what is a systems engineer?
A systems engineer is a professional who applies engineering principles to develop and maintain efficient systems. They play a crucial role in various industries by solving multiple problems in systems. Unlike other engineers who resolve issues in separate parts of a system, a systems engineer takes a holistic approach by studying the interconnections of systems. When systems engineers develop a system, they align a positive user experience with company objectives and operations.
what does a systems engineer do?
As a systems engineer, you are the interface between various 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 the management, end-users, specialist engineers and suppliers to create an efficient system for your employer.
Systems aren't strictly related to computers but rely on engineering advancements and the latest technology. As a systems engineer, you can work in computer, mechanical, electrical and manufacturing systems to ensure all the components work together and meet the needs of consumers. You also collaborate with various departments in a company to ensure a smooth production process and proper maintenance of the existing systems.
Would working as a systems engineer suit your problem-solving and innovation skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a systems engineer role.systems engineer jobs
average salary of a systems engineer
According to Payscale, a systems engineer’s average salary is ₹386,409 annually. When starting your systems engineer career, your earnings are around ₹338,000 per year. Experienced systems engineers with additional skills and expertise in various specialisms earn over ₹650,000 per year. Your compensation package often includes allowances and non-monetary benefits. Systems engineers enjoy medical, transport and housing allowances, and some employers provide overtime pay or bonuses. The non-monetary benefits include paid vacation days.
what factors increase your salary as a systems engineer?
A systems engineer's salary depends on experience level and qualifications. At an entry-level position, you have minimal skills and work experience; hence, your pay will be low compared to experienced systems engineers. Your salary level is also dependent on your educational qualifications or specialism. Systems engineers with a degree earn more than someone with an apprenticeship. If you focus on a specific study area, you will likely make more than a general systems engineer. For instance, specialising in computer systems increases your compensation package due to your additional expertise.
Your employer's location can also impact your pay. Companies in major cities pay more due to the high cost of living and increased demand for systems engineers. Smaller towns have a low cost of living and lower demand for engineers, limiting your salary prospects.
types of systems engineer
- computer systems engineer: your job is to design computer systems to your clients' specifications. If a retail company requires a sales management system, you incorporate all the functions relevant to retail management, like invoice and inventory management systems. You also advise on the best software and hardware tools for the computer system to function efficiently.
- product development systems engineer: your job is to improve product development systems to help your company remain competitive. You develop systems that eliminate inefficiencies and troubleshoot problems that affect the product's quality standards.
- biosystems engineer: as a biosystems engineer, you develop and maintain systems relating to the natural environment. Your duties may include analysing resource conservation or waste treatment systems. You can also create food processing systems for various industries.
working as a systems engineer
Are you wondering what a systems engineer does daily? Read on to find out a systems engineer's work routine and duties.
duties and responsibilities
The specific duties of a systems engineer depend on the industry and the project stage. However, some everyday tasks of a systems engineer include:
- developing systems: as a systems engineer, you oversee the development of new systems from the conception of an idea to its practical completion. Before creating a system, you liaise with stakeholders to determine its objectives and functions. You also use modelling techniques to assess performance and value to the end-user. When you understand the design concepts, you can develop the systems.
- testing and deploying systems: after creating a system, you evaluate its performance to ensure it accomplishes its intended purpose. During testing, you identify vulnerable areas and adjustments required to improve efficiency. Existing systems also need testing to determine their inefficiencies and improve functionality. If the new system passes all the tests, you can launch it.
- maintaining systems and troubleshooting issues: as a systems engineer, you monitor existing systems and identify problems that affect their structural integrity. During maintenance, you can fix issues in a system or upgrade some parts to improve the output.
- writing reports and presenting system designs: during the design stages, you present system design ideas to the stakeholders before development. You also write maintenance reports providing crucial recommendations to improve efficiency during system checks.
- execution of project management tasks: as a systems engineer creating a system, a large part of your workload is project management. You develop the project plan, identify the necessary resources and assign tasks to team members to ensure project completion within a specific timeline.
