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Software Engineers and Designers

What they do?

Software engineers and designers perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Collect and document user's requirements and develop logical and physical specifications

B. Research, evaluate and synthesize technical information to design, develop and test computer-based systems

C. Develop data, process and network models to optimize architecture and to evaluate the performance and reliability of designs

D. Plan, design and co-ordinate the development, installation, integration and operation of computer-based systems

E. Assess, test, troubleshoot, document, upgrade and develop maintenance procedures for operating systems, communications environments and applications software

F. May lead and co-ordinate teams of information systems professionals in the development of software and integrated information systems, process control software and other embedded software control systems.

Where they find work?

1. Computer systems design and related services - 37.0%
2. Information and cultural industries - 15.0%
3. Computer and electronic product manufacturing - 15.0%
4. Scientific research and development services - 8.0%
5. Wholesale trade - 5.0%
6. Architectural engineering and related services - 3.0%
7. Public administration - 2.0%

What education do I need?

1. A bachelor's degree, usually in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering or mathematics or completion of a college program in computer science is usually required.

2. A master's or doctoral degree in a related discipline may be required.

3. Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).

4. Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

5. Experience as a computer programmer is usually required.

6. Most recent entrants have an undergraduate university degree.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. Business
3. Computer-related courses
4. Industrial Arts (Electronics)

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Software Engineers and Designers is $32.71/HR, which is above average for occupations in the natural and applied sciences and related occupations and above average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Software Engineers and Designers wages

Expected Wage by Age

Software Engineers and Designers Wage By Age


1% of Software Engineers and Designers are unemployed. This rate is below the average for professional occupations.


Software Engineers and Designers Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Software Engineers and Designers Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Software Engineers and Designers is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($32.71) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (1%) is below the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. Enrolment in the fields of study related to this occupation has increased considerably. This will likely result in a very significant number of graduates over the next few years and could lead to a decrease in employment opportunities. The employment growth rate will likely be above average.

2. The retirement rate will likely be below average, and the number of retiring workers should not contribute significantly to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations Software Engineers are found in Ontario and British Columbia while the lowest concentrations are in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Useful Experience:

1. Project management

2. Team project work

3. Proposal writing

Part Time Workers

Software Engineers and Designers Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

3% of Software Engineers and Designers are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 23,100 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 54% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Software Engineers and Designers Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The younger-than-average age (38) of worker will likely result in a below-average retirement rate to 2009.

Self Employed

Software Engineers and Designers Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 9% of Software Engineers and Designers are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Software Engineers and Designers Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

17% of the individuals employed as Software Engineers and Designers are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.