What is a Systems Engineer and What Do They Do?

Systems engineering involves enabling the realization and success of engineering systems. It also involves defining the needs of the specific customer and required functionality within the development cycle and system validation while taking the entire problem or solution in consideration.

A systems engineer oversees each and every phase of an engineering project from the beginning right through its entire life cycle. This specialized discipline applies to all sorts of industries and products, including electronics, aerospace, software development, and civil engineering. Click here for more information.

Career Overview

Systems engineers can perform all sorts of tasks. For instance, they might help build major transportation networks, design and integrate software for corporations, or create military helicopters. These professionals are often given a specific time frame and budget to work within, and they must establish a project plan that can successfully work within these particular constraints.

In addition to planning the entire project, systems engineers will be responsible for taking on technical specifications of intricate design projects. All jobs and that are being done by the team of engineers are supervised and overseen by the systems engineer in order to ensure a reliable end product. The systems engineer will participate in all facets of the engineering process, which typically includes doing the initial research, design, development, and assessment.

Initial Research

Before beginning a project, the systems engineer will first assess the customer’s needs, then they will closely work with the client to identify precisely what they want to accomplish with the project. For instance, they may decide to devise a more efficient payroll software for various reasons. Additional research may be required to determine existing conditions for a project, then come up with a reasonable time limit and budget.

Design and Development

After the systems engineer has identified the client’s specifications, they will work with other engineers to come up with a plan to develop the product. The team will create models of the product and test them to make sure they work properly.


Once a project has been completed, the final product will be evaluated to identify whether or not it meets the customer’s needs. The product will be assessed for reliability and efficiency, as well as for its ability to meet all safety regulations.

Salary and Job Outlook

Most senior systems engineers earn anywhere from $74,902 and $142,016 per year, as of 2015. Employment within this particular sector is expected to increase by approximately 9{098d35ab963ece0acba9dddbf5ff9782b500996abf39a67c308885c16f80b29f} for the 10 years between 2012 and 2022.

Systems engineers certainly serve an important purpose, and the job market for this type of profession is definitely a strong one.