,936 -
$105,000
Senior CAD Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 12, 2014 $90,400 -
$146,900
Senior Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis Engin Deere & Company Waterloo, IA Sep 30, 2013 $90,000 -
$100,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Computer Engineer

Hardware/SoftwarePCWindowsServerRemoteSupportDesktopSupportUnixDatabaseComputerSystemsLANCitrixSetupManagementSystemSQLServerASPC++LogicActiveDirectoryOSProjectManagementVmware

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Top Senior Computer Engineer Skills

  1. Hardware/Software
  2. PC
  3. Windows Server
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Consulted with customers on hardware needs and recommend hardware/software solutions.
  • Configured Exchange for Outlook Web Access using RPC over HTTP.
  • Administrated Windows Server, Web Server and network.
  • Standardized configuration of large multi-platform UNIX network.
  • Developed a complete tracking system with video cameras, database, and visualization for live broadcasting in ATP tennis stadiums.

Top Senior Computer Engineer Employers