IT Engineer Job Description

IT Engineers manage organizations’ computer systems, including software, hardware and networks. They may be responsible for designing, installing, and supporting the entire system or may specialize in one area of the computer system, such as security infrastructure or telecommunications.

IT Engineers work as part of an IT team and may report to an IT manager, but the majority of their work is completed on their own. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the software development sector, which includes IT Engineers, is expected to grow at an above-average rate of 17 percent through 2024, adding an estimated 186,600 jobs to this sector during this period.


IT Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization and the type of computer system an IT Engineer works with will determine their particular responsibilities; however, there are several main duties all IT Engineers perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.

Identify and Resolve System Issues

IT Engineers are responsible for studying their employer’s current computer system, identifying areas that need improvements or overhauls and implementing these changes. They will need to be skilled in assessment techniques and have the ability to design and install any necessary upgrades to the system.

Develop Systems

Many IT Engineers are hired to create an IT or computer system specific to their employer’s needs. This often entails some programming and scripting knowledge, as well as planning, configuring, testing and monitoring new systems.

Document Work

Documenting work is a very important part of the IT Engineer’s job. They must document system configurations, updates they make to a system and any new procedures or policies created in their work. Their documentation is used by other IT staff or management to see what changes or creations have been made to their systems.

Manage Projects

IT Engineers are often called upon to act as a project manager. They often oversee IT staff and coordinate with vendors and internal users when implementing a new system. They may be required to setup meetings, present information and order supplies and equipment when working on a project.


IT Engineer Skills

A successful IT Engineer has a broad knowledge of technologies and enjoys solving problems. They have excellent communication skills and keep up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in the industry. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want IT Engineer with these core skills. If you want to work in IT Support, focus on the following.

  • Knowing security protocols, IT systems, networking infrastructures and database systems
  • Managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Working with inter-disciplinary teams to craft IT solutions
  • Communicating complex information to a non-technological audience
  • Troubleshooting technology problems

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.

  • Program certifications such as, Microsoft, VMWare, SQL and Oracle
  • Proficiency in a compiled programming language such as, C++ or FORTRAN
  • Web application development


IT Engineer Q & A

Looking into a career as an IT Engineer? We got an inside look at the job by talking to Binny Mathews, co-founder and CEO of DeZyre, a company that works with IBM to prepare IT Engineers. Here’s what he told us about the job.

What’s the most rewarding part about being an IT Engineer?

Almost all IT solutions are focused on providing some benefit at scale. So the most rewarding part of being an IT Engineer is being part of something that will impact thousands or millions of people.

What is the biggest challenge faced by IT Engineers?

There are new technologies coming out every few weeks and it’s practically impossible to stay up to date. So there is this constant fear of being outdated and not relevant in the role.

What skills do you use every day?

Broadly the most important skill an IT Engineer needs is problem-solving. If you don’t like staring at your computer screen to solve a problem undistracted for hours then IT is not the job for you. Apart from this a real liking for technology helps, since this helps you stay updated.

Who succeeds in this job?

Someone with an ability to concentrate for an extended period of time, and someone who likes to get at the core of any problem and is not satisfied with peripheral answers.

How should someone prepare for a career as an IT Engineer?

Self-learning is really the only way. Traditional education channels like universities are not relevant any more to learn IT skills. Some ways to prepare include building a project portfolio on Github and learning by building projects from companies, for example the IBM Certification in Big Data and the IBM Certification in Data Science.


IT Engineer Resources

There are more helpful resources available on the Web for those interested in working in IT Support. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

IT Professional – This publication is offered bi-monthly from the IEEE Computer society and covers all aspects and the latest developments in the IT industry.

Computer World – This site is a great source for all things computer related. Look under the IT Management section for the latest news and technologies in the IT world.


@ansrecruiter – Follow Amber Shinault, an IT and engineering recruiter as she posts opportunities and trends in the IT job market.

@Hire4Engineer – This IT/Engineering recruiter tweets a mix of inspirational thoughts and job and industry news.

Industry Groups

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – IEEE established in 1884 for the burgeoning electrical industry, has grown into an organization with over 430,000 members worldwide composed of scientists, engineers, software developers and computer science employees. Their large network of members enjoy career development, technical information, research and industry news from this organization.

Computing Technology Industry Association – Founded in 1982, CompTIA provides certification and business credentials, IT education, networking opportunities and resources to those in the information technology field.


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