Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software Salary
Computer Software Systems Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $81K annually on average. Cash earnings for Computer Software Systems Engineers — which occasionally include more than $12K from bonuses and more than $20K from profit sharing — stretch from around $53K to approximately $122K. While career length and the individual firm impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Most Computer Software Systems Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
Computer operating systems, compilers, distribution and billing platforms, and multi-unit inventory management programs are all considered “systems software." This software forms a framework for businesses and organizations on which other activities can be performed. Computer software engineers in systems software are specialized software engineers that help develop new systems and platforms, as well as maintain and update existing platforms to meet the needs of the marketplace and/or employer.Read More...
Computer software engineers in systems software must first develop efficient platforms, and then tailor them for usability. These engineers typically work as part of a team with other software designers, working to create entirely new platforms and update previously completed work. Another large part of the computer software engineer’s job relates to quality assurance and testing, working with relevant quality assurance department(s) and implementing fixes; for software engineers working on mature platforms, much of their work may involve streamlining systems and platforms to meet evolving customer needs.
A strong educational background in computer science and/or computer engineering is necessary for computer software engineers in systems software. A bachelor's degree is generally required, and a master's degree may be preferred for some high-level systems programming positions. Companies also typically prefer engineers with a programming background and practical experience with systems software work. Software engineers in systems software typically work full time in an office environment, although overtime may be required as deadlines approach.
Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software Tasks
- Design, implement, and test database schemas.
- Write, modify, and debug software for operating systems.
- Write kernel code for real-time or multitasking operating systems, including device drivers.
- Use kernel debuggers, system dumps, and assembly language, as well as higher level languages.
- Test and document software for operating systems.
Common Career Paths for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
Computer Software Systems Engineers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Senior Systems Engineer. The latter position pays an average of $100K annually. Computer Software Systems Engineers most often move into positions as Software Development Project Managers or Senior Systems Engineers; those groups report median salaries that are $5K higher and $8K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
Intel Corporation offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $91K.
Popular Skills for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
Survey results imply that Computer Software Systems Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in UNIX, C programming Language, Linux, and C are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 8 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include SQL, HTML, and Java. Those proficient in C are, more often than not, also skilled in Linux and Java.
Pay by Experience Level for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Computer Software Systems Engineers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $71K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $89K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $102K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $112K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Computer Software Systems Engineers, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 63 percent above the national average. Computer Software Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Clara (+33 percent), San Jose (+24 percent), San Diego (+21 percent), and Seattle (+20 percent). Houston is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Chicago (14 percent lower) and Baltimore (10 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
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