After completing training, entry-level computer hardware engineers focus on how to get a job in computer hardware engineering. Professionals in this field can find work in the government sector or the private sector, and earn high median salaries.
If you’re ready to begin searching for a job in computer hardware engineering, this article will share the highest-paying computer hardware engineering jobs and the computer hardware engineering skills you need to succeed.
What Is Computer Hardware Engineering?
Computer hardware engineering entails creating physical components that make computers function properly. The professionals in this field are referred to as computer hardware engineers. A computer hardware engineer designs hardware like mobile devices, digital circuits, and memory devices, and then analyzes and tests it to ensure the hardware’s workability.
Usually, computer hardware engineers work as a team. In big tech companies, the designing, testing, and analysis of hardware are handled by various departments within the computer hardware engineering department.
Computer Hardware Engineering Job Outlook
The job growth outlook for computer hardware engineering is estimated to grow by two percent from 2020 to 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Despite the small number, this means approximately 4,500 openings will be available yearly. Employment growth is expected to increase as startup companies aim to develop their own devices with computer chips embedded in them.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer?
A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering or a related field is usually required to become a computer hardware engineer. It will also be helpful to have keen analytical skills, technical knowledge, and a solid background in math and science.
Can I Get a Computer Hardware Engineering Job Without a Degree?
Yes, you can get a computer hardware engineering job without a degree. The beautiful thing about computer hardware engineering is that there are various educational pathways you can take to become certified, including bootcamps and professional certification programs.
However, some companies require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum level of education to join their team. A degree in electrical engineering or computer science can also make you eligible for a job in a computer hardware engineering company.
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Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Computer Hardware Engineering?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you get a job in computer hardware engineering. Several top coding bootcamps teach computer engineering courses. Coding bootcamps are short, intensive programs that take months to complete rather than years like formal education. This learning structure is perfect for people who want more flexibility when completing their educational goals.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Computer Hardware Engineering?
The time frame to get a job in computer hardware engineering is not fixed, and how long it takes will depend on your computer hardware engineering skills and knowledge. Additional training, a higher level of education from advanced degree programs, and a stand-out resume will help you land computer hardware engineering jobs faster.
Common Computer Hardware Engineering Education Paths
To become a computer hardware engineer, educational qualifications are required. Each educational path to working in computer hardware engineering has its pros and cons. Below you’ll find a list of options to learn computer hardware.
Computer Hardware Engineering Bootcamps
Bootcamps that offer computer hardware engineering and science courses will equip learners with job-ready technical skills and soft skills on accelerated timelines. Computer hardware engineering bootcamp programs typically take less than one year to complete and are cheaper than pursuing a college degree.
Some community colleges offer associate degrees or certificates in computer hardware engineering. Usually, a computer hardware engineering associate degree program at a community college takes two years to complete, and gaining a certification will take less time. Also, the tuition cost of studying computer hardware engineering at a community college is cheaper than attending a four-year university.
You can obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Hardware Engineering from a four-year college. This education path is the most expensive one, particularly if you opt for advanced degree programs and work your way up to a master’s or doctorate degree. Nevertheless, employment projections and job prospects for computer hardware engineering graduates with a bachelor’s degree or above are high.
Key Computer Hardware Engineering Skills to List on Your Resume
To attract jobs from prospective employers, your computer hardware engineering skills must be top-notch. However, not all skills must be listed on your resume. Here are some key skills to show potential employers.
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Computer hardware systems often break down. Clients would prefer to hire a computer hardware engineer who is knowledgeable in reviewing, diagnosing, and fishing out the operational issues affecting their circuit boards, network systems, and other hardware components.
Repairing Computer Parts
Let your client know that you can save them the cost of always buying a new computer part. At some point, the company where you work will have issues with some computer parts, so an employer will want someone with experience in fixing electronic equipment.
Connecting Networks and Servers
Your basic knowledge of connecting networks and servers should be included in your resume. Creating an interface between hardware is an important skill that employers expect a computer hardware engineer to possess.
Where to Find Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs
Searching for a job in computer hardware engineering can be daunting if you don’t know where to look. The job market is even more confounding if you are an entry-level computer hardware engineer. Here are the best places to look for engineering jobs in this field.
Most often, tech companies advertise vacancies in the career section of their website, or on their company-specific job board. Visit the website of a company you’re interested in working for to search for positions in computer hardware engineering or titles/responsibilities that are closely related.
Online Job Boards
Although computer hardware engineering is not remote work, you can visit job-seeking websites to find existing positions. Popular job boards include Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter. Some online job websites, like Tech Ladies, are specifically focused on the tech sector. You can also use this resource to find computer hardware engineering jobs available in your location.
Computer hardware engineering forums, like Tom’s Hardware Forum, Spiceworks Tech Hardware forums, and the Techist Community Forums, can help you land jobs. Make sure the forum accommodates computer hardware engineers within your locality. Your prospective employers should be within your location and, if not, the pay should be worth you relocating.
How to Prepare For Your Computer Hardware Engineering Interview
Preparing for a computer hardware engineering interview can seem daunting if you have never attended one before. To help you excel in your technical interview, we have outlined a checklist of common computer hardware engineering questions you may be asked.
Computer Hardware Engineering Interview Questions
- Have you built a complex hardware system before and how long did it take you?
- What steps do you take to keep your computer hardware engineering knowledge up to date?
- How do you troubleshoot your computer systems?
- What degree or professional experience do you have in computer hardware engineering?
The Five Highest-Paying Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs
|Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs||Average Salary||Projected Growth|
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||$126,830||22%|
|Computer Network Architect||$116,780||5%|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineer||$103,390||7%|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$93,730||7%|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$84,810||5%|
Computer and Information Research Scientist
A computer information and research scientist identifies computer hardware and systems design problems, then seeks for ways to improve their performance. They also offer system design services and design and conduct tests on electronic systems.
