Who Makes More Money a System Engineer or a Software Engineer?

Patrick Burnett

When it comes to a career in technology, two positions that often get compared are system engineers and software engineers. Both of these roles involve working with complex computer systems and require advanced technical skills, but one question that many people wonder is which position pays more? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between system engineers and software engineers and take a closer look at their salaries.

What Is a System Engineer?

A system engineer is responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining large-scale computer systems. They work with hardware components, networks, and operating systems to ensure that all the different parts of a system are functioning properly together. System engineers are also responsible for troubleshooting issues that arise and making changes to systems as needed.

What Is a Software Engineer?

Software engineers, on the other hand, focus specifically on designing and developing software applications. They work on everything from mobile apps to enterprise-level software platforms. Software engineers spend their time writing code, testing applications, and debugging errors to ensure that their software works as intended.

Salary Comparison

Now that we have a better understanding of what each role entails let’s take a look at how their salaries compare. According to data from Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a system engineer in the United States is around $91,000 per year. On the other hand, the average salary for a software engineer in the United States is around $106,000 per year.

It’s worth noting that these figures can vary depending on several factors such as experience level, location of employment, company size/type, etc. For example, if you work for a large technology company like Google or Microsoft as either a system or software engineer in Silicon Valley your salary would be considerably higher than someone working for a small tech startup in Texas.

Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes down to it, both system engineering and software engineering are lucrative career paths with plenty of job opportunities. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to your interests and skills.

If you enjoy working with complex computer systems and hardware, then system engineering may be the better fit for you. However, if you’re more interested in software development and coding, then becoming a software engineer would be the right choice.


In conclusion, while both system engineers and software engineers are important roles in the technology field, software engineers tend to earn higher salaries on average. However, this doesn’t mean that one position is necessarily better than the other as it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Regardless of which career path you choose, there are plenty of opportunities available for skilled professionals in the tech industry.