Software Development

What is an Application Engineer: Definition, Role Skills, Responsibilities & Salary

What is an Application Engineer

It’s not hard to see that the demand for skilled engineers has increased over years, with 150,000 new engineering jobs available between 2016 and 2026, This huge umbrella covers a field that attracts a lot of attention: Application Engineer.

If you are familiar with the industry, the title Application Engineer is one that you may have heard of before. This could be because of the fact that it allows you to hire one of these professionals to work on a project. Perhaps you’re a budding engineer looking for the next big thing in engineering and want to understand what an Application Engineer does.

Many people are not clear on the roles and responsibilities that an Application Engineer has. This is why we created a comprehensive guide. Continue reading to learn more:

  • Summary
  • Team
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Requirements and skills
  • Job Outlook

What is an Application Engineer?

Application Engineers act as a bridge between the engineering teams of an organization and their customers. They aim to improve the functionality of their clients’ software. These engineers take customer feedback, sales information, and other data and use it to design or re-design complex software programs and applications. Importantly, app developers are distinct from application engineers.

In a nutshell, Application Engineers are tasked with improving the functionality of client software. For example, they use the following:

  • Creating New software architecture
  • Work within an existing software
  • Engineering hardware components that optimize certain technologies
  • Provide technical support and expertise for their clients
  • Other tasks include testing applications, maintaining hardware, and responding to customers.

Many times, they are hired by software development companies with many clients to meet unique software requirements. These engineers can be similar to Business Analysts. Because they are skilled at extracting information from clients to determine the project scope and design a solution. They typically work with clients outside of the company, which is a big difference from Business Analysts.

Other than developing new applications or improving the functionality of existing software, An Application Engineer must have hardware knowledge and be able to understand technical specifications for a wide range of software in order to resolve client concerns. They serve as customer-facing team members and should also have soft skills to support sales and customer service.

Team structure

Application Engineers are often part of a technical team called the Application Development and Maintenance team (ADM). This group typically has a Project Manager, who oversees several teams with their own engineers. ADM works closely with client-side Project Leaders, Products Owners, and internal Senior Management to ensure that application jobs are completed accurately.

ADM teams may include other developers and designers in addition to the Application Engineer. The Applications Engineer, as the name implies, is the team leader. They also serve as the primary contact point for clients, representing the whole team and being responsible for client satisfaction. They act as a liaison between ADMs and clients.

The Applications Engineer’s reach extends to many departments, including engineering, sales, marketing, customer service, and manufacturing.

Also read: What is Data Engineering? Required Skills and Tools

Roles and responsibilities of an application engineer

Roles and responsibilities of an application engineer many responsibilities for the Application Engineer

These are essential to the smooth operation of the ADM team. Let’s look at these key responsibilities–which will help you understand the skillsets needed to be a successful app engineer.

Create apps and improve existing software

An Application Engineer’s primary function is to improve and design software. to understand the goals of each project, they conduct necessary evaluations with their clients after careful evaluation, you can then proceed to implement.

Sometimes, this means that they may be asked to develop custom software. Application Engineers need to think one step ahead. They are responsible for planning and implementing expansion projects that will improve the client’s existing software infrastructure. Futureproofing is a priority.

An Application Engineer may be tasked to build a new database platform for a client They may also recommend a database upgrade to allow sales representatives to view more customer Contact Information from the database in another application they frequent, like Microsoft Outlook. It’s up to the Applications Engineer:

  • Learn to understand the client’s goals.
  • Get the best advice on how to get there.

This means that Application Engineers need to be familiar with many coding languages, especially those applicable to enterprise solutions.

Provide tech support to clients

A client’s Application Engineer acts as a help desk contact, answering 2nd and 3rd-tier tech support phone calls.

The Application Engineer can help clients with troubleshooting issues by defining priorities and assisting with higher-level calls if they are working with a help desk.

Sometimes, Application Engineers can respond to clients’ needs on-site and offer additional consultation. These types of tech support calls can result in up-selling opportunities, especially for assertive Application Engineers, who are responsible for incremental sales growth.

