Learn About Being a Systems Engineer in 2022

What Does a Systems Engineer Do? – If you want to be a systems engineer, you need to have a strong background in computer science, engineering, and mathematics. These are the three main areas of knowledge that are needed for system engineers. In addition, you’ll also need to have experience working with software development languages and tools. If you’re thinking of becoming a systems engineer, now is the time to do your research.

How to Become a Systems Engineer - Best School News

How to Become a Systems Engineer in 2022

Systems engineering is the process of designing, testing, and maintaining systems. A systems engineer oversees andithub of a computer system, helping to ensure that the system functions as intended. Systems engineers must have strong problem solving abilities, be able to read and write code, and be able to think outside the box when it comes to solving problems.

What is Systems Engineer?

A systems engineer is a professional who is responsible for the design, implementation and operation of computer systems. They may be working with government or commercial organizations, or in industry. Systems engineers are often used in such industries as banking, defense, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing.

What does a systems engineer do?

Systems engineering is the process of designing, building, testing and maintaining computer systems. This can include software development, network design, data storage, applications and services. In many industries, such as healthcare, transportation and manufacturing, systems engineering is a critical part of the product development process. As a systems engineer, you are responsible for ensuring that all computer systems operate safely and efficiently.

Systems engineers oversee all aspects of a project or system in a variety of fields, such as software, transportation, product development and manufacturing. Their job is to develop a system that creates a product from the beginning to the end. Systems engineers work in multiple industries, and their duties vary accordingly. Here are some examples of what a systems engineer might do:

  • Studying and monitoring existing systems to ensure structural integrity and assess required upgrades

  • Researching available software, hardware and equipment necessary to optimize output

  • Installing new software, operating systems and equipment

  • Designing and implementing security systems

  • Ensuring safety procedures are in place

  • Providing technical assistance and backup to others involved in the process

  • Monitoring all software, hardware, equipment and systems continuously and setting up protocols for feedback

  • Working with professionals in other fields, such as marketing and management, to troubleshoot and find optimal solutions

Average salary

Systems engineers are usually full-time employees, though some may work part time or on a contractual basis. Their salaries depend on their education level, experience and the size of the company in which they work. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $99,871 per year

  • Some salaries range from $31,000 to $215,000 per year.

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Systems engineer requirements

Becoming a systems engineer has several requirements, including:


A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for entry-level systems engineers. Useful majors include systems, informational systems, industrial engineering or computer engineering. Some systems engineers obtain a degree in their desired field and a minor in systems.

To be more competitive for leadership positions, students can earn a master’s degree. Many universities offer a Master of Science in systems engineering. A Doctor of Philosophy in systems engineering is useful for those who are interested in research or teaching jobs.


A systems engineer’s job duties vary depending on their industry, so much of their training will take place once they begin a job. Their employers usually offer on-the-job training in the specific systems and requirements of the company.

Some systems engineers earn experience in entry-level positions in their fields. They could work in coordinator or support positions to earn relevant experience before applying for systems engineer positions. In entry-level roles, they learn more about operations in the industry.

They can also gain basic training in engineering and computer science while getting their education by completing hands-on projects, taking part in labs or during internships. Some master’s programs require students to complete internships. Internships can help students learn about systems engineering in their desired field. They can also help them connect with professionals who can help them find positions after graduation.


Systems engineers can gain several certifications that show their expertise in different aspects of their job. Here are some examples of certifications for systems engineers:

Associate Systems Engineering Professional

Offered by the International Council on Systems Engineering, ASEP is the first level of certification for those who have recently graduated and started practicing systems engineering. The requirement to get this certification is passing an examination.

Certified Systems Engineering Professional

Also offered by INCOSE, this is one of the most sought-after certifications for the profession. It requires a minimum of five years of systems engineering experience, three references and a passing grade on the examination.

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Expert Systems Engineering Professional

This certification is for those who have at least 25 years of experience in systems engineering and three references. Rather than an examination, recipients are subject to a peer review panel.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Offered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, the CISSP shows an individual’s ability to design and implement cybersecurity programs. Applicants need five years of systems security experience and must pass an examination.

Professional Engineer

For engineers who plan to work with the public, the PE is a common license required. Each state has different requirements to earn a PE, though a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, four years of experience under the supervision of a licensed engineer and a passing grade on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam is standard.


Systems engineers need several soft and hard skills to help them do their job well. Here are some examples:

Technical skills

This requirement varies depending on the industry in which the systems engineer works but requires being adept at planning software, modeling software and specialized equipment. Systems engineers should be able to learn and use several computer programs.

Analytical thinking

A systems engineer’s job requires a detail-oriented and meticulous analysis of each task they complete. They view a system as a whole and a sum of its parts. They also identify small details and make alterations. Sometimes, they implement large-scale changes to an entire system.

Time management

System engineers prioritize tasks, make and adhere to deadlines and create timelines for work completion. They also adjust to changes that occur in real-time and predict changes and plan accordingly. All this requires an ability to not only manage time, but plan accordingly.


Systems engineers may work with a variety of different professionals. During a workday, they may interact with a marketing professional, a software engineer, a senior finance executive, a manufacturing plant member and a driver. They should develop methods of clear and open communication to ensure they can explain technical information in simple terms to those outside of the engineering field.


Systems engineers collaborate on teams with designers, security experts, researchers, salespeople, manufacturing plant employees and marketing employees to launch a product. They should be able to delegate tasks, follow up on progress, conduct quality checks and offer constructive feedback.

Systems engineer work environment

Systems engineers can work in nearly any industry. Some aspects of a system engineer’s work environment are consistent:

  • Systems engineers use technology constantly, including specialized software, security systems, modeling systems and other plant equipment. Some equipment they use requires special safety gear.

  • As with all technical fields, products, requirements and standards are constantly evolving. Systems engineers stay current with new technology and update their knowledge to stay current.

  • System engineers work in person or remotely with people from many other fields, including other engineers and technology experts, clients, financial experts, public relations personnel and plant employees.

  • Systems engineers may work out of an office part or all of the time, though they may need to inspect manufacturing lines or server storage areas, depending on their industry.

  • Many systems engineers work full time during normal business hours, though some overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.

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Here are some examples of places where system engineers can find work:

  • Corporations

  • Government

  • Nonprofits

  • Education

How to become a systems engineer

Here are some steps that you can follow to become a systems engineer:

  1. Pursue an education. A bachelor’s degree is the basic entry-level requirement. Master’s degrees and doctorates will also be of value when applying for managerial, research or advanced positions. During your program, consider completing at least one internship to gain experience.

  2. Accumulate work experience. Some certifications require you to have at least some experience before applying. Some systems engineering positions may have experience requirements. You can earn work experience in entry-level positions as an engineer or in similar roles.

  3. Earn certifications. Depending on the field, you can earn several certifications to potentially expand your job opportunities and increase your earnings. If you plan to work with the public, you’ll most likely need to earn a PE. Renew your certifications or license as required by the issuing institution.

Systems engineer job description example

Seeking a systems engineer to oversee the informational systems at a cell phone provider company. The job requires:

  • Monitoring existing systems

  • Overseeing the installation of new software; configuring operating systems

  • Testing for security issues

  • Designing and implementing security systems

  • Training other staff in data safety

The qualified candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer engineering, but a Master of Science in Systems Engineering and CSEP certification are preferred. Minimum seven years of experience in systems engineering, at least five years in an IT support capacity.

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