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Masters in Systems Engineering Average Salary

Masters in Systems Engineering Average Salary

Systems engineer jobs can range from a system administrator role in a corporate setting or government office of some sort, to a senior development and design manager for a technology company, defense contractor or manufacturing firm. It's difficult to pin down an average salary for a job title that has such variety in the levels of seniority and degrees of sophistication that can be associated with it. We have assembled a sampler of jobs that require training as systems engineers at some level; in many cases a job description will require a bachelor's degree but insist on ten years' experience in the role. Others will accept a bachelor's degree but declare that a master's in systems engineering is preferred.

Salaries vary based on location and market for this career as for any other. A systems engineering graduate working on Wall Street, for instance, devising financial systems for split second trading is going to be in a very lucrative position compared to someone with the same degree working for a government agency trying to implement a massive database merger. We have tried to draw from a number of different industrial sectors and economic strata to provide a decent snapshot of the employment opportunities for a professional who has completed a master's in systems engineering.

1. Systems Engineer - Defense Contractor: According to Payscale.com the range for this job title on a national scale is $87,000. That's misleading to a degree because it incorporates professionals working with a bachelor's degree as well as those with graduate credentials. The pay is a little better in the defense industry; according to the same source the average pay for a senior systems engineer is a little over $97,000.

2. Transportation Systems Engineer: Working in this sector can mean designing systems to upgrade or expand a public transit system or it can mean working on new products in the transportation industry. There are new public transit street cars and trains under design constantly, particularly in other countries that rely on rail transport. Two companies that work in that industry, Sabre Inc. of Texas and GE Transportation Systems Global are currently hiring systems engineers at pay rates from $99,000 to $107,000.

3. Communications Systems Engineer: The pay range for jobs in this sector can fall within a fairly wide range. Working as an experienced systems manager with a graduate degree in the aerospace field will pay up to $112,000, particularly if the employer is working on developing defense or intelligence products. Texas Instruments and LitePoint are both paying more than $98,000 for new hires in communications system design and engineering.

4. Networking Systems Engineer: In the defense sector the pay for a systems engineer working in the networking field remains about the same as with the overall pay average for SE workers in the industry; about $98,000. At the high end of the consulting business, the pay improves considerably. Booz Allen Hamilton is willing to pay a qualified network systems engineer between $108,000 and $129,000.

5. Trading & Capital Markets Systems Engineer: Citi and other major trading houses hire systems engineers for work on trading systems for all sorts of commodities. The trading of financial instruments - stocks, bonds, futures, derivatives, and all of the other offerings found in investment banks and hedge funds requires engineers who can constantly tweak the automated trading platforms that have made stock transactions a split-second occurrence. Systems engineers are sometimes preferable to financial engineers because of their superior knowledge of software languages. These jobs are comparable to what top tier MBAs get paid; entry level salaries are about $120,000 for the good sized companies and can quickly rise from there.

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