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Become A Senior Staff Systems Engineer

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Working As A Senior Staff Systems Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $117,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Staff Systems 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 Staff Systems 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 Staff Systems Engineer Career Paths

Senior Staff Systems Engineer
Principal Systems Engineer Program Manager Product Manager
Product Director
11 Yearsyrs
Principal Systems Engineer Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Principal Systems Engineer Program Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Manager, Systems Engineering Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Manager, Systems Engineering Information Technology Manager Director, Technical Operations
Vice President Of Technical Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Sales Engineering Manager
Director Of Sales Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program/Project Manager
Custom Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer Solutions Architect Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Systems Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Subject Matter Expert Deputy Program Manager
Manager Of Systems And Programming
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Staff Systems Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Systems Engineer 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Senior Staff Systems Engineer
Engineer 4.7%
Consultant 3.4%
Manager 2.4%
Top Careers After Senior Staff Systems Engineer
Consultant 3.0%

Do you work as a Senior Staff Systems Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$117,000
Show Salaries
$90,000
Min 10%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Median 50%
$150,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nvidia
Highest Paying City
Los Gatos, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
5.5 years
How much does a Senior Staff Systems Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Staff Systems Engineer in the United States is $117,189 per year or $56 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $90,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $151,000.

Real Senior Staff Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Staff Engineer, Control Systems Cheniere Energy, Inc. Portland, TX Jan 09, 2016 $180,000
Senior Staff Engineer, Control Systems Cheniere Energy, Inc. Gregory, TX Aug 09, 2016 $180,000
SR. Staff System Engineer Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 26, 2015 $172,000
SR. Staff Engineer, System Firmware Knowles Electronics, LLC Mountain View, CA Nov 07, 2016 $167,000
SR. Staff Engineer, System Firmware Knowles Electronics, LLC Mountain View, CA Jul 11, 2016 $167,000
Senior Staff Multimedia Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 14, 2016 $165,007 -
$205,700
SR. Staff System Architecture Engineer Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jul 07, 2014 $165,000
Senior Staff Systems Engineer/Graphics Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 20, 2014 $159,349 -
$177,200
Senior Staff Engineer, Systems Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Dec 30, 2014 $159,044 -
$212,500
SR. Staff Systems Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 23, 2016 $158,681 -
$188,500
Senior Staff Systems Engineer/Graphics Hardware Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA May 22, 2015 $158,434 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Test Engineer Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 09, 2016 $157,685
Senior Staff System Modeling Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 11, 2016 $156,828
Senior Staff Systems Engineer/Multimedia R&D Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Mar 12, 2015 $155,667 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 01, 2013 $139,838 -
$190,800
SR. Staff Systems Engineer Inovant LLC Foster City, CA Jun 30, 2016 $138,362 -
$158,000
SR. Staff Engineer, Systems & Signal Processing Inphi Corporation Santa Clara, CA Dec 02, 2013 $138,000
SR. Staff Engineer, Systems & Signal Processing Inphi Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 12, 2015 $138,000
Senior Staff System Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 12, 2016 $136,885 -
$200,900
Senior Staff Software/Systems Test Engineer/Manager Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 15, 2016 $136,115 -
$182,200
SR. Staff Systems Engineer Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Apr 08, 2013 $136,000 -
$151,700
Engineer, SR. Staff-Systems Integration Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 13, 2016 $135,483
Engineer, SR. Staff-Systems Design Broadcom Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Mar 17, 2015 $125,000
SR. Staff Systems Engineer Lam Research Corporation Tualatin, OR Mar 28, 2016 $125,000
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 24, 2015 $124,966 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2015 $124,966 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 05, 2015 $124,966 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jun 13, 2015 $124,966 -
$178,400
Senior Staff Systems Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 20, 2015 $124,966 -
$178,400

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Top Skills for A Senior Staff Systems Engineer

  1. Architecture
  2. Test Procedures
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed network-attached and Object-based intelligent storage prototypes as hardware lead for advanced storage architecture team.
  • Designed and improved functional and performance test procedures.
  • Performed Project Management (PM) and engineering activities to enable operational enhancement projects.
  • Evaluated proposed designs, test cases, and defects to innovate solutions and enhance product quality.
  • Provided key liaison between business and development in translating high-level business requirements to technical requirements for development utilizing DOORS.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Staff Systems Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Virginia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Texas
  7. Maryland
  8. Colorado
  9. New Jersey
  10. Alabama
  • (1,559 jobs)
  • (8,837 jobs)
  • (376 jobs)
  • (3,718 jobs)
  • (1,597 jobs)
  • (3,137 jobs)
  • (2,160 jobs)
  • (1,626 jobs)
  • (878 jobs)
  • (696 jobs)

Senior Staff Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.1%

Female

11.5%

Unknown

10.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.5%

Asian

18.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Black or African American

10.4%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

16.7%

French

16.7%

Spanish

16.7%

Italian

16.7%

Portuguese

8.3%

Carrier

8.3%

Mandarin

8.3%

Korean

8.3%
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Senior Staff Systems Engineer Education

Schools

George Washington University

14.3%

University of Southern California

8.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

6.3%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

Strayer University

5.4%

Texas A&M University

5.4%

Syracuse University

4.5%

Temple University

4.5%

Ohio State University

4.5%

George Mason University

4.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.5%

Stevens Institute of Technology

4.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.6%

San Diego State University

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

Johns Hopkins University

3.6%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.6%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.6%

Purdue University

3.6%

University of Florida

2.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

35.7%

Computer Science

10.2%

Business

7.1%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Physics

5.2%

Computer Engineering

4.3%

Systems Engineering

4.0%

Project Management

3.4%

Management

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.5%

Computer Networking

2.5%

Engineering

2.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Political Science

1.5%

Mathematics

1.5%

Finance

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Chemistry

1.2%

Information Technology

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

43.3%

Bachelors

32.8%

Other

11.8%

Doctorate

6.0%

Certificate

3.8%

Associate

2.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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