Whether by phone or in person, An Application Engineer must provide the best customer service possible when answering calls. They combine their expertise in both hardware and software with critical thinking skills to find solutions for clients from installing and updating software to recommending hardware components that improve the infrastructure’s performance,

Provide hardware upgrades

Application engineers must understand not only the client’s needs but also the technical requirements of their software. This requires them to have a good understanding of the technical specifications of the hardware.

Software performance is affected by factors such as server speed, availability, and processor speed. Experts recommend that you have a degree in either computer science or electrical engineering to get into this field. Application Engineers may be required to design and build custom mechanical components that relate to software applications.

Some Application Engineer jobs, for example, require knowledge of solid-state drives to be able to work with mobile devices. Other jobs require applicants to have knowledge of radio technology or an enterprise server type.

Although the knowledge required of an Application Engineer may vary from one position to another, there is no doubt that some knowledge about hardware will be necessary.

Make sales recommendations

An Application Engineer’s role is to evaluate the client’s needs regularly. This involves looking at the client’s current software and hardware inventories and determining what can be done to improve them.

Application engineers should be proficient in the art of upselling. They will be able to up-sell during both the initial consultation and subsequent tech support calls. They should be able to translate technical jargon into understandable terms that are relatable and useful for their clients.

Inventory & document systems

Application Engineers are also responsible for the documentation and inventory of all client systems. They must be detail-oriented. This is what it means:

  • Keep detailed records of all installations and hardware components
  • All technical specifications must be logged to maintain systems at their peak performance

In many cases, Inventory software and other office suites are often used in many cases to manage inventory and documentation. The Application Engineer must be proficient in all office software required to complete the job.

Education, skills & requirements

As one might assume, All requirements, skills, education, and experience for an Application Engineer are required. These will largely relate to the knowledge of designing and creating software. This is not a role that’s just behind the scenes. However, many of these skills will also include customer service and team collaboration.


Many companies require Application Engineers who have completed a 4-year degree either in computer science or another related field. Some companies require an engineering master’s degree to be eligible for certain positions.

They must have extensive knowledge and experience in programming languages, the development and design of enterprise programs, and hardware. These and related skills are required by most companies.

The IEEE Computer Society offers credentialing for entry-level IT professionals looking to further their careers in Application Engineering. To help new IT professionals get on the right path, this group offers a Certified Software Development Associate certification. Candidates must demonstrate an understanding and proficiency in software requirements, software construction, and testing.

After you have gained work experience in software development, the Professional Software Developer Certificate is another credential that IEEE offers. This certification demonstrates competency in four areas: Software Engineering Requirements (Software Engineering Design), Software Engineering Construction (Software Engineering Testing), and Software Engineering Testing.

Also read: How to Become a Software Developer


While the requirements for an Application Engineer job will vary from one company to another, there are some common skills that employers look for in candidates. When looking for the right candidate to maintain their software, here are some of the things employers look for:

  • Relevant hands-on engineering or development experience
  • Software development and improvement
  • Solid knowledge of software and programming
  • Hardware familiarity
  • Management skills for project management
  • Experience in minor electrical engineering
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Pleasant, but focused sales demeanor
  • Soft Skills, which include exceptional customer service and interpersonal skills


Because Application Engineers work at the intersection between engineering, customer service, and manufacturing, They must feel comfortable wearing many different hats each one possessing the skill and ability to communicate clearly with specific teams.

They should also be able to use mathematics well. You have the ability to lead teams across departments. Application engineers need to be skilled in both customer service and detail-oriented analytical tasks.

Future outlook

This field is highly sought-after. Application Engineering offers high job satisfaction and competitive pay. Companies that hire Application Engineers are highly sought-after, such as software companies and computer design companies that require someone to assist their clients. Application Engineers deal with clients from many industries, so they need to have a broad skill set.


Application Engineers are important. The 22% projected growth rate for the profession is expected by 2024. This is higher than the average for an IT field that is growing rapidly.

The current average salary for Application Engineers is $100,396, but major industry players are compensated much more.


Application Engineers will continue to be a crucial part of companies’ success. This role involves working with new products and clients, as well as creating state-of-the-art developments and team collaborations. There are many opportunities to grow professionally and personally development.

Written by
Aiden Nathan

Aiden Nathan is vice growth manager of The Tech Trend. He is passionate about the applying cutting edge technology to operate the built environment more sustainably.

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