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Software Support Engineer: Salary, Job Description & Career Path

Software support engineers work with computer programmers and other software developers to test the quality of new computer software. They identify and debug software problems and report those issues to upper management.

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Job Description of a Software Support Engineer

If you enjoy the challenge of troubleshooting technical issues related to software development, you might enjoy a career as a software support engineer. Software support engineers work within a team of database and programming experts to troubleshoot problems that arise. They are highly skilled programmers who identify and fix problems within their company's information technology systems.

In addition to troubleshooting, software support engineers identify potential problems before they arise and correct them before they become larger issues. They report on the status of the software being developed and maintained to upper management.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science, or related area of study
Skills Required Strong knowledge of computer programming, strong attention to detail, strong analytical skills, ability to learn new programming languages and emerging internet technologies
Median Salary (May 2018) $105,590 per year for software developers
Career Outlook (2016-2026) 24% (Much faster than average) for software developers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

At minimum, a Bachelor of Science degree is required in computer science, information technology, software engineering, or a related field. Additionally, previous work experience is required in computer programming or computer networking. Sometimes, this career involves working on software development in industries outside of the computer industry, such as the medical, government, or financial fields. In those cases, having experience in those industries is helpful and sometimes required.

Software support engineers must also maintain knowledge of new technologies and programming languages. Because of that, they frequently need to update their skills or obtain certifications. Examples of certifications that software support engineers might need to obtain include Java and Microsoft SQL Server.

Required Skills

Software support engineers need to be extremely analytical and good with programming languages. They have to be able to understand other programmers' code and debug it where necessary. They need to be able to work with a team in order to identify and address problems. This can be a fast-paced job that involves working nights and weekends as necessary. Additionally, software support engineers find and report potential problems before they happen and address them with their teams.

Salary and Career Outlook

As computers and software become more and more a part of everyday life, the need for software support engineers will continue to grow. The career outlook for the 2016-2026 decade is 24%, which is much faster than average, according to the US. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency also reported that the median salary for software support engineers is $105,590 as of 2018. According to Salary.com, less experienced software support engineers make a median of $66,902 as of 2019. The salary goes up with experience and depending on the geographical location of the position.

Related Careers

With the growth of computers and technology in the coming years, there are several different job opportunities for people interested in software and hardware engineering. They require different levels and education and experience. However, you get to work in the ever-growing world of computers. Here are a few to consider.

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