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Become A Solutions Engineer

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Working As A Solutions Engineer

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $91,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Solutions Engineer Do

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.

Duties

Sales engineers typically do the following:

  • Prepare and deliver technical presentations explaining products or services to existing and prospective customers
  • Confer with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements
  • Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements and provide sales support
  • Secure and renew orders and arrange delivery
  • Plan and modify products to meet customer needs
  • Help clients solve problems with installed equipment
  • Recommend improved materials or machinery to customers, showing how changes will lower costs or increase production
  • Help in researching and developing new products

Sales engineers specialize in technologically and scientifically advanced products. They use their technical skills to explain the benefits of their products or services to potential customers and to show how their products or services are better than their competitors'. Some sales engineers work for the companies that design and build technical products. Others work for independent sales firms.

Many of the duties of sales engineers are similar to those of other salespersons. They must interest the client in buying their products or services, negotiate a price, and complete the sale. To do this, sales engineers give technical presentations during which they explain the technical aspects of the product and how it will solve a specific customer problem.

Some sales engineers, however, team with salespersons who concentrate on marketing and selling the product, which lets the sales engineer concentrate on the technical aspects of the job. By working as part of a sales team, each member is able to focus on his or her strengths and expertise. For more information on other sales occupations, see the profile on wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

In addition to giving technical presentations, sales engineers are increasingly doing other tasks related to sales, such as market research. They also may ask for technical requirements from customers and modify and adjust products to meet customers’ specific needs. Some sales engineers work with research and development (R&D) departments to help identify and develop new products.

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How To Become A Solutions Engineer

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a sales engineer. Successful sales engineers combine technical knowledge of the products or services they are selling with strong interpersonal skills.

Education

Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. However, a worker without a degree, but with previous sales experience as well as technical experience or training, sometimes holds the title of sales engineer. Workers who have a degree in a science, such as chemistry, or in business with little or no previous sales experience, also may be called sales engineers.

University engineering programs generally require 4 years of study. They vary in content, but all programs include courses in math and the physical sciences. In addition, most programs require developing strong computer skills.

Most engineering programs require students to choose an area of specialization. The most common majors are electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some engineering departments offer additional majors, such as chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering. However, some undergraduate programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize in a particular area either on the job or in graduate school.

Training

New graduates with engineering degrees typically need sales experience and training before they can work independently as sales engineers. Training covers general sales techniques and may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the employer's business practices, customers, procedures, and company culture. After the training period, sales engineers may continue to partner with someone who lacks technical skills yet excels in the art of sales.

It is important for sales engineers to continue their engineering and sales education throughout their careers. Much of their value to their employers depends on their knowledge of, and ability to sell, the latest technologies. Sales engineers in high-technology fields, such as information technology and advanced electronics, may find that their technical knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, requiring frequent retraining.

Advancement

Promotions may include a higher commission rate, a larger sales territory, or elevation to the position of supervisor or sales manager.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are a valuable characteristic for sales engineers, both for building relationships with clients and effectively communicating with other members of the sales team.

Problem-solving skills. Sales engineers must be able to listen to the customer’s desires and concerns, and then recommend solutions, possibly including customizing a product.

Self-confidence. Sales engineers should be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. 

Technological skills. Sales engineers must have extensive knowledge of the technologically sophisticated products they sell in order to explain their advantages and answer questions.

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Solutions Engineer Jobs

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Solutions Engineer Career Paths

Solutions Engineer
Solutions Architect Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Manager Regional Sales Manager
Channel Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Director Of Sales
Director, Strategic Accounts
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Manager Senior Manager
Practice Leader
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Subject Matter Expert Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Technician Specialist Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Technician Specialist Senior System Administrator
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Owner Business Development Director
Solutions Director
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Consultant/Project Manager Technical Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Purchasing Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technology Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Manager Technical Support Manager
Technical Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Architect Project Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Solutions Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Engineer 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.1 years
Solutions Engineer 3.0 years
Pre Sales Engineer 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Solutions Engineer
Consultant 5.9%
Engineer 3.9%
Internship 3.7%
Manager 2.8%
Top Careers After Solutions Engineer
Consultant 8.4%
Engineer 3.4%

Do you work as a Solutions Engineer?

