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Become An Engineering Scientist

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Working As An Engineering Scientist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $94,479

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineering Scientist Do

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other fields.

Duties

Computer and information research scientists typically do the following:

  • Explore fundamental issues in computing and develop theories and models to address those issues
  • Help scientists and engineers solve complex computing problems
  • Invent new computing languages, tools, and methods to improve the way in which people work with computers
  • Develop and improve the software systems that form the basis of the modern computing experience
  • Design experiments to test the operation of these software systems 
  • Analyze the results of their experiments
  • Publish their findings in academic journals and present their findings at conferences

Computer and information research scientists create and improve computer software and hardware.

Creating and improving software involves working with algorithms, which are sets of instructions that tell a computer what to do. Some computer tasks are very difficult and require complex algorithms. Computer and information research scientists try to simplify these algorithms to make computer systems as efficient as possible. The algorithms allow advancements in many types of technology, such as machine learning systems and cloud computing.

Computer and information research scientists design new computer architecture that improves the performance and efficiency of computer hardware. Their work often leads to technological advancements and efficiencies, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds, and improved information security. In general, computer and information research scientists work at a more theoretical level than do other computer professionals.  

Many people with a computer and information research science background become postsecondary teachers. In general, researchers in an academic setting focus on computer theory, although those working for businesses or scientific organizations usually focus on projects that may produce profits.

Some computer scientists work with electrical engineers, computer hardware engineers, and other specialists on multidisciplinary projects. The following are examples of types of specialties for computer and information research scientists:

Data mining. Computer and information research scientists write algorithms that are used to detect and analyze patterns in very large datasets. They improve ways to sort, manage, and display data. Computer scientists build algorithms into software packages that make the data easier for analysts to use. For example, they may create an algorithm to analyze a very large set of medical data in order to find new ways to treat diseases. They may also look for patterns in traffic data to help clear accidents faster.

Robotics. Some computer and information research scientists study how to improve robots. Robotics explores how a machine can interact with the physical world. Computer and information research scientists create the programs that control the robots. They work closely with engineers who focus on the hardware design of robots. Together, these workers test how well the robots do the tasks they were created to do, such as assemble cars and collect data on other planets.

Programming. Computer and information research scientists design new programming languages that are used to write software. The new languages make software writing more efficient by improving an existing language, such as Java, or by making a specific aspect of programming, such as image processing, easier.

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How To Become An Engineering Scientist

Most jobs for computer and information research scientists require a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.

Education

Most computer and information research scientists need a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field, such as computer engineering. A Ph.D. usually requires 4 to 5 years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree, typically in a computer-related field, such as computer science or information systems. During their first 2 years in a Ph.D. program, students take a variety of computer science classes. They then choose a specialty and spend the remaining years in the program doing research within that specialty.

Computer scientists who work in a specialized field may need knowledge of that field. For example, those working on biomedical applications may have to take some biology classes.

Advancement

Some computer scientists may become computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer and information research scientists must be organized in their thinking and analyze the results of their research to formulate conclusions.

Communication skills. Computer and information research scientists must communicate well with programmers and managers and be able to clearly explain their conclusions to people with no technical background. They often present their research at conferences.

Critical-thinking skills. Computer and information research scientists work on many complex problems.

Detail oriented. Computer and information research scientists must pay close attention to their work, because a small programming error can cause an entire project to fail.

Ingenuity. Computer and information research scientists must continually come up with innovative ways to solve problems, particularly when their ideas do not initially work as intended.

Logical thinking. Computer algorithms rely on logic. Computer and information research scientists must have a talent for reasoning.

Math skills. Computer and information research scientists must have knowledge of advanced math and other technical topics that are critical in computing.

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Engineering Scientist jobs

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Engineering Scientist Career Paths

Engineering Scientist
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Engineering Manager Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Operations Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Engineering Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager Senior Account Executive
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Business Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Engineering Scientist Demographics

Gender

Male

75.9%

Female

19.0%

Unknown

5.0%
Ethnicity

White

69.5%

Asian

16.8%

Hispanic or Latino

10.0%

Unknown

2.8%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.6%

Japanese

8.1%

Korean

8.1%

Chinese

5.4%

Mandarin

5.4%

Comanche

2.7%

Portuguese

2.7%

Indonesian

2.7%

Dutch

2.7%

French

2.7%

Dari

2.7%

Carrier

2.7%

Arapaho

2.7%

Italian

2.7%
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Engineering Scientist Education

