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Occupation Details

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Software Engineer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€23k > 74
Software Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€23 - 74
Related Information:
Senior Software Engineer: 45 - 74
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

As with programmers, the labour market indicators examined point to an occupation in high demand with strong employment growth and evidence that employers are having difficulties filling vacancies.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

ICT Professionals

Also included in this category:

IT consultants; software testers; systems testers (computing); telecommunications planners; business analysts (computing); system analysts; systems consultants; technical analysts (computing); technical architects; internet developers; multimedia develop

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 6%
Non-Nationals: 28%
With Third Level: 88%
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At a Glance... header image

Develops, creates, and modifies general computer applications software or specialised utility programs.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:3

Roisín Howard
Software Engineer
Roisin Howard, Software Engineer and Athlete, tells how her interest in Maths and Physics has led to a rewarding career in engineering that provides her with challenges that satisfy her drive to keep solving problems.
Go to Interview

Claire Purcell
Software Engineer
Claire Purcell is a software engineering intern. Her job involves writing and debugging code, as part of software development projects.
Go to Interview

Karl Stanley
Software Engineer
After his Leaving Cert, Karl went to Trinity College Dublin to do a degree in Mathematics. He then went on to compete a M.Sc in Computer Science and currently works as a Software engineer with ticket-text.com.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Software Engineer - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Computer software engineers traditionally work on the most complex types of software, including operating systems, while analyst/applications programmers work on software used to carry out business activities, such as managing a payroll. However, these career titles are becoming increasingly used to describe both types of work.  
Software engineers are involved in all stages in the development of a software product. They apply software technology to meet a defined need or solve a particular problem. This could involve analysing an existing system, designing a new system or investigating new technologies.  
Software engineers tend to work for: IT firms or consultancies; major IT users, organisations that harness, create or use IT, such as banks, retailers, manufacturers, telecommunications companies, the armed forces the public sector and voluntary organisations.  
At the start of a project, software engineers have to develop their knowledge of the client's business and their particular needs and problems.  
You will also be working closely with other staff/project managers, systems analysts and sales and marketing professionals.  
Next, they work with their clients to agree on important issues such as the hardware and software they need, costs and deadlines, as well as setting out a specification of what the finished software product should be.  
Software engineers (usually working in a team on larger programs) will then begin to write the program or programs. They will then test the program for bugs (faults), correcting any problems that they find.  
Software engineers may train their clients to use the new program or system. They are also likely to train other people who need to know how to support and maintain the system, for example, computer service technicians and support services engineers.  
Computer software engineers may write instructions or manuals to go with the software they have developed.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.


Test system modifications to prepare for implementation.


Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.


Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.


Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.


Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes.


Create or maintain databases of known test defects.


Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.


Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.


Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Systems Evaluation: Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Programming: Writing computer programs for various purposes.


Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.


Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Attention to detail and commitment to seeing projects through from start to finish are vital qualities. You must enjoy solving problems and have a logical, analytical and methodical approach to your work.  
A high aptitude for computers is also required. Computer software engineers need a high level of technical expertise. You must be willing to keep up-to-date with advances in technology, both in hardware and software.  
Computer software engineers also need excellent interpersonal skills to work in teams and to communicate well with clients. You will usually need good written skills to present proposals and reports to clients and to write instructions and manuals for the programs. Strong communication skills are also needed to train clients in how to use new programs.  
You must have a good understanding of the nature of your client's business activities and their information technology needs.  
As well as working in teams, software engineers must be able to work independently. Software engineers often work to deadlines, so you must be well organised and able to work well under pressure.

Entry Routesheader image

Most Software Engineers have a degree in Software Engineering, Electronics or Computer Science. Some people have postgraduate qualifications in computing, in which case their first degree may not be in a computing subject area.  
Relevant degree courses are available from most of the Universities, Institutes of Technology, VECs and private colleges. SOLAS also provides Programming Courses [See course list available on this page].

Computing professionals can gain Chartered Engineer or Associate Engineer status through Engineers Ireland after first gaining an accredited degree, diploma or certificate, followed by three or four years experience in the workplace. 

All professional titles are highly regarded by employers throughout industry.

Last Updated: October, 2014

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Computer & Software Engineering - from: STEPS
Go..Software engineer - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 665 1300
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: ICS - The Society for Chartered IT Professionals in Ireland
Address: 87-89 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 644 7820
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Software Association
Address: Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot St. Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 605 1500
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: ICT Ireland
Address: Confederation House, 84/86, Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 605 1500
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Smart Futures
Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 607 3171
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Computers & ICT
Physics, Mathematics & Space Science

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