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Become A Senior Engineer

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Working As A Senior Engineer

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

  • $79,315

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 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 Engineer jobs

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Senior Engineer Career Paths

Senior Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Chief Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Manager, Mobile
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager General Manager Database Administrator
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Software Engineer Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.5 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Standards Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Plant Engineer 4.1 years
Equipment Engineer 4.1 years
Welding Engineer 4.0 years
Senior Engineer 4.0 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Traffic Engineer 3.8 years
Product Engineer 3.6 years
Component Engineer 3.5 years
Liaison Engineer 3.5 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Knowledge Engineer 3.4 years
Plastics Engineer 3.4 years
Service Engineer 3.4 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Firmware Engineer 3.3 years
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
LAN Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Material Engineer 3.2 years
Research Engineer 2.9 years
Chemical Engineer 2.9 years
Senior Architect 2.8 years
Device Engineer 2.8 years
Database Engineer 2.8 years
Solutions Engineer 2.7 years
Value Engineer 2.5 years
Data Engineer 2.5 years
Site Engineer 2.3 years
Junior Engineer 2.1 years
Embedded Engineer 1.9 years
Graduate Engineer 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 18.3%
Consultant 4.4%
Top Employers After
Engineer 7.5%
Consultant 7.4%
Manager 4.5%

Senior Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.2%

Female

11.8%

Unknown

4.9%
Ethnicity

White

67.2%

Asian

20.1%

Hispanic or Latino

8.2%

Unknown

3.7%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.9%

Carrier

10.1%

German

8.4%

Chinese

8.3%

French

7.5%

Russian

5.8%

Japanese

5.7%

Mandarin

5.5%

Hindi

4.0%

Arabic

4.0%

Portuguese

3.2%

Italian

2.3%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.7%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Gujarati

0.9%

Romanian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%
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Senior Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Purdue University

7.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.7%

Texas A&M University

6.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.0%

Northeastern University

6.0%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.0%

University of Houston

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

University of Florida

4.4%

George Washington University

4.1%

Drexel University

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.1%

University of Southern California

3.8%

Wayne State University

3.7%

Johns Hopkins University

3.7%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.7%

Auburn University

3.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

20.6%

Mechanical Engineering

15.8%

Business

11.3%

Computer Science

10.8%

Civil Engineering

4.8%

Computer Engineering

4.2%

Engineering

4.0%

Chemical Engineering

3.5%

Management

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Physics

2.5%

Information Technology

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Finance

2.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.8%

Aerospace Engineering

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Computer Networking

1.6%

Mathematics

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.9%

Masters

34.5%

Other

11.7%

Doctorate

6.9%

Associate

3.4%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Real Senior Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior UI Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Oct 01, 2015 $300,000
Senior User Interface Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 23, 2015 $290,000
Senior UI Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Mar 23, 2015 $280,000
Senior Business Intelligence Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 10, 2015 $260,000
Senior User Interface User Experience Engineer Neurensic, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 18, 2016 $250,000
Senior Business Intelligence Engineer Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Aug 24, 2015 $240,000
Senior User Interface Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 14, 2015 $240,000
Senior User Interface Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Dec 15, 2015 $240,000
Senior User Interface Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 10, 2015 $240,000
Senior User Interface Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Dec 20, 2015 $240,000
Engineer (Senior Director, Software Engineering) Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2015 $232,824
Senior Engineer (Software Applications) White Ops, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2015 $225,000
Senior Engineer Pctest Engineering Laboratory, Inc. Columbia, MD Oct 01, 2015 $225,000
Senior Engineer (Software Applications) White Ops, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 19, 2015 $225,000
Senior Engineer-NVE Managed Nand PE Micron Technology, Inc. Boise, ID Aug 29, 2016 $119,881
SR. Cloud Engineer Workday, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Sep 02, 2015 $119,808 -
$130,000
SR. Engineer II Honda R&D Americas, Inc. Torrance, CA Sep 21, 2015 $119,788
SR. Engineer II, Automotive Advanced Planning Division Honda R&D Americas, Inc. Torrance, CA Sep 21, 2016 $119,788
SR Engineer Seagate Us LLC Cupertino, CA Apr 04, 2016 $119,350
SR Engineer Seagate Us LLC Cupertino, CA Sep 27, 2016 $119,350
Senior Engineer, Transport T-Mobile USA, Inc. Concord, CA Feb 12, 2016 $119,170
SR. I&C Engineer III CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $119,059 -
$161,894
Senior Engineer (Software) HSN, Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Aug 17, 2015 $99,965 -
$115,000
Senior Engineer PJM Interconnection, LLC Audubon, PA Oct 18, 2015 $99,964
Senior Engineer PTC Inc. San Diego, CA Mar 11, 2015 $99,902
Senior NPO Engineer Nokia Solutions and Networks Us LLC Irving, TX Aug 09, 2016 $99,878
Senior Engineer Caterpillar Inc. Rossville, IL Feb 10, 2016 $99,864
Senior Engineer Caterpillar Inc. Decatur, IL Oct 09, 2015 $99,804
Senior Skill Engineer UOP LLC Los Angeles, CA Jul 01, 2015 $99,798 -
$105,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Engineer

TestProceduresHardwareWindowsDataAnalysisSafetyWebSQLServerArchitectureStorageProjectManagementTechnicalSupportCADLinuxRSetupProductDevelopmentUnixTcp/IpC++Troubleshoot

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Top Senior Engineer Skills

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Hardware
  3. Windows
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recommend production and test procedures to manufacturing.
  • Team lead for a group of 15 software and hardware specialists providing support for all Digital's network products.
  • Migrated the enterprise from Windows NT to Windows 2000 active directory and the messaging system from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000.
  • Test Data collection, Statistical Data Analysis and prepare Test Summary Reports.
  • Engaged with project management and engineering disciplines for action item tracking/recommendation closure for process safety studies.

Top Senior Engineer Employers

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