Computer Hardware engineers are responsible for researching, designing, and developing the electronic components that goes into everyone’s favorite electronic devices. They create the latest and greatest computer components such as circuit boards, processors and other parts pushing the world electronics to the next level of performance. Computer Hardware Engineers play a crucial role now more than ever as more and more things go electronic and users want to do more with their devices.

On average, a Computer Hardware Engineer makes between $63,970 and $150,130 annually.

Average Starting Salary:
The average starting salary for a Computer hardware engineer is $61, 738 per year.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Design Computer Hardware
  • Make blueprints for equipment to be built
  • Test designs and analyze results
  • Update existing hardware to work with new software
  • Supervise the manufacturing of computer hardware
  • Keep Up-to-date with the newest trends of computer engineering and new technologies

Necessary Skills:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Speaking Skills
  • Advanced Math Skills

Degree and Experience Requirements:
An entry-level Computer Hardware Engineer  typically have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer or Electrical Engineering or Computer Science. There is a lot of overlap between Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering, however, Computer Engineering also has an emphasis on Computer Science and programming. When selecting a program, one should focus on those schools that are accredited by the ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Candidates from accredited programs are often favored by employers. One should have a solid background i math and science as it will be essential in their Engineering courses. It is also important to have a knowledge of computer programming which one can learn from Computer Science courses.

For higher level engineering positions or specialized position, candidates may need to have a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering or sometime, employers may want a candidate with a Masters of Business Administration. No matter what position one obtains, one must expect to continue to learn thought their career to keep up with the latest technologies.

Getting Started:
To get started as a Computer Hardware Engineer, one will need at least a Bachelors degree as previously mentioned, and it is also beneficial for one to gain professional experience via an internship.  An employer is often more likely to hire an intern than a outside candidate as they typically already know how the company operates.

Future Outlook: 
Over the next 10 years, it is expected that the demand for Computer Hardware Engineers will grow 7%, which is less than the average for all occupations. This is greatly due to the fact that there is currently much more room for innovation in software than there is in hardware. Also, is a lot more automation in the manufacturing process reducing the need for engineers in that field as well. However, do not be discouraged, because there is growth in computerize devices and embedded computing in household devices. This will help grow the demand for computer hardware engineers as more everyday devices become computerized and more high-tech.

Companies That Employ Computer Hardware Engineers:

  • Computer Systems Designs
  • Electronic Component Manufacturing
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing
  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
  • Research and Development for Physical, Engineering and Control Instruments Manufacturing
  • Electromedical Device Manufacturing
  • Control Instruments Manufacturing

Traits of A Good Computer Hardware Engineer: 

  • Patience
  • Innovative
  • Advanced knowledge of mathematics
  • Strong technical expertise
  • Problem Solving
  • Mechanical Skills

Bureau of Labor Statistics

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.