All About Computer Hardware Engineers
Position Description Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
Life As a Computer Hardware Engineer: What Do They Do?
- Build, test, and modify product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
- Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
- Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
- Evaluate factors such as reporting formats required, cost constraints, and need for security restrictions to determine hardware configuration.
- Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
- Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.
Computer Hardware Engineer Skills
When polled, Computer Hardware Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Telecommunications Engineer
- Systems Integration Engineer
- Network Engineer
- Field Service Engineer
- Computer Designer
Job Outlook for Computer Hardware Engineers
In the United States, there were 73,600 jobs for Computer Hardware Engineer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,000 new jobs for Computer Hardware Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 5,100 positions for Computer Hardware Engineer per year.
The states with the most job growth for Computer Hardware Engineer are North Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, Idaho, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does a Computer Hardware Engineer Make?
The average yearly salary of a Computer Hardware Engineer ranges between $66,700 and $172,630.
Computer Hardware Engineers who work in California, District of Columbia, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Computer Hardware Engineers in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$126,770|
What Tools do Computer Hardware Engineers Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Computer Hardware Engineers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Word processing software
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft Visio
- Database software
- Structured query language SQL
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- Computer aided design CAD software
- National Instruments LabVIEW
How do I Become a Computer Hardware Engineer?
What education is needed to be a Computer Hardware Engineer?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer?
Where do Computer Hardware Engineers Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Computer Hardware Engineers employed by various industries.
Those thinking about becoming a Computer Hardware Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as a Computer Hardware Engineer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.