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A Computer Engineer tests, designs, builds, and maintains various hardware and software infrastructures and systems. They are tasked with designing computer processors, circuit boards, networks, digital platforms, and other similar technological pieces, as well as fixing any issues that might come up during or after the development of a project.

They typically work for large IT and innovation companies, research laboratories, and technological manufacturers. There are many variants of a Computer Engineer, as well as many sub-specializations, such as robotics, aircraft design, and wireless networks.

Employers will generally ask that a candidate for this position have at least a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering, though some might demand higher degrees. Diplomas and certificates in other, similar subjects, like Computer Science or Electrical Engineering, may be acceptable, but the first is usually preferred. Mathematics, software and programming, circuit boards, and analytical skills are all important parts of the knowledge and tools necessary to be good in this job.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a computer engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.65 an hour? That's $97,031 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 10% and produce 83,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Computer Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many computer engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, listening skills and speaking skills.

Learn more about what a Computer Engineer does

How To Become a Computer Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a computer engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.4% of computer engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.2% of computer engineers have master's degrees. Even though most computer engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a computer engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a computer engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on computer engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a computer engineer. In fact, many computer engineer jobs require experience in a role such as computer technician. Meanwhile, many computer engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as software engineer or internship.

Computer Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Computer Engineer

Computer Engineers in America make an average salary of $97,031 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $129,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $72,000 per year.
Average Computer Engineer Salary
$97,031 Yearly
$46.65 hourly
$72,000
10 %
$97,000
Median
$129,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Computer Engineer Education

Computer Engineer Majors

Computer Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

66.4 %

Masters

14.2 %

Associate

10.9 %

Top Colleges for Computer Engineers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

6. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

Top Skills For a Computer Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.5% of computer engineers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and listening skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Computer Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Computer Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Computer Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Computer Engineer Demographics

Computer Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
86%
Female
Female
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among computer engineers, 13.7% of them are women, while 86.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among computer engineers is White, which makes up 57.4% of all computer engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among computer engineers is Spanish at 25.3%.

Online Courses For Computer Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Computer Basics - Windows 7/10 - Desktop IT Support Training
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Computer basics & troubleshooting skills for IT helpdesk support technicians, fixes for printers, email & slow computers...

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Learn the basic fundamentals of computer networking & OSI model for desktop support and IT service desk technicians...

The C++ Learning Guide
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C++ is a general purpose programming language that supports various computer programming models such as object-oriented programming and generic programming. Its main purpose was to make writing good programs easier and more pleasant for the individual programmer. By learning C++, you can create applications that will run on a wide variety of hardware platforms such as personal computers running Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X.The main target of this course is to help the students who are stil...

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Best States For a Computer Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a computer engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nevada, and North Dakota. Computer engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $128,961. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $121,159 and $110,059, respectively. While computer engineers would only make an average of $103,085 in North Dakota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Computer Engineer Jobs:
2,415
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
1.83 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Computer Engineer Jobs:
8,199
Highest 10% Earn:
$171,000
Location Quotient:
1.56 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Computer Engineer Jobs:
309
Highest 10% Earn:
$130,000
Location Quotient:
1.37 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Computer Engineers

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Top Computer Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ computer engineers and discovered their number of computer engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Meta was the best, especially with an average salary of $164,744. MITRE follows up with an average salary of $92,047, and then comes CyberCoders with an average of $113,393. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a computer engineer. The employers include SAIC, Baker Hughes, and Sandia National Labs

Most Common Employers For Computer Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Meta$164,744$79.2055
2JPMorgan Chase & Co.$147,044$70.6912
3Apple$139,796$67.2110
4CyberCoders$113,393$54.5222
5Oracle$113,100$54.3810
6Microsoft$110,072$52.9210
7Unisys$107,451$51.6610
8Ford Motor$102,490$49.2710
9EMC$101,596$48.8421
10MGM Hospitality$97,031$46.6513

Computer Engineer Videos

Becoming a Computer Engineer FAQs

Software Engineer vs. Computer Engineer

A software engineer is a tech professional who develops, creates, and maintains software applications, while a computer engineer is a tech professional who develops computer systems using computer science and electrical engineering skills.

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