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Computer Hardware Engineer

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What Do Computer Hardware Engineer Do?

Job 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.

List of Computer Hardware Engineer Job Duties

  • Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware.
  • Evaluate factors such as reporting formats required, cost constraints, and need for security restrictions to determine hardware configuration.
  • Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
  • Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.
  • Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.

Qualities of a Computer Hardware Engineer

Below is a list of the skills most Computer Hardware Engineers say are important on the job.

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.

  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Installation Engineer
  • Systems Integration Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer

Job Outlook for Computer Hardware Engineers

There were about 73,600 jobs for Computer Hardware Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 5,100 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Computer Hardware Engineers in U.S.

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?

Computer Hardware Engineers make between $66,700 and $172,630 a year.

Salary Ranges for Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer Hardware Engineers who work in California, District of Columbia, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.

How much do Computer Hardware Engineers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $108,040
Arizona $110,600
Arkansas $109,810
California $131,570
Colorado $117,120
Connecticut $105,980
District of Columbia $126,770
Florida $97,830
Georgia $100,190
Hawaii $96,080
Idaho $106,680
Illinois $101,630
Indiana $82,130
Kansas $88,630
Kentucky $85,340
Louisiana $81,660
Maryland $125,290
Massachusetts $123,650
Minnesota $107,780
Mississippi $90,320
Missouri $100,160
Nevada $88,670
New Hampshire $114,280
New Jersey $115,090
New York $114,590
North Carolina $108,090
Ohio $102,820
Oklahoma $103,570
Oregon $111,020
Pennsylvania $107,410
Rhode Island $104,400
South Carolina $87,870
Tennessee $87,910
Texas $116,720
Virginia $119,500
Washington $123,680
West Virginia $96,370
Wisconsin $88,780

Tools & Technologies Used by Computer Hardware Engineers

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
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Database software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • UNIX
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • National Instruments LabVIEW

Becoming a Computer Hardware Engineer

Education needed to be a Computer Hardware Engineer:

Computer Hardware Engineer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Computer Hardware Engineer?

Computer Hardware Engineer Work Experience

Where Computer Hardware Engineers Work

Computer Hardware Engineer Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Computer Hardware Engineers work:

Computer Hardware Engineer Industries

Similar Careers

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:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

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