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Computer hardware developers handle the physical aspect of computers. The developers research, design, and manufacture test computer systems and components. They make sure that they function to their full capacity with the software they are being used with. Their duties include designing new computer hardware, manufacturing computer equipment schematics, analyzing the test results, and modifying the design of the new hardware as needed. They update the already existing computer equipment so it works with new software and oversee every step of the manufacturing process.

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Computer Hardware Developer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real computer hardware developer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage employees and run cash registers.
  • Work in LabView to control instruments and automate tests.
  • Implement, manage, monitor and troubleshoot backup policies and services.
  • Lead workflow resolution, automating process by effectively routing information to appropriate queues with sufficient flexibility to handle exceptions.
  • Configure desktop and laptop systems.
  • Design Bluetooth headset and remote speaker/mic.
  • Experience in optimizing high-speed real-time ASIC design.
  • Modify firmware DSP algorithms to optimize power consumption.
  • Assist in design of DS3 prototype module connectors.
  • Add logic to control ASIC's resets separately via software.
  • Design a test system using Java for the traffic-sign detection algorithm.
  • Create working prototypes for numerous web site projects and desktop applications.
  • Assemble the first USB host micro-controller HW/firmware integrate into Haas CNC equipment.
  • Configure, install, maintain, test, and troubleshoot hardware systems.
  • Implement VHDL code for decoding port80 write data from LPC to I2C bus.

Computer Hardware Developer Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a Computer Hardware Developer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a Computer Hardware Developer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, Computer Hardware Developers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of Computer Hardware Developer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 4,000.

Computer Hardware Developers average about $59.63 an hour, which makes the Computer Hardware Developer annual salary $124,035. Additionally, Computer Hardware Developers are known to earn anywhere from $99,000 to $155,000 a year. This means that the top-earning Computer Hardware Developers make $56,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a Computer Hardware Developer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a Design Verification Engineer, Verification Engineer, Associate Customer Engineer, and Hardware Engineering Internship.

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5 Computer Hardware Developer Resume Examples

Computer Hardware Developer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 37% of Computer Hardware Developers are proficient in Firmware, Hardware, and Python. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Problem-solving skills, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Computer Hardware Developers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Firmware, 37%

    Scheduled meeting on regular basis for code and firmware specification review, developed system verification and qualification for engineering platform.

  • Hardware, 24%

    Specialized in integrating hardware with existing applications, primarily for self-checkout software.

  • Python, 14%

    Performed algorithm tests to check correctness using scripting languages such as Python.

  • Design Verification, 8%

    Developed test bench code for design verification through simulation with ModelSim.

  • C++, 6%

    Used C++ to develop a UNIX socket based server on Linux.

  • Java, 2%

    Designed a test system using Java for the traffic-sign detection algorithm.

Some of the skills we found on Computer Hardware Developer resumes included "Firmware," "Hardware," and "Python." We have detailed the most important Computer Hardware Developer responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a Computer Hardware Developer to have happens to be Analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "Computer hardware engineers use computer programming tools to analyze the digital circuits in hardware to determine the best design." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that Computer Hardware Developers can use Analytical skills to "Programmed and tested hardware to get data on performance"
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform Computer Hardware Developer duties is the following: Problem-solving skills. According to a Computer Hardware Developer resume, "Computer hardware engineers identify complex problems in computer hardware, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and figure out the best way to implement them." Check out this example of how Computer Hardware Developers use Problem-solving skills: "Developed hardware driver to use storage adapter on an X86 system Debugged hardware issues finding root cause and proposing possible solutions. "
  • Computer Hardware Developers are also known for Communication skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a Computer Hardware Developer resume: "Engineers often work on teams and must be able to communicate with other types of engineers, software developers and programmers, as well as with nontechnical team members." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "Developed a user interface for real time board testing of FPGA systems using RS232 (serial) communication. "
  • See the full list of Computer Hardware Developer skills.

    Before becoming a Computer Hardware Developer, 70.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 18.4% Computer Hardware Developers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most Computer Hardware Developers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine Computer Hardware Developers didn't attend college at all.

