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Become A Senior System Designer

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Working As A Senior System Designer

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

  • $88,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior System Designer 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 System Designer

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 System Designer Career Paths

Senior System Designer
Lead Designer Art Director Vice President
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Project Manager Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Senior Designer Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Designer Senior Designer Senior Engineer
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer
Systems Architect
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Design Supervisor Engineering Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Supervisor Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Supervisor Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Lead Systems Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Team Leader Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior System Designer?

Average Yearly Salary
$88,000
Show Salaries
$48,000
Min 10%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$163,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Colorado
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Senior System Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior System Designer in the United States is $88,985 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $48,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $163,000.

Real Senior System Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Systems Designer Activision Publishing, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Aug 13, 2016 $160,000
Senior Designer, Security Systems Solutions NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 31, 2011 $140,000
SR C++ Designer of NAT. Language Proc. Systems Teknavo Us Inc. New York, NY Jun 12, 2015 $126,422
SR. Network System Designer Advanced Network Systems Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2010 $120,000
Senior Systems Designer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Feb 16, 2010 $110,000
Senior Systems Design Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Jan 03, 2011 $105,000
Senior Systems Designer Molten Games, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 30, 2013 $95,000
Senior Systems Designer Trion Worlds, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 23, 2012 $83,595 -
$95,000
Senior Systems Designer Trion Worlds, Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 01, 2012 $83,595 -
$95,000
Senior Information Systems Security Designer ATEM Corporation Santa Clara, CA Apr 19, 2010 $80,891
Senior System Designer Consultants Exchange USA, Inc. Addison, TX Jan 13, 2010 $72,800
SR. Photovoltaic System Designer Solarcity Phoenix, AZ Aug 08, 2016 $68,702

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Top Skills for A Senior System Designer

  1. CAD
  2. Assembly Drawings
  3. Control Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design with AutoCAD drafting of HVAC and plumbing systems for commercial office buildings, medical facility design and medical facility upgrades.
  • Lead documentation review efforts including detailed component drawings, assembly drawings and purchased component specifications.
  • Lead electrical & mechanical designer of control systems for packaging machines, testing machines, process ovens, and automated assemblies.
  • Served as Lead designer and developer on a Client Server application using PowerBuilder/SQL Server.
  • Tested and debugged PLC program operation with the switchgear under test in test bay.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior System Designers

  1. Colorado
  2. Washington
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Minnesota
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Utah
  7. Virginia
  8. Texas
  9. Alabama
  10. Maryland
  • (605 jobs)
  • (412 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (496 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (1,643 jobs)
  • (941 jobs)
  • (360 jobs)
  • (1,072 jobs)

Senior System Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.2%

Female

9.7%

Unknown

6.0%
Ethnicity

White

58.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Asian

11.7%

Black or African American

11.0%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.0%

Dutch

10.0%

Japanese

10.0%

French

10.0%

Carrier

10.0%

Urdu

10.0%

Arabic

10.0%

Italian

10.0%
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Senior System Designer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

9.1%

University of Texas at Austin

9.1%

Sinclair Community College

5.5%

A-Technical College

5.5%

University of Houston

5.5%

George Washington University

5.5%

University of Iowa

5.5%

Kent State University

5.5%

Lee College

5.5%

Indian Hills Community College

5.5%

Macomb Community College

5.5%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.6%

Ferris State University

3.6%

Thomas Nelson Community College

3.6%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.6%

Highline Community College

3.6%

University of Michigan - Dearborn

3.6%

Davenport University

3.6%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.6%

University of West Florida

3.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

14.6%

Electrical Engineering

14.1%

Drafting And Design

10.8%

Business

9.7%

Mechanical Engineering

9.7%

Music

4.3%

Graphic Design

4.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

4.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Engineering

3.2%

Industrial Technology

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Engineering Technology

2.2%

Computer Programming

2.2%

Theatre

2.2%

Management

2.2%

Photography

1.6%

Architecture

1.6%

Biomedical Engineering

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.7%

Other

23.9%

Associate

17.3%

Masters

14.1%

Certificate

5.6%

Doctorate

3.5%

Diploma

2.8%
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