What Does an IT Engineer Do? (With 6 Steps for Becoming One)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

IT engineers maintain and repair the computer systems people use every day. They use skills in technology and implementation to troubleshoot and design new information technology systems. If you are knowledgeable about computer technology and skilled in problem-solving, a job in this field may be perfect for you. In this article, we discuss the duties, skills and average salary of IT engineers and explain how to become one in six steps.

Related: Ultimate Guide To Explore Many Different Types of Jobs

What is an IT engineer?

An IT engineer is a professional in charge of the functionality of computer systems for an organisation. Those in this role work with computer software, hardware, networks and similar systems. They usually collaborate with other IT professionals to design and install equipment and programs and troubleshoot computer issues. An important part of the role of an IT engineer is to repair faulty computer systems and update technologies over time. Many IT engineers also perform management roles, supervising and guiding the assignments of entry-level IT professionals.

IT engineers often specialise in a particular field, such as:

  • Software development

  • Cloud computing

  • IT security and governance

  • Networking

  • Computer hardware

  • Systems architecture

  • Telecommunications

  • Business intelligence and analytics

  • Web design and development

  • Data science and machine learning

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Example

What does an IT engineer do?

An IT engineer's duties vary based on the company they work for, the credentials they have and other factors. However, here are some typical IT engineer responsibilities:

  • Diagnose and resolve computer and technology-related issues

  • Identify which improvements and upgrades to make to computer systems

  • Manage projects and coordinate with other IT employees

  • Document and report solutions to clients, managers and other stakeholders

  • Work with clients to identify their technological and software needs

  • Design, configure and test custom computer systems for clients

  • Order supplies and equipment as necessary

  • Conduct research and coding to develop new software

  • Configure, test and automate current computer systems

How to become an IT engineer

With the right planning and effort, you can reach your goal of becoming an IT engineer. Here are the six steps for doing so:

1. Complete education

Typically, employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree before applying for an IT engineering role. Attend a college or university and gain a four-year degree in IT engineering, software engineering, programming, computer science or a related field. Here are some courses you might take in this type of program:

  • Calculus

  • Geometry

  • Engineering mathematics

  • Physics

  • General chemistry

  • Engineering materials

  • Logical design and digital circuits

  • Probability and statistics

  • Computer graphics for manufacturing

  • Computer science and engineering

  • Computer networking

  • Programming

  • Software engineering

  • Data structures and design

It is important to choose a program accredited by the All India Council for Technical Education. This ensures your technical education is high quality, official and in accordance with national standards.

Related: What Is Software Engineering? Complete Guide

2. Take part in an engineering internship

Many academic programmes for engineering require students to complete an internship before graduating. Taking part in an IT or engineering internship can be an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience in the field and determine whether you want to continue pursuing this career path. You might also meet and form friendships with colleagues and supervisors, helping you build your professional network and exposing you to potential job opportunities in the future.

3. Consider pursuing a master's degree

Some employers may require IT engineering candidates to have a master's degree in IT engineering or computer programming. Getting a master's or further postgraduate degree can help you gain expert knowledge, build skills, expand your job prospects and impress potential employers. In general, having more education and training experience makes you a more competitive job candidate. Here are some special concentrations you might pursue in graduate school:

  • Robotics: A rapidly expanding area, robotics students gain expertise in developing robotic systems for uses like prosthetics, telemedicine, self-driving cars and brain-machine interfaces.

  • Data analytics: Data analytics students analyse enormous quantities of data to implement innovations in finance, health care, engineering and other industries.

  • Cybersecurity: Those specialising in cybersecurity become experts in securing computer devices and mitigating threats, protecting personal, medical, government and other system information.

4. Build a portfolio

As you gain educational, internship and work experience, consider building a portfolio of your best work. These could be any designs or projects you have completed that showcase your IT engineering acumen. Having an impressive portfolio can be a great way to show your qualifications to potential employers. If you build a website of your past work, place a link on your resume so a hiring manager can review it prior to an interview.

5. Earn certifications

Industry certifications can help you stand out among other candidates when applying to IT engineering positions. As computer systems and developments are frequently changing, having the latest knowledge and certifications is important to do your job well. You might consider earning credentials like CompTIA Server+ or DevOps. Review open job listings for your ideal role to see what most employers prefer from qualified candidates.

6. Apply for IT engineering positions

Once you have completed all educational requirements, search for IT engineer openings. Make sure to update your resume and cover letter so they can best express your professional background and skills. Make your resume clear and easy to read so that it can capture the attention of potential employers.

Related: How To Make a Resume (With Examples)

Skills for an IT engineer

IT engineers work in an exciting, fast-paced field, and they need certain skills to help them succeed, such as:

  • Technical skills: One of the most important skills for IT engineers is technical skills, as they work with computers every day. They need to know how to navigate and troubleshoot computer systems, software programs and other technologies.

  • Project management: Many IT engineers are in charge of managing a team in implementing a project, like installing new software programs. It is beneficial when IT engineers can handle multiple tasks and deliver products and services by the deadline.

  • Problem-solving: Clients often call IT engineers when they are experiencing an issue and do not know what to do. Good IT engineers can use their knowledge to identify the problem and solve it quickly and effectively.

  • Communication: IT engineers have to communicate with colleagues about project tasks, so it is important they can convey information clearly and concisely. They also have to explain technical details to audiences who may not be familiar with computer systems.

  • Programming: IT engineers need programming skills to verify and process the functions of different computer programs. They may also use it to design and develop new programs.

  • Collaboration: IT engineers typically work in teams with other IT professionals, so it is important they can collaborate effectively. Proper teamwork can allow them to solve IT issues quickly and easily.

IT engineers may also need specific technical skills, depending on where they work. These abilities may require additional training or certifications. Here are some examples:

  • Certifications in Microsoft programs

  • Certifications in SQL or Oracle

  • Knowledge of common programming languages, including C++

  • Knowledge of security protocols

  • Knowledge of database management

  • Knowledge of scripting languages

  • Knowledge of networking infrastructures

Related: Coder vs. Programmer - Fundamental Differences

IT engineer average salary

The average salary of an IT engineer is ₹19,019 per month. However, their salaries may vary based on their geographical location, company, position, years of experience, certifications and other factors. In general, IT engineers who complete more education and earn special credentials can negotiate for a higher salary. They may also pursue supervisory positions, which can come with a higher salary.

Related: Different High Income Skills

IT engineer work environment

IT engineers generally work in an office or lab, developing or troubleshooting computer programs and systems. They may also travel to various sites to respond to technical problems from employees or team leaders. The daily tasks of an IT engineer may also vary from project to project. They may spend an entire week updating systems and another week designing and planning new IT projects.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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