Solutions Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.0%

Female

14.9%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Asian

13.4%

Black or African American

10.7%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.1%

Carrier

11.1%

Chinese

8.6%

French

7.4%

Japanese

6.2%

Portuguese

4.9%

Russian

3.7%

German

3.7%

Mandarin

2.5%

Malay

2.5%

Thai

2.5%

Tamil

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Gujarati

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Dutch

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%
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Solutions Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.6%

University of Houston

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.4%

University of Texas at Austin

5.4%

George Mason University

5.4%

George Washington University

5.1%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

Purdue University

4.7%

University of South Florida

4.4%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.4%

More Tech Institute

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

University of Washington

3.4%

University of Central Florida

3.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.0%

Business

15.2%

Electrical Engineering

10.5%

Information Technology

7.5%

Computer Information Systems

7.4%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Computer Networking

4.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.3%

Management Information Systems

3.2%

Information Systems

3.1%

Management

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Project Management

2.3%

Engineering

2.0%

Marketing

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

Industrial Engineering

1.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Education

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.9%

Masters

24.6%

Other

16.2%

Associate

9.2%

Certificate

2.9%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$91,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$61,000
Min 10%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Median 50%
$136,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Mateo, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Solutions Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Solutions Engineer in the United States is $91,556 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $136,000.

Real Solutions Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Open Source Analytics Solution Engineer IBM Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 23, 2016 $195,648
Solution Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY Aug 24, 2016 $181,400
Solution Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY Aug 16, 2016 $181,400
ADS Solutions Engineer Google Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 29, 2016 $177,000
Solutions Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. North Bergen, NJ Apr 25, 2016 $170,000
Solutions Engineer Cloudflare, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 07, 2016 $169,000
Solutions Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. Fairfax, VA Jul 11, 2016 $160,000
Solutions Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 10, 2015 $160,000 -
$179,988
Solutions Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. Wayne, NJ Aug 22, 2016 $160,000
Solution Engineer III The TJX Companies, Inc. Framingham, MA Aug 15, 2016 $160,000
Partner Solutions Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 29, 2016 $157,250
Lead Solution Engineer-Customer Facing Capriza Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 17, 2016 $155,000
Solutions Engineer Edgecast Networks, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Apr 27, 2015 $94,505
Applications Solutions Engineer General Networks Corporation Glendale, CA Sep 10, 2015 $94,286
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Lake Mary, FL Oct 26, 2015 $94,106 -
$95,000
Solution Engineer Integrated Research Inc. Denver, CO May 15, 2015 $93,974 -
$110,500
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Boston, MA Jun 21, 2016 $93,518 -
$105,000
Solution Engineer Stanley Security Solution, Inc. Indianapolis, IN Jul 20, 2016 $93,293
Solution Engineer Databricks, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 15, 2016 $93,184 -
$150,000
BI Solutions Engineer Third I Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 05, 2016 $69,850
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Lake Mary, FL Nov 23, 2016 $69,847 -
$118,500
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX Sep 22, 2015 $69,846 -
$95,000
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Lake Mary, FL Sep 22, 2015 $69,846 -
$95,000
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Lake Mary, FL Nov 16, 2015 $69,805 -
$105,000
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Lake Mary, FL Jun 06, 2016 $69,805 -
$118,500
Solutions Engineer Ingenico Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 14, 2016 $69,800 -
$89,800
Solution Engineer Deloitte Consulting LLP Norfolk, VA May 06, 2016 $69,764 -
$118,500

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Top Skills for A Solutions Engineer

  1. Technical Support
  2. Customer Service
  3. Windows XP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform technical support remotely for 1000+ users diagnosing and troubleshooting hardware/software issues including drivers, applications, and programs.
  • Coached and mentored professional and technically competent teams focused on customer service and support.
  • Install, configure, repair and manage Windows operating systems (Windows XP, Vista, Windows7 and Windows 8).
  • Gathered requirements from internal customers on new deployments of their applications and determined if the existing infrastructure could support those deployments.
  • Utilize MySQL daily to execute company-wide database updates, inserts and architectural data modifications.

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Top 10 Best States for Solutions Engineers

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. New York
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Colorado
  6. New Jersey
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Texas
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Illinois
  • (16,866 jobs)
  • (3,203 jobs)
  • (5,300 jobs)
  • (3,674 jobs)
  • (3,196 jobs)
  • (2,532 jobs)
  • (616 jobs)
  • (7,326 jobs)
  • (1,142 jobs)
  • (3,870 jobs)

Top Solutions Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Solutions Engineer Employers

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