A computer hardware engineer is responsible for developing and designing electronic products, such as circuit boards, processing units, computer chips, modems, keyboards, printers, memory and storage devices, data switches, and other mechanical and electrical components of systems. He or she can have a career in various industries, such as manufacturing, research and development, and IT.
A computer hardware engineer can either work independently or as part of a team of IT professionals. In some organizations, computer hardware engineers are also in charge of maintaining and providing technical support for users of internal hardware.
Read More about a “Computer Hardware Engineer”
Since there is a push toward going digital, most companies now need computer hardware engineers to help them succeed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for computer hardware engineers will grow by 6% by 2028. If you want to be part of this trend, continue reading below.
What do Computer Hardware Engineers Do?
The tasks expected of computer hardware engineers include:
- Designing new computer hardware and developing schematics required for building equipment, such as microchips and circuit boards
- Testing the designed computer hardware before its actual release
- Analyzing test results and making design modifications when necessary
- Updating computer features to make sure they remain compatible despite updates to software
- Overseeing the manufacture of computer hardware
- Working on computer components and designs
What Skills and Qualifications Should Computer Hardware Engineers Have?
A computer hardware engineer should have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. However, some companies also consider those with degrees in computer science or electrical engineering.
Since he or she needs to tinker with computer software, a computer hardware engineer is also expected to be familiar with programming. For those aiming to secure managerial positions, getting a master’s degree can help. Computer hardware engineers can look for educational programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). Getting certifications can also help advance your career and improve your salary.
Computer hardware engineers must have analytical skills to assess complicated equipment and troubleshoot issues. They should also be creative to come up with designs that would work with new software. Additionally, they should have excellent communication skills as their work involves working with a team.
Computer hardware engineers must be prepared to work long hours, especially when they need to accomplish urgent and pending tasks.
How Much Does a Computer Hardware Engineer Earn on Average?
A computer hardware engineer’s salary depends on his or her years of experience. According to PayScale, the salary of a U.S.-based entry-level computer hardware engineer starts from US$72,000 a year. Those with at least five years of experience can expect to receive an annual salary of US$92,000. Those with more than 20 years of experience, meanwhile, can earn as much as US$119,000 a year.
Computer hardware engineers must have the passion and interest in tinkering with computer parts to make sure these work with new and updated software.