Applications Engineer: Salary, Job Description, Duties & Career Path

An applications engineer is someone who works to make a software program fit the needs of the consumer. This job may involve writing code, editing code, working with programmers and customers, and traveling to locations to install programs for clients.

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What is an Applications Engineer?

An applications engineer is a developer who works to streamline software products and computer programs. This individual tests products, makes recommendations for trimming unnecessary code, and interacts with customers and employers to act as a go-between. The applications engineer facilitates the improvement of a software product so that it best meets the needs of the people who use it.

Applications engineers can be self-employed, or they can work for a company. A corporate field applications engineer may work with international or national accounts. Someone working as a field applications engineer might work with a sales representative and travel a great deal.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Duties Tailoring software applications for specific customer needs; testing code; installing programs; customer interaction; logging all parts of an application or system to create a record for future reference
Median annual wages (May 2018) $103,620 (software developers, applications)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 31% increase (software developers, applications)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Required Education

An applications engineer will need to have a four-year college degree in a field related to computers or mathematics. Some companies may want the employee to have a graduate degree. Someone new to the field may wish to get certification, like the Certified Secure Web Application Engineer (CSWAE) to prove his or her competence in the field.

An applications engineer must be familiar with computers. Classes about writing code and building software will be beneficial. An internship at a software company could also be helpful. Some computer programming languages that applications engineers need to be familiar with could include C, Java, Python, Ruby and JavaScript. Employment may require the applications engineer to have a knowledge of Linux.

Required Skills

An applications engineer must be computer literate. He or she should know how to write computer code and how to do programming. While many applications engineers will not have to write code on a frequent basis, it is important to understand coding and programming, in order to track how something is working and to point out where changes can be made.

Other key qualities for the applications engineer are good communication skills, as he or she may be transmitting information between the client and the actual creators of the software. The applications engineer will probably have to work closely with computer programmers.

If applications engineers oversee projects from start to finish, then they may be called IT project managers. They will be in charge of making sure that the project meets the standards set by the company, stays within budget, and is completed on time. Analytical skills, creativity, problem-solving, detail orientation and interpersonal skills all contribute to making someone a successful applications engineer.

Career Outlook and Salary

The BLS categorizes these professionals with 'software developers, applications.' In 2018, the median annual salary for this career was listed as $103,620. Much faster than average job growth of 31% was predicted by the BLS from 2016 to 2026.

Related Careers

Applications engineers come to their field from many different specialties. They can move from this job to other occupations, as well. Here are some jobs that are related to being an applications engineer.

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