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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

  • $84,491

    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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Do you work as an Engineering Scientist?

Engineering Scientist Jobs

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Engineering Scientist Career Paths

Engineering Scientist
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Technical Project Manager Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager President Laboratory Assistant
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Human Resources Manager
Organizational Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director Operations Vice President
President Of Operations
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer/Scientist Senior Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Principal Systems Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Program Manager Product Manager
Product Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Program/Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Engineering Manager Product Development Manager
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Analyst
Research Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Member Technical Staff Computer Scientist
Senior Computer Scientist
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer/Scientist
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Engineering Scientist?

Engineering Scientist Demographics

Gender

Male

75.2%

Female

20.5%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

51.4%

Asian

17.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.5%

Korean

16.7%

Japanese

8.3%

Mandarin

8.3%

Comanche

4.2%

Portuguese

4.2%

Indonesian

4.2%

Chinese

4.2%

French

4.2%

Bengali

4.2%

Dutch

4.2%
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Engineering Scientist Education

Schools

University of Texas at Austin

18.6%

University of Southern California

7.3%

University of Phoenix

6.2%

University of California - Berkeley

5.6%

University of California - Irvine

5.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.5%

California State University - Long Beach

4.5%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

4.5%

University of Washington

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.0%

University of Cincinnati

4.0%

San Jose State University

4.0%

University of Florida

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.4%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

University of Arizona

3.4%

Purdue University

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

21.3%

Mechanical Engineering

13.1%

Business

8.0%

Computer Science

7.4%

Aerospace Engineering

5.3%

Physics

4.9%

Computer Engineering

4.7%

Engineering

3.9%

Chemistry

3.5%

Chemical Engineering

3.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.1%

Civil Engineering

2.9%

Systems Engineering

2.9%

Computer Information Systems

2.9%

Biology

2.5%

Mathematics

2.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.3%

Project Management

2.0%

Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.8%

Masters

36.1%

Other

9.7%

Doctorate

9.6%

Certificate

3.7%

Associate

1.0%

Diploma

0.1%
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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 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
Engineer/Scientist Lead R&D UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Oct 08, 2014 $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 10, 2014 $72,000

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Top Skills for An Engineering Scientist

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  1. Test Plans
  2. Lab
  3. Computer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed work packages and proposed test plans to ensure necessary requirements are incorporated into work control.
  • Established and operated a computer-assisted facilitation/decision/group-process support service at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
  • Evaluated the application and use of computer-aided design equipment and digital and analog circuit simulators for Hewlett Packard/Apollo and PC workstations.
  • Provided launch vehicle processing and payload integration technical support to domestic and international companies.
  • Coordinated with quality and safety department and field managed construction and testing of new installations.

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Top 10 Best States for Engineering Scientists

  1. New Mexico
  2. New York
  3. Washington
  4. Minnesota
  5. Virginia
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Idaho
  8. California
  9. Connecticut
  10. District of Columbia
  • (133 jobs)
  • (652 jobs)
  • (605 jobs)
  • (177 jobs)
  • (546 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (2,188 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)

Top Engineering Scientist Employers

Jobs From Top Engineering Scientist Employers

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