Integration Engineer Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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Integration engineers earn a good living, but need advanced education to get hired. Is it worth the effort? Read on to learn more about the career outlook and job duties for this field.
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What Are the Pros and Cons of Becoming an Integration Engineer?

Integration engineers are responsible for bringing various computer-system components together to act as a single system. The following are some of the pros and cons of choosing this career.

Pros of Becoming an Integration Engineer
Good pay (averages around $87,000 per year for computer systems analysts)*
Good employment outlook (about 25% growth for computer systems analysts between 2012 and 2022)*
Opportunity to work in many different fields*
Strong job prospects for those who keep current on technology*

Cons of Becoming an Integration Engineer
Some positions require a graduate degree*
Pressure to meet design deadlines*
Jobs may require extensive experience (5+ years)*
Must remain updated about new technologies and standards*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Essential Career Info

Job Duties

Integration engineer is a job title that could apply to jobs in many industries. While most integration engineers have a background in computer science, some have degrees in chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering. In general, integration engineers are responsible for coordinating and implementing computer applications in organizations. This could include evaluating the needs of a business and developing systems that meet those needs. You may also have to write new, system-based applications to ensure everything runs efficiently. For this reason, integration engineers commonly work closely with managers and other personnel who understand what an organization needs. Some of your daily job duties could include the following:

  • Expanding and modifying existing computer systems
  • Developing more efficient system procedures
  • Reviewing and analyzing performance reports
  • Reading literature on new system technologies
  • Recommending computer hardware and software to management
  • Coordinating different computer systems
  • Serving as a consultant for clients

Salary

The BLS doesn't keep records of salaries specifically for integration engineers, but it does keep salary records for computer system analysts, which is the broader job category for an integration engineer. According to the BLS, computer systems analysts earned a median annual salary of about $82,710 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Top earners in this field earned upwards of $129,000 during the same time, while the lowest-paid made about $50,000 per year. Animal slaughtering, mining, oil and gas extraction, motion pictures and scientific research were the industries that offered the highest salaries for computer systems analysts.

Career Outlook

The BLS reported an expected employment growth rate of about 25% for computer systems analysts between 2012 and 2022. Jobs will likely be created by an increasing number of companies integrating computer systems into their practices. The industries with the highest levels of employment of computer systems analysts include computer systems design, enterprise management, insurance, state governments and scientific research.

Requirements

Education

The minimum requirement for most integration engineering positions is usually a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or computer science. Bachelor's degree programs usually take about four years to complete and can be found online. You could take classes like computer programming, calculus, computer logic design, data structures and computer engineering concepts. Other areas of study could include system chip design, chip applications, control systems and microprocessors.

Skills

Integration engineers must usually have an in-depth knowledge of their industry. Good analytical skills are also needed to solve complex engineering problems. Additionally, because you may need to work with professionals in other disciplines, good communication skills are beneficial. Since this job includes finding solutions to complex problems, employers sometimes prefer creative candidates.

Job Postings

Job requirements for this position vary by industry, but most employers require a bachelor's degree in computer science or an engineering field. Take a look at these job positions to see what real employers are looking for:

  • An integration systems engineer is needed in New York City by a government contractor in IT services. You would need expertise in Java, more than 5 years of experience and a degree in an IT-related field. Duties would include testing software, designing systems and some managerial oversight. The job pays between $50,000 and $63,000 plus benefits.
  • An integration engineer is needed in Houston, TX, by a telecommunications company. You can get this job with a bachelor's degree, 5-7 years of experience and demonstrable proficiency in programming.
  • An integration engineer is wanted at a well-known online retailer in Washington. In addition to a bachelor's or master's degree, you need five years of experience or more with data integration projects.

How to Beat the Competition

One way to stand out among other job applicants is to join a professional organization. Systems analysts can join the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which offers opportunities to publish research in its journals and gives you access to a digital library. Alternatively, you could pursue a graduate degree in computer science or engineering. These programs take 2-3 years to complete and culminate in a comprehensive exam, though sometimes the test can be replaced by a thesis or project.

Alternative Careers

Actuary

If you want to contribute to the efficiency of a business but you don't want to work on the technical side of things, you might consider working as an actuary. Professionals in this field use math and statistics to help businesses avoid financial risks. You need a bachelor's degree to get this job, and it pays about $88,000 per year, per BLS reports.

Computer and Information Scientist

If you enjoy research and want to see your education through to the end, working as a computer scientist might be a perfect fit for you. You'd focus on theory and research related to computer science and information. You need a terminal degree (usually a doctorate) to get this job, but it pays upwards of $101,000 per year, according to the BLS.

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