Career as a Computer Hardware Engineer


Summary

Computer Hardware Engineers design, develop, and supervise the production and installation of computer hardware. Computer hardware includes keyboards, modems, printers, computer systems, chips, and circuit boards. Computer software engineers develop programs that control computer operation. Computer hardware engineers have similar duties as electronics engineers, but hardware engineers focus exclusively on computer technology. Computer hardware engineers make sure that hardware components are compatible with current software. Hardware engineers must therefore work closely with the developers of this software. Developers of smartphone applications, for example, would need to be in close communication with hardware engineers, in order to determine what software the phone is capable of running.

Computer Hardware Engineers research, design, develop, and test computer and computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

They may supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer hardware. Computer hardware includes computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and related equipment, such as keyboards, hard drives, modems, and printers.

Computer Hardware Engineers may design and test circuits and other electronic components as they relate to computers and computer-related equipment. The ongoing advances in computer technology are a result of the research, development, and design efforts of Computer Hardware Engineers. Some electrical and electronics engineers may also work with computers, designing and testing systems; however, they do not work exclusively with computers.

Work Environment

Computer Hardware Engineers usually work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms. Some work in computer systems design firms, research and development firms, or for the government. Most of the computer hardware engineers work in metropolitan areas. They conduct most of their work at computer workstations. Others may spend time overseeing the installation or testing of equipment. Engineers may also be required to work under sterile conditions. When working with computer systems, Engineers should be trained in proper safety procedures. Engineers work for typical work hours a; however, it may be necessary to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines.

Entry Level Education

A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering is typically required to become a Computer Hardware Engineer; however, a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science is also acceptable.

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