    Those Computer Hardware Developers who do attend college, typically earn either Electrical Engineering degrees or Computer Science degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Computer Hardware Developers include Computer Engineering degrees or Engineering degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a Computer Hardware Developer. We've found that most Computer Hardware Developer resumes include experience from IBM, Oracle, and Siemens. Of recent, IBM had 11 positions open for Computer Hardware Developers. Meanwhile, there are 10 job openings at Oracle and 3 at Siemens.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, Computer Hardware Developers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Microsoft, Oracle, and Rambus. Take Microsoft for example. The median Computer Hardware Developer salary is $170,737. At Oracle, Computer Hardware Developers earn an average of $145,780, while the average at Rambus is $143,339. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on Computer Hardware Developer salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Cisco Systems. These three companies have hired a significant number of Computer Hardware Developers from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious computer hardware developers are:

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    What Design Verification Engineers Do

    A design verification engineer is responsible for running diagnostic tests on project outputs and adjusting methodologies as needed to achieve high-quality deliverables according to clients' specifications and business requirements. Design verification engineers create efficient techniques to improve products and services by utilizing various system tools and applications. They also design engineering protocols by analyzing previous test designs and calibrating them with the team. A design verification engineer must have excellent technical skills, as well as highly-communicative and organizational, especially on meeting deadlines and working under minimal supervision.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take Design Verification Engineer for example. On average, the Design Verification Engineers annual salary is $2,058 higher than what Computer Hardware Developers make on average every year.

    Even though Computer Hardware Developers and Design Verification Engineers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require Engineering Design, Hardware, and Python in the day-to-day roles.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a Computer Hardware Developer responsibility requires skills such as "Firmware," "Risc," "Ac," and "Javascript." Whereas a Design Verification Engineer is skilled in "UVM," "Architecture," "Perl," and "Debug." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Design Verification Engineers tend to make the most money in the Technology industry by averaging a salary of $126,290. In contrast, Computer Hardware Developers make the biggest average salary of $145,807 in the Technology industry.

    Design Verification Engineers tend to reach higher levels of education than Computer Hardware Developers. In fact, Design Verification Engineers are 6.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.2% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Verification Engineer?

    A verification engineer is responsible for running quality tests to the production processes to ensure high-quality outputs according to business requirements and client specifications. Verification engineers develop testing methodologies, inspect tools and equipment, and creating instructional manuals. They also resolve inconsistencies within the process, calibrating technical mechanisms, and identifying areas of improvement to enhance efficiency and build accurate deliverables. A verification engineer must have excellent communication and technical skills, especially in monitoring progress and coordinating with clients for necessary plan adjustments.

    Next up, we have the Verification Engineer profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a Computer Hardware Developer annual salary. In fact, Verification Engineers salary difference is $26,721 lower than the salary of Computer Hardware Developers per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of Computer Hardware Developers and Verification Engineers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "Hardware," "Python," and "Design Verification. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, Computer Hardware Developer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "Engineering Design," "Firmware," "Risc," and "Ac." Meanwhile, a Verification Engineer might be skilled in areas such as "UVM," "Architecture," "Systemverilog," and "Perl." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Verification Engineers may earn a lower salary than Computer Hardware Developers, but Verification Engineers earn the most pay in the Technology industry with an average salary of $107,113. On the other side of things, Computer Hardware Developers receive higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $145,807.

    In general, Verification Engineers study at similar levels of education than Computer Hardware Developers. They're 3.4% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Associate Customer Engineer Compares

    The Associate Customer Engineer profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of Computer Hardware Developers. The difference in salaries is Associate Customer Engineers making $31,007 lower than Computer Hardware Developers.

    While looking through the resumes of several Computer Hardware Developers and Associate Customer Engineers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "Engineering Design," "Hardware," and "Linux," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from Computer Hardware Developer resumes include skills like "Firmware," "Python," "Design Verification," and "C++," whereas an Associate Customer Engineer might be skilled in "POS," "Troubleshoot," "EMC," and "Printers. "

    Associate Customer Engineers typically study at lower levels compared with Computer Hardware Developers. For example, they're 18.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 3.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Hardware Engineering Internship

    When it comes to a hardware engineering internship, an intern's primary responsibility is to perform support tasks while gathering industry insights. Typically following the directives of a manager or senior engineer, an intern may assist in developing and assembling components, participate in the installation and repair of facilities, and conduct maintenance checks and tests while under the supervision of a more experienced engineer. An intern may also perform clerical tasks such as processing documents, maintaining records, managing information databases, organizing supplies and materials, and running other errands.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than Computer Hardware Developers. On average, Hardware Engineering Interns earn a difference of $59,370 lower per year.

    While both Computer Hardware Developers and Hardware Engineering Interns complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like Firmware, Hardware, and Python, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Engineering Design," "Risc," "Ac," and "Unix" are skills that have shown up on Computer Hardware Developers resumes. Additionally, Hardware Engineering Internship uses skills like C #, Solidworks, Cadence, and Signal Integrity on their resumes.

    In general, Hardware Engineering Interns make a higher salary in the Technology industry with an average of $70,555. The highest Computer Hardware Developer annual salary stems from the Technology industry.

    In general, Hardware Engineering Interns reach similar levels of education when compared to Computer Hardware Developers resumes. Hardware Engineering Interns are 0.8% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.