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Systems Engineer: Responsibilities and Salary

Job Market
Jun 16, 2023
Systems Engineer: Responsibilities and Salary

Digital infrastructure is increasingly transforming the way business is done, creating new levels of interactivity and efficiency for organizations and individuals. As businesses become more digital, however, the demand for highly skilled IT professionals to manage computer networks and processes grows. This article will talk about Systems Engineers, what they do, and how much they get paid.

So if you're thinking about changing careers to Systems Engineering, you've come to the right place. We've put together this comprehensive guide to Systems Engineer salaries to give you an idea of what to expect and help you envision where a Systems Engineering career might take you so you can plan for the future and decide if this is the right career path for you. Keep in mind that there is certainly plenty of work ahead, but the reward is well-deserved. Let's get into it!

What Is a Systems Engineer?

A Systems Engineer plays a crucial role in various industries by solving issues in systems, such as computer networks or software applications. They are experts in the design, management, and analysis of composite systems. Their goal is to improve upon existing designs while maintaining cost efficiency in all stages of development.

Unlike other engineers who solve issues in independent parts, a Systems Engineer takes a holistic approach by studying the interconnections of systems and identifying ways to optimize them based on client needs or company objectives.

When developing new products or services for clients, these professionals can help ensure everything is functioning properly so that users experience optimal performance from start to finish.

What Does a Systems Engineer Do?

As a Systems Engineer, you are the interface between stakeholders in the systems development process. That means your primary role revolves around defining, developing, testing, maintaining, and replacing systems.

You incorporate the views of management and end users into an efficient system for your employer by incorporating all aspects from design through implementation and maintenance into one cohesive unit that works well together while also being easy to use by everyone within its scope of operation.

Systems aren't strictly related to computers but rely on engineering advancements and the latest technology—you could be working with robotics or even mining equipment if you so choose!

As such, there are many different types of companies that hire Systems Engineers: computer manufacturers like Google or Apple; manufacturing facilities like General Electric; or even aerospace firms like Boeing.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • Monitoring and managing installed systems and infrastructure
  • Developing system security standards
  • Designing and implementing systems and tools
  • Testing and assessing system designs

Working with IT professionals and third-party providers to problem-solve and implement solutions pertaining to systems management

Modeling the system design—its simulation, optimization, and manual creation

Average Systems Engineer Salary by Country

This section includes average salaries without taking into account levels of expertise. Later in this article, we will look more closely at salary ranges based on experience. The data was gathered from job placement services Glassdoor and Comparably.


Base pay: $83,511 / year

Systems Engineer is number 30 on Glassdoor’s list of the best jobs in the United States, with a median salary of $100,831 per year and a satisfaction rating of 3.9 out of 5. Of course, salaries vary depending on where you are in the country. Here is what to expect in several major US cities:

  • New York, NY: $90,737
  • San Francisco, CA: $97,266
  • Chicago, IL: $95,467
  • Seattle, WA: $105,204
  • Denver, CO: $85,408
  • Boston, MA: $88,128
  • Minneapolis, MN: $89,071


Base pay: C$86,686 / year

Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal are the top four highest-paying cities for Systems Engineers in Canada.

United Kingdom

Base pay: £43,691 / year

The top four highest-paying industries for a Systems Engineer in the United Kingdom are Manufacturing (median total pay of £131,941), Aerospace & Defense (median total pay of £125,154), Information Technology (median total pay of £119,246), and Management & Consulting (median total pay of £119,227).


Base pay: €65,000 / year

Considered Europe’s mecca for tech giants and startups, Munich is one of the top cities for IT experts. Berlin and Hamburg are also in the top three as attractive IT hubs to pursue a career in Systems Engineering.


Base pay: €47,417 / year

The estimated salary potential for a Computer Systems Engineer is expected to increase by 14 percent over the next five years. In Paris, an entry-level Computer Systems Engineer with one-to-three years of experience earns an average salary of €64,372. On the other end, a senior-level Computer Systems Engineer (eight or more years of experience) earns an average salary of €114,241.


Base pay: A$100,000 / year

The top-paying industry for a Systems Engineer in Australia is Aerospace & Defense, with a median total annual salary of A$126,418. Collins Aerospace is the top-paying company for those with the right skills and expertise.

Systems Engineer Salaries by Experience

Gaining experience in the field will help you get a better handle on your earning potential. The following list of average salary ranges in the United States, as reported on Glassdoor and Built In, can help you decide where to start.

Entry-Level Systems Engineer

Base pay: $74,873 / year

Entry-level Systems Engineers are professionals with less than one year's work experience in the industry. They have usually just finished college or are making a career change.

Junior Systems Engineer

Base pay: $86,252 / year

A typical junior Systems Engineer has been working in the industry for one-to-three years. They've demonstrated the ability to work effectively on a team and have produced high-quality results.

Mid-Level Systems Engineer

Base pay: $87,586 / year

Mid-level Systems Engineers, who have three-to-seven years of experience, are considered experts in their field and typically deliver superior results relative to junior engineers.

Senior Systems Engineer

Base pay: $106,564 / year

To be considered a senior Systems Engineer, you typically need more than seven years of relevant work experience. These highly skilled engineers possess advanced technical knowledge, analytical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills.

Ready to Get Started on Your Journey?

Systems Engineering involves a wide range of tasks, such as project management, technical analysis and design, troubleshooting, and, of course, working with clients and the team. 

With the highly rewarding payoff, the variety of different tasks involved, and the high demand, it's difficult to think of a better career in tech than that of a Systems Engineer. And to top it off, we've just introduced a thorough training program designed to equip you with all the necessary skills and speed up your job search. Now is the time to take action, so don't wait any longer to sign up!

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