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Average Wages

Computer Hardware Engineers


Industry Outlook

Career outlook is: good for the next 12-18 months

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.


Also known as:
Systems Engineer, Systems Integration Engineer, Design Engineer, Field Service Engineer, Senior Hardware Engineer, Engineer, Project Engineer, Network Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Hardware Design Engineer

Average Career Wages

Co-Op / Internship

Securing an internship for this position is a good way in which to understand the expectations required for full time employment.

Typical Job Tasks

  • Update technical knowledge.
  • Prepare procedural documents.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Create physical models or prototypes.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Determine operational criteria or specifications.


  • Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
  • Select project materials.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Conduct validation tests of equipment or processes.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Analyze design requirements for computer or electronics systems.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Assemble equipment or components.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Train personnel on proper operational procedures.


Required Skills

People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking – Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension – Reading work-related information.
  • Active Listening – Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Speaking – Talking to others.
  • Active Learning – Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Writing – Writing things for co-workers or customers.


  • Complex Problem Solving – Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Science – Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making – Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.


Projected Employment Numbers


2016 Employment

2026 Employment

Percent change

Annual projected job openings

What Experience and Education do you Require?

Individuals in this field typically have:

  1.  Bachelor’s degree
  2.  No work experience
  3.  No on-the-job training

Typical Education Level Required

Background Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Computers and Electronics – Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology – Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design – Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics – Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics – Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


  • English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Successful people in this career have ...

  • Inductive Reasoning – Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Oral Comprehension – Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Deductive Reasoning – Using rules to solve problems.
  • Problem Sensitivity – Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Comprehension – Reading and understanding what is written.


  • Oral Expression – Communicating by speaking.
  • Information Ordering – Ordering or arranging things.
  • Near Vision – Seeing details up close.
  • Written Expression – Communicating by writing.
  • Speech Recognition – Recognizing spoken words.
  • Speech Clarity – Speaking clearly.