A computer hardware engineer designs cutting edge hardware, including circuit boards, processors, routers and memory devices, among others. To succeed in this profession, you will not only need technical knowledge but critical thinking and problem solving skills. You will be looking into complicated equipment to determine how to address issues concerning it and coming up with effective solutions. Since part of your job is designing new technological equipment and devices, you will also need to be creative and innovative.
Why Become A Computer Hardware Engineer
If you have a passion for technology and designing computer hardware, a career as a computer engineer could provide you with the opportunity to showcase your expertise. In an age where computers have become necessary in virtually all aspects of society, knowing that you have the power to direct where the technology is going with your concept and design is very fulfilling. It is also a lucrative field, with six figure salaries as the norm. If you intend to establish your own company someday, a career as a computer hardware engineer would help you achieve that dream.
Computer Hardware Engineer Work Environment
Computer hardware engineers are usually employed with research laboratories that design and build computer systems, semiconductors and electronic components and peripheral equipment. They are also employed in companies that do research and development in engineering and life sciences fields. Computers engineers work fulltime, with a third of them devoting more than 40 hours a week in their job in 2012, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Computer Hardware Engineer Salary
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that computer hardware engineers earn a mean annual wage of $106,930 or a median salary of $50.12 per hour.
Computer Hardware Engineer Career Outlook
In the ten-year period from 2012 to 2022, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the employment of computer hardware engineers is expected to rise only a meager 7 percent which is slower compared to other jobs. This can be attributed to the fact that there will be less demand for hardware compared to that of software. Employers will also be more inclined to hire those who don’t only have a background in computer hardware but have experience with software as well.
Computer hardware engineers need to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Those with computer science or electrical engineering degrees may also work as computer hardware engineers. To improve chances of getting hired, it is recommended that students obtain their degree from programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET. A computer hardware engineer may also increase his chances of working for a big firm by getting a master’s degree in computer engineering or an MBA. Continuing learning is a must for all computer hardware engineers so they can be apprised of the latest developments in the rapidly evolving world of technology.