Software Engineers

Software engineers create or customize existing software programs to meet the needs of a particular business or industry. First, they spend considerable time researching, defining, and analyzing the problem at hand. Then, they develop software programs to resolve the problem on the computer. They may also create software applications that are used for informational purposes or entertainment. There are slightly more than 1 million software engineers employed in the United States; 643,830 work with applications software and 373,510 work with systems software.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Applications Software Engineers, Systems Software Engineers
Duties Create new or customize existing software programs to meet the needs and desires of a particular business or industry
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but the largest number of jobs are found in the Silicon Valley in northern California and states such as Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship; several years’ programming experience
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Software Manager, or Chief Information Officer, or Systems Designer
  • Software Project Team Leader
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Engineering Technician

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