What do they do?

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:

Design Engineer, Engineer, Field Service Engineer, Hardware Design Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Physical Design Engineer, Project Engineer, Staff Engineer, Systems Integration Engineer

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Computer Hardware Engineers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2020 to 2030, more slowly than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 2%

    Change

    Ranks #36 in job growth rate
    170

    Job Openings

    Ranks #13 in net job growth

Best colleges for Computer Hardware Engineers

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Colleges with the most graduates that become Computer Hardware Engineers

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (4%)
  • Master's degree  (25%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (48%)
  • Associate's degree  (8%)
  • Some college, no degree  (9%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (4%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (1%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Computer Hardware Engineers

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

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

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Update technical knowledge.
  • Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Create physical models or prototypes.
  • Prepare procedural documents.
  • 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.
  • Select project materials.
  • Analyze design requirements for computer or electronics systems.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Determine operational criteria or specifications.
  • Assemble equipment or components.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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