What Does a System Engineer Do and What Skills Are Required?

When we think about what our future might seem like, we usually think about what careers we are going to enter.

Don’t you?

Let me ask you a question. Do you like solving problems and seeing things to the end to make sure everything works fine?

If so, I think choosing to be a systems engineer for your career can be a good fit for you. This is because problem-solving is the main goal of a system engineer.

But that’s not all.

So what does a system engineer do? And what skills does one have to require to become a systems engineer?

I’ll tell you in a moment!

What Does a System Engineer Do?

To put it in simpler terms, the job of systems engineers is to analyze various sophisticated systems to seek out the best ways to maintain them.

This is what they usually do:

  • They have to analyze the challenges a certain system faces and find out what is the best solution for meeting the needs of the project.
  • Starting with conceptualization, they have to take their project to completion.
  • They have to manage all teams included in the project.
  • Systems engineers make sure that the systems are optimized while the quality is maintained.

What Skills Are Required?

If you do intend to become a systems engineer, you will have to acquire a lot of different skills, such as:


You need to have a bachelor’s degree with majors in subjects like systems, industrial engineering, computer engineering, and informational systems to get an entry-level job as a systems engineer.

But if you want a leadership position, you will have to get a Master’s degree. You can even earn this degree while acquiring a job with your Bachelor’s degree.


In most cases, it’s true that without training for a specific career path, you can’t get the job you want.

Before you apply for such jobs, you should think about doing apprenticeships or internships under any licensed engineer.


To land the job you want, you should apply for as many kinds of certifications as you can acquire. Some of these might be:

  • Associate Systems Engineering Professional: You can get this certification right after graduating to practice systems engineering.
  • Professional Engineer: You would need experience of 4 years working under a licensed engineer for this.
  • Expert Systems Engineering Professional: With a minimum experience of 25 years, you can apply for this certification.
  • Certified Systems Engineering Professional: To get this certification, you need to have at least 5 years of experience in systems engineering.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional: Having 5 years of experience in systems security will be enough for this.


Of course, you can’t apply for your desired job without having some specific set of skills. And these skills could take you further up the hierarchy:

  • Technical Skills: Depending on your job requirement, you might need to acquire skills in modeling software, specialized equipment, and planning software.
  • Analytical Skills: As a systems engineer, you might have to learn how to analyze issues and create solutions through methods like needs-means analysis, systemic textual analysis, function-means analysis, and viewpoint analysis.
  • Functional Modeling: You definitely need to know how to build and develop functional models for this kind of job.
  • Time Management: For this kind of job, you need to have the ability to create timelines and plan according to your deadlines.
  • Risk Management: You would have to be able to assess risk impact, prioritize risk, and plan risk mitigation.
  • Teamwork: You need to be able to collaborate with your team members, which may include designers, researchers, manufacturing plant employees, marketing employees, salespeople, and security experts.
  • Communication: Without having the ability to communicate professionally to get things done properly, you can’t do this job well.


What does a system engineer do? Well, they make a system work by doing everything that needs to be done, in short. However, if you want to become a systems engineer, you need specific skills.

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