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Become A System Design Engineer

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Working As A System Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A System Design Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A System Design Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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System Design Engineer Career Paths

System Design Engineer
Project Engineer Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Program Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Process Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Engineer Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a System Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before System Design Engineer
Internship 5.7%
Engineer 4.9%
Consultant 2.8%
Top Careers After System Design Engineer
Consultant 5.3%
Engineer 4.9%

Do you work as a System Design Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
Show Salaries
$69,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$125,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a System Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a System Design Engineer in the United States is $93,440 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $69,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real System Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Systems Design/Architecture Engineer, SR. Staff 2 Samsung Research America, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 05, 2015 $188,000
Iphone and Mac System Design Engineer Manager Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 26, 2016 $184,222 -
$233,900
Systems Design/Architecture Engineer, Staff Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 10, 2016 $170,000
Systems Design/Architecture Engineer, Senior Staff Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 08, 2016 $170,000
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 14, 2016 $157,477 -
$191,000
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 04, 2016 $155,000 -
$168,200
Engineer V Systems Design Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 11, 2015 $153,889 -
$195,000
Staff Systems Design Engineer Sandisk Corporation San Jose, CA Jul 18, 2016 $150,000 -
$170,000
Systems Design Engineer 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 25, 2016 $150,000 -
$170,000
Staff Systems Design Engineer Xilinx, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 12, 2016 $150,000
Systems Design Engineer (Senior Wireless Systems Architect) Bose Corporation Framingham, MA Mar 22, 2016 $150,000
Staff Systems Design Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Jan 05, 2015 $150,000
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Newark, CA May 16, 2016 $150,000 -
$170,000
Hardware Systems Design Engineer (Electrical Engin Psikick, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 15, 2016 $150,000
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 27, 2016 $119,350 -
$168,200
System Design/Architecture Engineer Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 30, 2016 $119,350
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 14, 2016 $119,350 -
$151,300
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Mar 06, 2016 $119,350 -
$168,200
Systems Design Engineer Ip.Access, Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 21, 2015 $119,167
Senior Systems Design Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 12, 2016 $119,126 -
$135,000
Radio Frequency Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 13, 2015 $118,538 -
$123,538
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 30, 2015 $118,450 -
$161,700
System Design Engineer-Facts ABB Inc. Raleigh, NC Sep 03, 2016 $99,445 -
$103,900
Systems Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 30, 2015 $99,000 -
$145,400
System Design Engineer ESG Automotive, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Mar 14, 2016 $99,000
Systems Design Engineer 3 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 25, 2015 $98,900 -
$148,400
Systems Design Engineer 3 Apple Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 28, 2016 $98,363 -
$115,000
Systems Design Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA May 11, 2015 $98,000 -
$110,611
Systems Design Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Dec 16, 2016 $97,562 -
$127,562
System Design Engineer Philips Electronics North America Corporation Andover, MA Aug 09, 2016 $97,000

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Top Skills for A System Design Engineer

  1. System Design
  2. CAD
  3. Control Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Applied knowledge of mechanical system design, materials and regulatory/requirements in order to create mechanical system designs.
  • Analyzed circuits, investigating on-orbit anomalies of weather satellite, using Cadence software.
  • Designed, developed and integrated Landing Gear and primary mechanical navigation control systems for all aircraft models.
  • Interacted with system and component engineers to design architecture subsystems for the development of electrical harnesses.
  • Design and model component and valves installation, design floor penetration and composite ducts and brackets using CATIA V5.

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Top 10 Best States for System Design Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. California
  3. New Mexico
  4. Arizona
  5. Washington
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Texas
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Alabama
  • (2,218 jobs)
  • (10,711 jobs)
  • (323 jobs)
  • (1,012 jobs)
  • (2,157 jobs)
  • (490 jobs)
  • (4,304 jobs)
  • (557 jobs)
  • (142 jobs)
  • (901 jobs)

System Design Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,570 System Design 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 Create A Top Notch System Design Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

System Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.6%

Unknown

9.8%

Female

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Asian

16.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

5.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

21.9%

Mandarin

9.6%

French

9.6%

Carrier

8.2%

Russian

6.8%

Chinese

6.8%

German

5.5%

Gujarati

4.1%

Cantonese

4.1%

Arabic

4.1%

Vietnamese

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%

Italian

2.7%

Persian

2.7%

Bosnian

1.4%

Norwegian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%

Croatian

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

Serbian

1.4%
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System Design Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.8%

Arizona State University

6.4%

San Jose State University

6.4%

University of Washington

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

Purdue University

6.1%

University of Florida

5.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.8%

University of Southern California

5.5%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.6%

George Washington University

4.3%

Stanford University

4.0%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

3.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.7%

Wichita State University

3.7%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.4%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.4%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

30.3%

Mechanical Engineering

18.9%

Business

8.3%

Computer Engineering

6.0%

Computer Science

5.4%

Engineering

3.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.6%

Aerospace Engineering

3.2%

Drafting And Design

2.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Project Management

1.9%

Physics

1.9%

Computer Networking

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Civil Engineering

1.2%

Chemical Engineering

1.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.3%

Masters

32.2%

Other

12.0%

Associate

5.6%

Doctorate

4.2%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

0.5%
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