Computer Hardware Engineers

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$132,360 Median Wage (2022)
4,600 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
4.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-the-Job Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

Detailed Work Activities

  • Update technical knowledge.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Conduct validation tests of equipment or processes.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Analyze design requirements for computer or electronics systems.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Recognition

Relationships

Support

Independence

Tasks

  • 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.
  • 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.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Initiative

Leadership

Cooperation

Concern for Others

Social Orientation

Self-Control

Stress Tolerance

Adaptability/Flexibility

Dependability

Attention to Detail

Integrity

Independence

Innovation

Analytical Thinking

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 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. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.