The work environment of a systems engineer varies depending on the role and industry. For instance, during the design stages, a systems engineer works in an office setting alongside other engineers to develop a system's blueprints. Sometimes, you also work in a factory setting when analysing processes or maintaining the systems used in manufacturing. In other industries, you may work outdoors developing water delivery, transport, or waste management systems. You work in server rooms or handle various hardware parts in information technology settings.
who are your colleagues?
Based on your industry, your colleagues might include mechanical, cloud, computer, and electrical engineers. You might also be working in close proximity to operations managers and systems architects. Other specialists you could work with include project managers, maintenance engineers, systems administrators and service desk analysts.
As a systems engineer, you work an average of 40 hours weekly in a full-time position. However, some projects take longer to complete, and the design stage often requires long work hours, including evenings and weekends. Sometimes you also work on public holidays to fix glitches in a system or meet deadlines. Part-time positions are rare in systems engineer jobs, but you can find short-term contracts in various industries. The job involves travelling from the office to factory plants or meeting clients. Freelance opportunities are also available for systems engineers with extensive experience and expertise.
Becoming a systems engineer is a great career choice with exciting job prospects. Engineering continues to be the most sought-after area of education for Indian employers, so the outlook is extremely positive. In terms of career progression, you can become incorporated from a junior systems engineer position or achieve chartered status. With experience, it is easier to move to a managerial position like becoming a project manager, operations manager or factory manager.
You can also focus on various specialisms or industry sectors. Some systems engineers become experts in computer or manufacturing systems. Alternatively, become a consultant or a lecturer in academic institutions.
advantages of finding a systems engineer job through randstad
Finding your systems engineer job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as a systems engineer is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
As a systems engineer, you have a firm grasp of engineering and business concepts. That requires educational qualifications, including:
- university degree: if you are considering a career as a systems engineer, you should begin with a bachelor's degree in industrial or systems engineering. Achieving the 10+2 level with science as a stream qualifies you to apply for suitable courses.
- master's degree: while an accredited bachelor's degree can get you an entry-level position, the job's complexity may also require a master's degree. A graduate qualification in systems engineering increases your prospects and chances of getting a managerial position.
- professional qualification: a professional engineering degree is needed to reach the highest levels in your field. This gives you chartered status with the Indian Institute of Engineers and qualifies you to take licensed jobs.
skills and competencies
Systems engineers require hard and soft skills, including:
- technical skills: as a systems engineer, you have technical skills and expertise with various software. Your job involves using modelling software, specialised equipment and multiple computer programmes. Technical skills also help you accomplish your tasks faster.
- analytical thinking: your role requires meticulous analysis of each task. For instance, you often analyse a system as a whole or a sum of its parts before implementing changes. Analytical thinking and attention to detail help you factor in every aspect of a system before recommending alterations.
- time management: a systems engineer prioritises tasks to meet deadlines. You are also responsible for determining project milestones and adjusting the timeline for changes. Your work is easier if you have good time management skills.
- teamwork skills: as a systems engineer, you collaborate with various professionals, from manufacturing employees to researchers, security experts and salespeople. Your teamwork skills allow you to offer constructive feedback and direct teams to achieve a project's objectives.
FAQs about working as a systems engineer
Here are some common questions about working as a systems engineer:
what is a systems engineer's salary?
As a systems engineer, your salary ranges between ₹338,000 and ₹650,000. The compensation package often depends on your educational qualifications and experience level.
is a systems engineer a real engineer?
A systems engineer applies engineering principles and business concepts when developing a system. However, unlike other engineers who solve problems independently, they look at system functions holistically.
what jobs do systems engineers get?
A systems engineer can work in any industry, including manufacturing plants, factories and information technology companies. You can become a computer systems engineer and maintain computer systems for various companies.
how do I become a systems engineer?
A systems engineer usually has a degree in systems engineering or a related field and a master's degree. A professional engineering degree is necessary to achieve chartered status.
is a systems engineer a good career?
A systems engineer is a promising career with exceptional opportunities for advancement. You also earn a lucrative compensation package and gain many transferable skills.
how do I apply for a systems engineer vacancy?
Applying for a systems engineer job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!