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Become A Systems Engineer/Architect

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Working As A Systems Engineer/Architect

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $95,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Engineer/Architect Do

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

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How To Become A Systems Engineer/Architect

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Other Experience

To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.

Advancement

Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.

Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

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Systems Engineer/Architect Jobs

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Systems Engineer/Architect Career Paths

Systems Engineer/Architect
Solutions Architect Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Architect Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Architect Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Architect Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manager Service Manager Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manager Production Manager Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Service Director Director Of Technology And Services
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Deputy Program Manager Information Technology Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Architect Senior Architect Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Architect Project Architect Technology Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Architect Design Manager Systems Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Technical Manager Director, Technical Operations
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Manager, Systems Engineering
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Systems Engineer/Architect?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Engineer 3.1 years
Solutions Engineer 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Systems Engineer/Architect
Architect 7.3%
Consultant 5.4%
Engineer 5.2%
Manager 2.8%
Top Careers After Systems Engineer/Architect
Architect 11.0%
Engineer 7.8%
Consultant 7.4%
Owner 2.5%

Do you work as a Systems Engineer/Architect?

Average Yearly Salary
$95,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$69,000
Min 10%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Median 50%
$130,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Systems Engineer/Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Engineer/Architect in the United States is $95,400 per year or $46 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $69,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $130,000.

Real Systems Engineer/Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Product Engineering Architect Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 15, 2016 $190,000 -
$210,000
Product Engineering Architect Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 15, 2015 $182,863 -
$243,100
Engineering Architect Storm8, Inc. Redwood City, CA Dec 21, 2015 $175,000
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 15, 2016 $165,318 -
$185,000
Systems Engineer/Solutions Architect Knowledgent Group Inc. Quincy, MA Sep 10, 2015 $165,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Santa Clara, CA May 18, 2016 $164,382
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 19, 2016 $158,454 -
$167,500
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 26, 2016 $157,477 -
$185,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 25, 2016 $157,477
Engineer IV/Architect The Advisory Board Company Washington, DC Feb 07, 2015 $156,511
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Jun 27, 2016 $150,900 -
$173,600
Architect, Engineering Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. San Bruno, CA Jun 08, 2015 $150,300
Engineer IV/Architect The Advisory Board Company Washington, DC Oct 01, 2015 $149,058
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. Milpitas, CA Nov 15, 2015 $145,350 -
$185,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Dec 16, 2016 $128,500
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Nov 23, 2016 $127,900 -
$171,300
Systems Architect/Engineer, Paas DEV OPS Autodesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 26, 2016 $127,150 -
$167,100
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 01, 2015 $125,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Ewing, NJ Oct 24, 2016 $125,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca Inc. Framingham, MA Jan 08, 2016 $125,000
Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Bellevue, WA Jul 01, 2016 $123,344
Engineering Architect Cisco Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 15, 2015 $122,242 -
$187,500
Adobe Insight Architect Engineer Adobe Systems Incorporated Seattle, WA Nov 11, 2016 $100,800
PD Engineer II-Architect/Infrastructure Verizon Data Services LLC Waltham, MA Aug 22, 2016 $100,000
Systems Engineer/Architect E-It Professionals Corp Detroit, MI Jan 05, 2015 $100,000
Systems Engineer/Architect Innovative Electronics Group Pittsburgh, PA Sep 10, 2015 $98,821
Systems Engineering Test Architect IBM India Private Limited Fort Worth, TX Jul 19, 2015 $98,220
Document Management Architect and Documentum Systems ENG Eli Lilly and Company Indianapolis, IN Sep 25, 2015 $97,788
Websphere Systems Engineer & Architect Technosoft Corporation Detroit, MI Jun 13, 2016 $97,600

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Top Skills for A Systems Engineer/Architect

  1. Architecture
  2. Web Application
  3. Windows XP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Defined air-to-ground communications and system architecture requirements.
  • Developed a web application allowing to simultaneously view live video streams from four different racing tracks provided by different vendors.
  • Assess current environments, Develop, plan & execute the Windows XP to Windows 7 migration for various clients.
  • Served as Microsoft ecosystem service architect and project management, responsible for providing technical infrastructure solutions and services.
  • Created and presented training and database provisioning documentation used for the introduction of new operator services features.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Engineers/Architects

  1. California
  2. Maryland
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Washington
  5. Connecticut
  6. District of Columbia
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New York
  10. Texas
  • (13,695 jobs)
  • (3,465 jobs)
  • (270 jobs)
  • (3,104 jobs)
  • (940 jobs)
  • (1,078 jobs)
  • (500 jobs)
  • (3,037 jobs)
  • (3,655 jobs)
  • (5,785 jobs)

Systems Engineer/Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

76.8%

Female

13.0%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

55.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Asian

12.9%

Black or African American

11.6%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.3%

French

9.8%

Arabic

9.8%

Portuguese

7.3%

German

7.3%

Japanese

7.3%

Carrier

7.3%

Polish

4.9%

Italian

4.9%

Hebrew

2.4%

Greek

2.4%

Dari

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%
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Systems Engineer/Architect Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.4%

George Washington University

7.8%

More Tech Institute

7.8%

Stevens Institute of Technology

6.9%

Strayer University

6.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

National University

3.4%

The Academy

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.4%

Harvard University

3.4%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3.4%

Drexel University

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

Utah State University

3.4%

Virginia State University

3.4%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

2.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

20.0%

Electrical Engineering

13.1%

Business

11.2%

Architecture

7.2%

Computer Information Systems

6.3%

Computer Engineering

5.3%

Information Technology

4.9%

Civil Engineering

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Management

3.1%

Engineering

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Education

2.2%

Communication

2.0%

Architectural Engineering

2.0%

Project Management

1.8%

Computer Systems Security

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.2%

Masters

26.0%

Other

18.6%

Associate

6.8%

Doctorate

3.7%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.1%
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