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Computer Network Architect
A computer network architect designs and builds networks that facilitate data communication. They can be employed by small and big organizations, depending on the company’s specific needs.
Electrical and Electronics Engineer
An electrical and electronics engineer designs and supervises the manufacturing process of electrical equipment used in computer systems and power generation equipment. Also, electrical engineering experts work closely with core computer hardware engineers.
Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst designs solutions that help companies operate more efficiently, after a thorough study. Computer systems analysts work closely with software engineers and other engineering staff to create their designs and undergo the implementation process.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
A network and computer systems administrator checks software systems and data communications networks. As a network and computer systems administrator, you will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of an organization’s network.
Computer Hardware Engineering Career Path
As in most tech careers, computer hardware engineers start at entry-level. As you undergo active learning and your skills develop, you will gradually climb the ladder and be entrusted with more computer hardware engineering responsibilities. As your responsibilities as a computer hardware engineer increase, your annual salary will also rise.
Entry-Level Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs
- Computer Systems Analyst – This role creates a computer systems hardware design that would suit the operations of software programs. Both entry and senior-level computer hardware engineers are hired to carry out this job at some point in their career.
- Systems Performance Specialist – This role requires monitoring the performance of hardware systems and identifying areas that need improvement. Additionally, physical inspection may be required.
- Systems Analyst – Ensuring that computer hardware systems work at optimal performance is a core job for entry-level computer hardware engineers in most companies.
Mid-Level Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs
- Computer Hardware Assembler – Coupling and assembling computer hardware is one job that mid-level computer hardware engineers do, typically within companies that manufacture computer accessories.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator – Organizations with large systems often require network and computer systems administrators to fix network issues when they arise.
- Electrical and Electronics Engineer – Electrical and electronics engineers monitor electrical functions and electrical defects in hardware systems. The engineer is expected to find solutions and resolve issues as they arise.
Senior-Level Computer Hardware Engineering Jobs
- Senior Computer Hardware Engineer – Usually, senior-level computer hardware engineers use their advanced knowledge of the field to lead a team and supervise its operations. These teams typically develop computer products or modify existing ones.
- Computer and Information Research Scientist – This role is responsible for researching and developing computer hardware systems to integrate seamlessly with the most recent software programs.
- Stress and Performance Computer Hardware Analyst – Big tech firms use their computer hardware around the clock, therefore the hardware’s stress and performance levels have to be regularly checked. As a stress and performance computer hardware analyst, you will ensure that all components work optimally at all times.
Computer Hardware Engineering Certification
Obtaining a computer hardware engineering certification is a good way to help you land lucrative opportunities after graduation. Below are some industry-recognized, popular certifications for computer hardware engineers.
The CompTIA A+ certification is one of the best certificates for hardware credentials. A CompTIA A+ certification tells your prospective employer that you are an expert in working with PCs, laptops, mobile, and electronic devices, and you’re skilled at working with electronic components and performing hardware configuration.
Considering the popularity of Apple devices, it would be wise to get an ACMT certification. The ACMT certification qualifies you to repair Mac products. The training will cover troubleshooting, electrostatic discharge (ESD), and safety.
The Cisco certification is treasured in the tech industry. This particular Cisco certification demonstrates that you can maintain and provide support for Cisco networking devices under compliance with specifications.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Computer Hardware Engineering
Computer hardware engineering is a competitive career field and getting a job in a top tech company is even more so. To land a job as a computer hardware engineer and meet your career goals, follow the tips below.
Getting professional certifications is one of the best ways to show your prospective employers that you have the technical know-how to carry out your job as a computer hardware engineer. For instance, getting a CompTIA A+ certification is a good place to start as it helps you learn the basics of computer hardware, networks, and electronic circuits.
To make a good first impression, your resume must be captivating. Invest some time into preparing a stand-out hardware engineer resume and you will be much closer to landing high-class positions. You can learn how to write a resume in less than 10 minutes.
Apply for an Internship
An internship at a good computer hardware engineering company will give you practical experience in working with hardware components. You will get hands-on experience that you can add to your resume. You can check for internship openings on a tech company’s social media profiles, on popular job boards, or through a company’s website.
Apply for Jobs
With the experience and exposure attained so far, you can start applying for computer hardware engineering jobs. Also, make sure to take note of the requirements, regarding your application for a computer hardware engineering job. Send as many applications as you can, especially for entry-level positions.
Should You Get a Job in Computer Hardware Engineering in 2022?
Yes, you should get a computer hardware engineering job in 2022. The median salary of computer hardware engineers is $119,560 annually, according to BLS. Aside from that, there is an expected increase in the job openings available to computer hardware engineers as tech firms develop their own devices.
Computer Hardware Engineering FAQ
Yes, becoming a computer hardware engineer without a degree in an engineering program is achievable if you attend a bootcamp. Bootcamps offer the requisite training and experience that college students get, but within a shorter time frame. According to Indeed, 72 percent of employers believe that bootcamp graduates are just as prepared as college graduates.
No, it is not hard to get into computer hardware engineering if you are skilled at technical subjects like math and science. Depending on your preference, you can get into computer hardware engineering by studying at a four-year college, a community college, or a bootcamp.
Yes, a computer hardware engineer needs to have a strong grasp of math. Also, physics is another course that computer hardware engineers need to excel in this field. If you are unwilling to learn math, then you shouldn’t attempt to become a computer hardware engineer.
To excel as a computer hardware engineer, some of the qualities you need are analytical and problem-solving skills, alongside critical-thinking skills and communication skills.
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