How do you become a Software Engineer?

Are you into software engineering or are you curious about that field? Then carry on reading this article to find the qualifications you need to start your career. As well as the skills and experience needed to be successful in your career progression to be like Elon Musk or Bill Gates. Read on! And we will walk you through your salary and the benefits of being a software engineer.

What do Software Engineers do?

As a software engineer, you will work with clients and development teams in order to find out what they want. You must attend meetings for technical design, coding and creating programs. When referring to code, you must write and amend computer code which solves different problems

Testing out different types of software to find the most effective program, finding problems or fixing issues found. Being a software engineer needs you to check software before it is released.

Making sure you keep accurate records and notes on the changes that you have made in order to notify clients and the development team. You must maintain and support systems continuously once they are released and running for no issues to impact the effectiveness of the software.

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Qualifications of a Software Engineer


At university, there are plenty of opportunities and courses you can enrol in. There are foundation degrees, higher national diplomas or a degree. These courses have relevant subjects to become a software engineer; these are:

  • Computer science
  • Information technology
  • Software development
  • Financial technology
  • Software engineering for business
  • Maths


If you want to start developing your knowledge after leaving school, college courses are a great option. After your course, you can enrol in trainee positions or higher apprenticeships. These courses are available to you:

  • A Level in Computing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Programming
  • T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Higher National Certificate in Computing

There are different entry requirements for these courses or A-levels. For A-levels, you will need 4 or 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4, including English, Maths and computing. T level entry requirements need 4 or 5 GCSEs between 9 and 4, which also include English and Maths. If you are interested in higher national certificates or diplomas, you need 1 or 2 A-levels or the equivalent.

Work Experience

If you are more interested in gaining experience and learning, then maybe higher or degree apprenticeships are for you. You have plenty of options including:

  • Software development technician advanced apprenticeship
  • Software developer higher apprenticeship
  • DevOps engineer higher apprenticeship
  • Digital and technology solutions professional or specialist degree apprenticeship
  • Game programmer degree apprenticeship

Skills of a Software Engineer

Computer Programming

Software engineers come into contact with programming computers daily. You must apply methods and techniques to provide computers with instructions to perform to solve problems. Software applications, web pages or even a computer display, combine technical and analytical skills to solve problems effectively.

Problem-Solving Skills

Using techniques and research to find solutions to problems. This is required if you are a software engineer testing different practices to create solutions for computer problems. Applications and design features that do not exist yet, and create algorithms to solve problems caused by older applications.

Analytical Thinking Skills

As a software engineer, your analytical skills help you complete your day-to-day tasks. The ability to tackle complicated issues by evaluating the data gathered can influence your performance as an analyst. Detecting issues with sets of data and applying practical solutions is a skill employer look for.

Salaries of Software Engineers in the UK

Your average salary as a software engineer is around £48,000 gross per year; this works out to be £3,000 net per month. This average is 62% higher than the UK’s national average. Your starting salary is around £26,000 but can exceed £130,000, however, there can be a bonus added to your salary. This graph shows you the average salary of a software engineer based in the major cities of the UK.

Salaries of Software Engineers in the UK

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Overview of Software Engineers

Profession Group Computer Science
Minimum Age N/A
Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
Salary Indication £48,000
Related Jobs Design, Technical and IT

FAQs about Software Engineers

  • How long does it take to become a software engineer?

  • The usual duration is between three months and four years, depending on your experience, professional background and career path.

  • How many hours do software engineers work?

  • The average day is 8 to 9 hours, which works out to 40 to 45 hours per week. These are the average work hours for jobs in the UK.

See more of our professions guide