Integration Architect: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for integration architects. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Industrial Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Integration Architect?

Integration architects focus on how software systems are structured and perform relative to one another within a computer system. Your job will be to explore and design new solutions for problems in these systems looking at them as a whole, rather than simply as individual pieces. This is to ensure that all components of your client's system work properly and effectively with each other in addition to their individual functions. You may oversee a team of workers, coordinating their efforts and keeping the project focused, and you may train new members as needed.

The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as an integration architect.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is typical; master's degrees are available
Education Field of Study Computer science, engineering, information sciences, and technology
Key Responsibilities Design and develop systems software architecture, develop and install software, evaluate systems, install operating systems and hardware
Job Growth (2014-2024) 13% (for all systems software developers)*
Median Salary (2015) $114,330 (for all computer software and hardware architects)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

What Education Do I Need to be an Integration Architect?

Most integration architects have at least a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field. A computer science program will teach you everything from the architecture inside a computer to the development of applications and software programs that make computers functional.

Some of the topics you would study are computer programming, software engineering, hardware, and databases. You could work with instructors in computer labs where you would practice your technical skills on a variety of computers, operating systems, and hardware components.

If you majored in engineering, you could choose a specialty like computer science or computer engineering. A math and science intensive program, you would study calculus, finite mathematics, algorithms, programming languages, system organization, and more. It would be helpful to choose a program that also has a business curriculum because integration architects use business practices to work with clients and provide business solutions.

Another option is a Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology - Integration and Application. The curriculum is similar to the computer science program but with a focus on integrating systems architecture for businesses and organizations. You could study systems design, information systems usability, organizational information, and programming.

At the master's degree level, you could choose a Master of Science (M.S.) in Systems Engineering, which also focuses on systems integration. You could study integration and testing, engineering principles, systems architecture and analysis, networks, and project management. An M.S. program takes about two years to complete and generally culminates in a graduate thesis.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

An integration architect designs and develops architecture that allows multiple systems to work consecutively. Most integration architects are part of software development and engineering teams, ensuring that a client's systems are functional, efficient, and integrate seamlessly into one another. You could develop and install software, evaluate systems, install operating systems and hardware, and analyze systems security.

Your project management duties might include performing cost projections, approving budgets, making changes to designs and monitoring team progress. You might also test software, create system fixes, and provide systems training.

How Much Could I Earn? reports that the 10th to 90th percentile range of architects of computer software and hardware earned $60,592 and $163,300 as of October 2016. The median annual salary for these architects in the same month and year was $114,330. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that computer software developers who specialize in systems software earned a median annual salary of $105,570 in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternate Careers?

IT managers direct the information technology goals and practices within an organization, leading teams to implement new solutions and upgrades to computer systems within the business. Computer systems analysts observe the computer systems at work within an organization, devising solutions to problems and suggesting ways to improve performance to management based on their findings. Computer programmers write and design code for websites, applications, and computers that instruct them how to function, revising code as needed when mistakes arise. All these careers require a bachelor's degree at minimum, though any type of managerial role also requires prior experience in the field.

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