Schools

University of Texas at Austin

17.9%

University of Phoenix

7.5%

University of Southern California

5.7%

George Washington University

5.2%

University of Arizona

5.2%

California State University - Long Beach

4.7%

University of California - Berkeley

4.7%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

4.2%

Purdue University

4.2%

University of California - Irvine

4.2%

University of Florida

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.8%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.8%

Stanford University

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Auburn University

3.8%

North Carolina State University

3.3%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.3%

Webster University

3.3%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

19.9%

Mechanical Engineering

13.8%

Business

8.1%

Computer Science

7.9%

Computer Engineering

5.7%

Physics

5.2%

Chemical Engineering

5.1%

Aerospace Engineering

4.3%

Chemistry

3.6%

Engineering

3.0%

Civil Engineering

2.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Biology

2.5%

Mathematics

2.5%

Project Management

2.4%

Systems Engineering

2.2%

Management

1.8%

Geology

1.8%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.6%

Masters

36.4%

Doctorate

11.5%

Other

9.1%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

1.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Engineering Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
ADV Engineer/Scientist-Dev IBM Corporation Palo Alto, CA Oct 29, 2013 $128,142 -
$195,000
Scientist-IPE Engineering or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 09, 2014 $121,500 -
$141,500
Image Processing/Computer Vision Engineer/Scientis Leap Motion, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 26, 2014 $120,000
Engineer/Scientist Lead R&D UOP, LLC McCook, IL Sep 17, 2014 $115,665
Engineer/Scientist IV Honeywell International Inc. Golden Valley, MN Sep 15, 2016 $114,891
Aromatics Engineer/Scientist Lead R&D 1 UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Jun 07, 2016 $114,100 -
$142,750
Engineer/Scientist Lead R&D UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Oct 08, 2014 $112,600 -
$152,000
Engineer/Scientist Lead Research and Development UOP, LLC McCook, IL Sep 17, 2013 $112,600 -
$152,000
Engineer/Scientist Lead R&D UOP, LLC Des Plaines, IL Sep 20, 2013 $112,600 -
$152,000
Patent Scientist/Engineer Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP Denver, CO Sep 09, 2014 $112,000
Software/Engineering Scientist Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 13, 2013 $110,000
Scientist/Engineer The Procter & Gamble Company Cincinnati, OH Sep 30, 2014 $104,000
Display Optimization Engineer/Scientist E Ink Corporation Billerica, MA Sep 21, 2014 $86,000 -
$96,000
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate IV The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Jan 03, 2014 $85,000
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate IV The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Mar 01, 2014 $85,000
Engineer I, Color Scientist Xerox Corporation Webster, NY Sep 22, 2016 $84,656
Color Scientist Engineer Avery Dennison Corporation Strongsville, OH Jun 20, 2013 $84,250
Scientist/Engineer Diakon Solutions LLC Atlantic City, NJ Dec 01, 2014 $84,000
ADV Engineer/Scientist-Dev IBM Corporation Albany, NY Oct 24, 2013 $83,200 -
$168,800
Engineer Scientist III-Power System Studies Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Knoxville, TN Jun 15, 2015 $74,838 -
$109,125
Engineer/Scientist I Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Mar 05, 2015 $74,027 -
$101,900
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate III The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Jan 06, 2016 $74,000
Biomedical Engineering Scientist UIH America, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 09, 2015 $73,800
Engineer/Scientist I Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Jan 29, 2015 $73,154 -
$101,900
Engineer/Scientist I Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Jan 21, 2015 $73,154 -
$101,900
Staff Engineering Scientist IBM Corporation Austin, TX Jun 22, 2016 $72,197 -
$113,448
Research Engineering Scientist Associate V The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX Sep 20, 2014 $72,000

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Top Skills for An Engineering Scientist

TestProceduresLabHardwareProductDevelopmentLaboratorySafetyFacilityNasaInternationalSpaceStationSystemsEngineeringTestPlansTechnicalSupportRProposalMissileCADDataAnalysisLaunchVehicleReliabilityTestEquipment

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Top Engineering Scientist Skills

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Lab
  3. Hardware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared test procedures and acted as test conductor for composite and metal specimen structural testing and landing gear life testing.
  • Trained student in microbiological lab practices.
  • Redesigned IBM's Personal Computer (PC) to meet robot controller requirements Developed IBM's robot systems hardware/software diagnostics.
  • Experienced in all phases of product development from inception through final delivery with an emphasis in prototype development and managing production.
  • Instituted a laboratory index, chemical index and instrument training record.

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