Computer Hardware Engineering
What is Computer Hardware Engineering?
Computer Hardware Engineering is the research, designing, development, and testing of computer systems and components such as processors, circuits, memory and storage devices, networks, and routers.
Computer Hardware Engineers generally work in research labs that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms. These engineers usually work full time, and 1 in 3 worked more than 40 hours a week in 2012. Some things they do are: design new computer hardware, creating blueprints of computer equipment to be built, test the completed models of the computer hardware they design, analyze the test results and modify the design as needed, update existing computer equipment so that it will work with new software, oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware, and maintain knowledge of computer engineering trends and new technology.
The starting salary starts at ~60,000 annual, and the top 10 percentile of hardware engineers earned more than 150,000 annual.
Entry-level computer hardware engineers have a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, although a degree in electrical engineering or computer science is usually acceptable. A computer engineering major is similar to electrical engineering but with heavy emphasis on computer science. Employers prefer students from an accredited program. To prepare for a major in computer engineering, students should have a solid background in math and science. Familiarity with computer programming is expected. Some important qualities in order to become a computer hardware engineer include: analytical skills, creativity, critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and speaking skills.