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Career Profile: Computer Hardware Engineers

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 66,200 people employed as computer hardware engineers in the United States. The median annual salary is $119,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $70,100 per year and senior employees earn approximately $192,110 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Provide training and support to system designers and users.
  • Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
  • Assemble and modify existing pieces of equipment to meet special needs.
  • Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan layout, including type of computers and peripheral equipment modifications.
  • Recommend purchase of equipment to control dust, temperature, and humidity in area of system installation.
  • Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
  • Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
  • Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Build, test, and modify product prototypes, using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.
  • Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
  • Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.
  • Provide technical support to designers, marketing and sales departments, suppliers, engineers and other team members throughout the product development and implementation process.
  • Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
  • Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
66,200
Annual Openings:
4,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
2%
Annual Salary Range:
$70,100 - $192,110
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree