If you are not tech or computer-savvy, you might not know what a solutions engineer is.
A solutions engineer or SE is someone who uses his or her technological knowledge to find solutions to their client‘s problems.
Basically, a SE makes your life easier by helping you figure out how to use new technology. They use a mix of IT and business skills to help organizations create and implement technology solutions and streamline business processes.
In this article, I will talk extensively about solution engineers, their responsibilities, their job outlook, and how you can become a solution engineer.
Let’s dive right into it.
Who is a solutions engineer?
A solutions engineer is one whose role is to work with various personnel to identify the customer’s needs.
The aim of having a solutions engineer is to generate a customized solution that is suitable for everyone, particularly the customers.
Firstly, they discuss with the customer to determine what the problem is and what they would prefer it to look like. Then they come up with a plan and work with other designers to implement a solution.
This could involve either creating custom software or hardware configurations. They may also integrate third-party applications into existing systems in other to find a solution.
What are the responsibilities of a solution engineer?
A solution engineer’s task may vary from company to company. Some of them include;
1. Communicate and recommend solutions to clients
Solution engineers are tasked with communicating with the client to determine their issues. Then, they are expected to recommend solutions or upgrades that meet those needs.
2. Create design solutions or prototypes
The solution engineer does major research and creates a proposal or a prototype to match or meet the need of the client. This prototype is then tested for viability or bugs before it is implemented.
3. Estimate the cost and the benefits of solutions
The solutions engine is also expected to estimate the cost the solution is supposed to incur for the client.
Furthermore, they state how this solution can benefit the company in the long run.
4. Design and implement the solution based on the client’s need
Another responsibility of a solutions engineer is to design and implement the solution he or she came up with. They work with other team members to ensure that this solution works perfectly.
In case any problem is encountered the solution engineer takes down these problems and finds solutions to them as well.
5. Oversees projects
If the company has a complex task or project, they work with several teams to accomplish that. The solutions engineer is the one who oversees these projects because he is the one who sees the bigger picture or knows how its outcome should be.
They ensure that each team works adequately and effectively in line with the customer’s needs.
6. Perform system assessment
Another responsibility of a solution engineer is to perform assessment tests on projects. This is done in order to identify any weaknesses and to determine where improvement is needed.
They also perform a security assessment to ensure that the company’s data are safe from unauthorized personnel.
What qualities should a solution engineer have?
As a solutions engineer, you are expected to possess an array of skills or qualities. Some of these skills are;
1. Technical skills
Solutions engineers require technical knowledge of the system they are tasked with, such as improving or finding solutions.
Also, they need this skill in other to train or teach others who work under them.
2. Communication skills
In this line of business, communication skill is essential. This is because they are faced with situations where they have to explain technical concepts to individuals who do not understand.
Sometimes, they might be working in pairs or as part of a team, and communication is core in this situation.
3. Problem-solving skills
As earlier mentioned, solutions engineers are responsible for finding solutions that meet clients’ needs.
It is important that they have the skills to identify the source of the issue and develop a solution that is up to the required standard.
4. Business acumen
As a solutions engineer, you work with different clients, some of who do not know exactly what they want but know the end result to expect.
Solutions engineers need business acumen to understand what a client’s business goal is. This way, he or she gets a better understanding of how to implement a solution to meet such goals.
Job outlook and salary of a solutions engineer
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for solutions engineers are estimated to increase by 6% in the next decade.
The BLS also states that solution engineers earn an average base salary of $108,194 per year.
How can you become a solutions engineer?
A career as a solutions engineer can be quite rewarding, and it offers you the opportunity to work with various big companies or industries. If you think it may be the right path for you, here’s how to become a solution engineer;
1. Get the educational requirement
The first step you should take is to get the educational requirement needed for this field. As a solutions engineer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in either computer science or software engineering.
2. Get the required experience
You would also need to get prior experience in this field.
Usually, you would be required to give proof of work experience in information technology positions or software engineering positions.
3. Obtain professional certification
To have the edge over others in this field, you should have professional certifications to back up your experience.
Some of the best certifications you can get include A+, SQL programming, Linux, and CompTIA designations.
4. Have knowledge of various technologies
As a solutions engineer, you will need prior knowledge of already existing technologies and even modern advancement.
Also, you have to be familiar with these systems, both with the hardware and software components.
5. Build the necessary skills
To be a successful solution engineer, you need to have the skills necessary to design and execute effective solutions.
This includes having a strong understanding of systems and how they work, as well as the ability to solve problems.
You must also be able to communicate your ideas effectively and be able to work with other team members in order to create a successful solution.
Is a solution engineer’s job hard?
No, it is not.
Although it tends to require critical thinking, with that, you should be fine.
What industries do solutions engineers work in?
A solutions engineer can work in software development companies, computer and software design companies, security systems companies, and network development companies.
Is solution engineering the same as mechanical engineering?
No, they are not the same.
Solution engineering focuses on finding solutions for the client. Mechanical engineering focuses on designing new schematics or building on already existing vehicles.
Conclusion: Is solutions engineering worth it?
A solutions engineer is one with technological knowledge whose role is to find the best possible solutions to clients’ issues. They interact with the client, determine their goals or plan, and work to implement these plans.
It is an incredible field with a very good yearly income and a bright-looking growth rate for the future. With the right certification, experience, and skills, you too can become a professional solutions engineer.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should also see if you can become an engineer without a degree.
Thanks for reading.