Working as a Senior Systems Engineer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior systems engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.85 an hour? That's $97,451 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 21% and produce 284,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Systems Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many senior systems engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, creativity and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior systems engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.8% of senior systems engineers included hardware, while 8.2% of resumes included architecture, and 6.1% of resumes included procedures. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the senior systems engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior systems engineers actually find jobs in the technology and professional industries.

How To Become a Senior Systems Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a senior systems engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.5% of senior systems engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 36.4% of senior systems engineers have master's degrees. Even though most senior systems engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a senior systems engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior systems engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior systems engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior systems engineer. In fact, many senior systems engineer jobs require experience in a role such as systems engineer. Meanwhile, many senior systems engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as systems administrator or network administrator.

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Average Salary$97,451
Job Growth Rate21%

Senior Systems Engineer Jobs

Senior Systems Engineer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Senior Systems Engineer

Senior Systems Engineers in America make an average salary of $97,451 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $121,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $78,000 per year.
Average Salary
$97,451

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Senior Systems Engineer To Build High Performance Ultra-Low Latency Environment
Senior Systems Engineer To Build High Performance Ultra-Low Latency Environment
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$187,83007/29/2020
$187,830
Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$110,00007/29/2020
$110,000
SR. Systems/Platform Engineer-Private Cloud & ?Data Center Solutions
SR. Systems/Platform Engineer-Private Cloud & ?Data Center Solutions
Randstad
Randstad
07/10/2020
07/10/2020
$125,22007/10/2020
$125,220
Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
Robert Half
Robert Half
07/08/2020
07/08/2020
$110,00007/08/2020
$110,000
Senior Systems Engineer (16603)
Senior Systems Engineer (16603)
American University
American University
07/06/2020
07/06/2020
$90,00007/06/2020
$90,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.6 %

Female

13.2 %

Unknown

4.2 %
Ethnicity

White

54.0 %

Asian

16.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.2 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.2 %

Carrier

12.3 %

French

8.6 %
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Senior Systems Engineer Education

Schools

George Washington University

8.3 %

University of Maryland - University College

6.9 %

More Tech Institute

6.4 %

Arizona State University

6.3 %
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Majors

Computer Science

20.2 %

Electrical Engineering

16.4 %

Business

10.8 %

Information Technology

8.7 %
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.5 %

Masters

36.4 %

Associate

7.8 %

Certificate

4.1 %
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Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Senior Systems Engineer

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Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Senior Systems Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.8% of senior systems engineers listed hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and creativity are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Systems Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior systems engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Senior systems engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $122,672. Whereas in California and New Jersey, they would average $113,139 and $105,755, respectively. While senior systems engineers would only make an average of $105,689 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Senior Systems Engineer Jobs:
2,782
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Senior Systems Engineer Jobs:
477
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Virginia

Total Senior Systems Engineer Jobs:
6,067
Highest 10% Earn:
$142,000
Location Quotient:
2.36
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Senior Systems Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a senior systems engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless senior systems engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Senior Systems Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless senior systems engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Top Senior Systems Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ senior systems engineers and discovered their number of senior systems engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that IBM was the best, especially with an average salary of $84,673. Infosys Public Services, Inc. follows up with an average salary of $79,247, and then comes Qualcomm with an average of $105,803. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a senior systems engineer. The employers include The New York Times Company, All Covered, and TEKsystems

1. IBM
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$84,673
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
2,097+
2. Infosys Public Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$79,247
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
1,472+
3. Qualcomm
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$105,803
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
1,174+
4. Lockheed Martin
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$78,520
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
611+
5. Raytheon
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$78,151
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
416+
6. Science Applications International ...
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$78,245
Senior Systems Engineers Hired: 
343+

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Updated October 2, 2020