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Systems Engineer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Systems Engineer Do?

Systems engineers design, develop, implement, and maintain technical systems, software, and solutions. They analyze user needs, create system and software designs, engineer hardware and software solutions, test and debug, and create documentation and training materials. They also monitor system and software updates to ensure all solutions are optimized for performance and reliability.

Success as a systems engineer requires a strong technical background and expertise in systems engineering, plus excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. . Strong communication and interpersonal skills are also required, as they may interact with clients, stakeholders, and other team members regularly.

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National Average Salary

Systems engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Systems Engineer is:


Systems Engineer Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a systems engineer. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

Systems engineers needed urgently to begin work at [Your Company Name]. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in systems engineering as well as the correct qualifications, degrees, and certificates for this position. The ideal candidate’s daily tasks will include implementing new systems and updating old systems to ensure they work properly, training other engineers throughout the company, and troubleshooting any systems that may not be working properly. It will be your aim to improve the operating efficiency of our company as much as possible through the systems you implement. Being data-minded is a large benefit for any systems engineer, as well as having a good ability to communicate and instruct. If this sounds of interest, please apply! We are urgently looking for a new systems engineer and would love to have you on our team.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage and monitor all installed systems and infrastructure according to company guidelines 
  • Assist in testing and evaluating application software and system management tools
  • Write and maintain custom scripts to reduce the need for human intervention 
  • Test software development methodology
  • Lead ongoing maintenance, support, and enhancements in existing systems and platforms
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with data scientists, business users, project managers, and other engineers to achieve software solutions
  • Recommend software and process improvements where necessary
  • Work alongside other engineers on the team to elevate technology and follow best practices

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, applied mathematics, or a related field. Many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s or doctorate and certification from INCOSE, the International Council on Systems Engineering. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Experience creating automated scripts
  • Understanding of best practices for systems security measures 
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical abilities
  • Ability to lead a development team
  • Several years of hands-on software development experience
  • Experience with modern programming languages including Python and Java
  • Expertise in written and verbal communication skills
  • Keen attention to detail 

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • Understanding of and experience with system design, including writing IC design specifications, developing algorithms, and creating system reference models
  • Knowledge in structured and/or object oriented programming (C, C++) and signal processing tools (Matlab)

Example 2

Duties & responsibilities

  • Integrates, deploys, and maintains the AVAA/AMP software in AWS GovCloud, and commercial environments, as well as laptop/PC installs via Docker
  • Supports development, integration, and deployment efforts within an Agile framework, including:
  • Assistance in drafting requirements
  • Defining, assigning, and executing tasking
  • Providing reports and materials to stakeholders
  • Conducting technical engineering and assessment meetings
  • Creating and maintaining technical and general documentation
  • Working with IA shareholders to implement security requirements in confidential and classified environments

Minimum skills & requirements

  • 5+ years experience
  • Linux administration experience
  • Amazon Web Services experience
  • AWS
  • EC2
  • S3
  • IAM
  • RDS

Desired skills & requirements

  • GitLab
  • Ansible
  • Terraform
  • Docker
  • Agile/Scrum

Example 3


The IT Systems Engineer will be the key individual responsible for architecture, implementation, and management of key IT systems, including (but not limited to) all server configurations, VPNs, firewalls, CDNs, databases, and cloud services. This will be a collaborative role, working to gather requirements from multiple stakeholders, such as product engineering, infosec, user services, and business owners to determine best architecture and implementation for key IT services, including: collaboration platforms, communication platforms, network infrastructure, and department point software solutions (HR, accounting, sales, etc.) for the enterprise and deliver them with high availability and success.


  • Establish high availability and quality of service for all key systems
  • Collaborate with multiple stakeholders for implementation and maintenance of all key systems
  • Research and source vendors and best practices for implementations
  • Ensure business needs are being met with capable technology services and tools


  • Expert level experience and/or certification for Microsoft business products (o365, AD, Live, Teams, etc.)
  • Expert level experience and/or certifications for AWS infrastructure services (VPN, EC, VPC, firewalls, databases, etc.)
  • Strong experience with network infrastructure and high availability services (VPN, firewalls, Wifi APs, routers, QoS, etc.)
  • Demonstrated experience working with product groups, infosec, and business leaders in planning and requirements gathering)
  • Continuing certifications or demonstrated technical acumen
  • Azure

Example 4

Responsibilities and skills required:

  • Experience in creating and maintaining complex distributed, concurrent and low-level software systems
  • Experience with low-level languages like C/C++ and languages with advanced type systems such as Rust, TypeScript, or Haskell. Experience with Ethereum and other blockchain nodes and their public APIs is a plus
  • Experience designing and building distributed and/or p2p software systems and applications
  • Knowledge of cryptography and security best practices. Hashing, signing, cryptographic proofs, and verification play a big role in the security and correctness of the network
  • Experience with 1 or more of the following: Smart Contracts, storage platforms, UNIX file systems, VMs
  • Experience in creating and maintaining complex distributed, concurrent and low-level software systems
  • Understanding of low (i.e. OS) level networking concepts as well as asynchronous programming
  • Knowledge of the TCP/UDP/IP stack and networking principles
  • Plan, develop, test, and ship new features and improvements to software components powering ABC Company’s webAI™
  • Work with research and product teams to build great developer and user experiences that are consistent across all parts of the protocol and incorporate the latest results from our research team
  • Interact with and support our growing community of developers and network participants, such as decentralized app developers and indexers
  • Review the work done by other team members


  • 3-4 years of experience developing with Rust, C++, Swift, or Python
  • Recommended: Computer Science degree or degree in equivalent field
  • Great understanding of programming language and development tools
  • Great communication skills
  • A kind and generous attitude towards customers and coworkers alike
  • Understanding and experience of platform development
  • Great coding practices and experience with Gitlab


  • Work with your team on feature development during the development phases
  • Deliver tasks on a timely basis and provide development feedback through project management channels
  • Review and submit pull/push requests for the team’s correlating code base
  • Be a team player who understands his/her success is determined by the well-being and success of the team
  • Be an advocate for the team and its customers

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer will benefit from being certified by one of the most widely recognized certification companies for systems, security, and systems engineering. This certification ensures a basic and advanced level of competency in systems engineering and can be immensely beneficial to any systems engineer looking to further their career. Because it is widely recognized, this certificate can prove to be beneficial when acquiring a job as well.
  • CompTIA A+. The CompTIA certification is an industry standard for all sorts of computer technicians and system managers. Because of this, acquiring this certification can be beneficial for systems engineers to demonstrate their competency in the computer and systems fields. This certification is offered with the ability to take the test online, so it is broadly available to any engineer looking to acquire the correct certifications for their position.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in designing, developing, and maintaining complex technical solutions?
  • Describe your experience with defining system requirements and conducting feasibility studies.
  • As a systems engineer, what would you say the ideal skills are for this position?
  • How do you determine which aspects of a system need to be improved and how you should improve them?
  • Which testing methodologies and tools have you used for system integration and testing?
  • If you were asked to explain part of a system by an employee, how would you go about explaining it clearly and concisely?
  • How do you develop and maintain technical documentation, such as user manuals and system specifications?
  • What is your experience in managing complex technical projects from start to finish, including planning, executing, and closing them?
  • What do you consider when updating infrastructure and systems?
  • What do you do to stay up-to-date on system engineering and related technologies?
  • What is your process for ensuring security and reliability are built into systems and solutions?

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