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Do systems engineers earn a good salary?

Published on: 21 Mar 2024

Systems engineers are the professionals responsible for monitoring and fixing any issues within a system. They are skilled workers who must be able to fulfil technical requirements and be good at managing projects. As such, systems engineers must command a good salary, you would think? Here’s the lowdown.

If you’re considering taking a job as systems engineer, it might be worth doing so in a security-cleared industry. These companies need all sorts of trained professionals and often offer higher salaries due to the sensitive nature of much of the information they handle.

What’s the average salary for a systems engineer in the UK?

Glassdoor puts the average UK salary for a systems engineer at £50,179, plus compensation. This is the result of 217 salaries being submitted to the review site and seems like a fairly lucrative number. Bear in mind it will take both security-cleared and non-security-cleared positions into account.

How can you increase your systems engineer salary?

As well as opting for a role in a security-cleared sector, there are a number of other things you can do to increase your systems engineer salary. Working your way up the ranks to senior positions will come with a bigger paycheck, but this will only be possible in a company large enough to offer such career progression.

Other factors that could help you earn more as a systems engineer include being flexible about geographic location and learning more skills through continued professional development. In fact, you could choose to become a specialist in a specific area of systems engineering to increase your earning potential.

Sectors that require systems engineers

When job hunting, it’s always a good idea to be aware which sectors require the type of role you’re looking for. When it comes to systems engineers, all of the following industry employ professionals under that job title:

  • Manufacturing
  • Industrial engineering
  • Information technology
  • Healthcare
  • Energy and utilities
  • Automotive and transportation
  • Defence
  • Aerospace
  • Satellite systems

Take particular notice of the last three on this list, as they’re likely to require security clearance and therefore a larger paycheck. Within the energy sector, it’s nuclear power where you’re most likely to be asked to go through the security vetting process. 

Find the latest systems engineer jobs to see what you could be earning.