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If you're looking for a job that has a lot of job opportunities tied to it, look no further. Systems engineers are in full demand from all sorts of companies across multiple industries. Everyone needs an "I.T." person in their midst because it's no secret that very few actually know how to use technology.

Sure, most people may refer to you as the I.T. person, but your job is much more complicated than that. Of course, the majority of your time will be spent managing the I.T. services and solving any issues that present themselves, but you will have days that you'll have to recover important emails or divert a disaster.

The only thing stopping you from becoming a systems engineer is a bachelor's degree. Once you've got that under your belt, you'll be on your way to becoming a systems engineer. A really important aspect of being a systems engineer is having the communication skills necessary. The hardest part of your job will be "dumbing" down technology terms so that people can understand what's going on with the I.T. system. Once you get through that, the rest of your job will be easy peasy.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a systems engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $43.32 an hour? That's $90,107 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 Systems Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many 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 creativity, detail oriented and interpersonal skills.

Learn more about what a Systems Engineer does

How To Become a Systems Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a systems engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.9% of systems engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.5% of systems engineers have master's degrees. Even though most 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 systems engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a 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 systems engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

Systems Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Systems Engineer

Systems Engineers in America make an average salary of $90,107 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $119,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $68,000 per year.
Average Systems Engineer Salary
$90,107 Yearly
$43.32 hourly
$68,000
10 %
$90,000
Median
$119,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Systems Engineer Education

Systems Engineer Majors

Systems Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

69.9 %

Masters

13.5 %

Associate

12.5 %

Top Colleges for Systems Engineers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

7. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

10. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

Top Skills For a 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 systems engineers listed hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Systems Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Systems Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Systems Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Systems Engineer Demographics

Systems Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
86%
Female
Female
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among systems engineers, 13.9% of them are women, while 86.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among systems engineers is White, which makes up 56.0% of all systems engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among systems engineers is Spanish at 31.8%.

Online Courses For Systems Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
VMware vSphere 6.0 Part 5 - VM Backup and Replication
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DNS Server installation and domain name / zone setup on Windows Server 2016 using the Server Manager & DNS MMC Consoles...

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Best States For a Systems Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a systems engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Nebraska, and Oregon. Systems engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $100,094. Whereas in California and Nebraska, they would average $97,386 and $92,069, respectively. While systems engineers would only make an average of $91,676 in Oregon, 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 Systems Engineer Jobs:
1,720
Highest 10% Earn:
$138,000
Location Quotient:
1.26 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. Nebraska

Total Systems Engineer Jobs:
377
Highest 10% Earn:
$116,000
Location Quotient:
0.91 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. Oregon

Total Systems Engineer Jobs:
922
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
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
Full List Of Best States For Systems Engineers

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Top 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 systems engineers and discovered their number of systems engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Infosys Public Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $80,142. IBM follows up with an average salary of $85,080, and then comes Tata Group with an average of $80,789. 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 systems engineer. The employers include Autodesk, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., and Deloitte

Most Common Employers For Systems Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Microsoft$132,458$63.68301
2Texas Instruments$116,043$55.79347
3Cisco$113,432$54.53569
4Raytheon Technologies$110,072$52.92375
5Intel$107,950$51.90603
6Lockheed Martin$107,773$51.811,106
7Northrop Grumman$105,767$50.85855
8Qualcomm$100,918$48.52520
9Charter Communications$100,020$48.09310
10Boeing$98,547$47.38578

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Becoming a Systems Engineer FAQs

How long does it take to become a Systems Engineer?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become a systems engineer. That is the time it takes to learn specific systems engineer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 7 to 9 years years to become a systems engineer.

How do I become a systems engineer?

Becoming a system engineer requires at least a bachelor's degree and experience working on a systems-level as an engineer.

Below are the steps you can follow to become a systems engineer:

Is a systems engineer a real engineer?

Yes, a systems engineer is a real engineer. It's an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on designing, integrating, and managing complex systems over their life cycles.

Is systems engineering a good career?

Yes, systems engineering is a good career. Being a system engineer does not only pay well, but it's also in high demand, has high job satisfaction, and offers a good work-life balance. Many systems engineers work, for example, full time during normal business hours, though some overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.

Is systems engineering in high demand?

Yes, system engineers are in high demand. Systems engineers are in full demand from all sorts of companies across multiple industries. In fact, system engineering positions are expected to grow 21% over the next ten years.

What do you study in systems engineering?

Systems engineers study systems, informational systems, industrial engineering, and computer engineering. Systems engineers usually have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering. Some senior-level positions may require a master's degree.

What education is needed to become a system engineer?

To become a systems engineer requires a college degree in systems engineering that focuses on interacting with professionals engaged in a broad field of disciplines.

Anyone considering a career in systems engineering (SE) should begin with an accredited bachelor's degree in systems, industrial, or other engineering disciplines.

What jobs do systems engineers get?

A systems engineer works in a job as the primary interface between management, customers, suppliers, and specialty engineers in the systems development process in a variety of industries (e.g., health, consumer electronics, military).

Systems Engineer vs. Software Engineer

A systems engineer is a professional who works on the overall management of engineering projects, while a software engineer is someone who designs and develops software applications and products.

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