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Become A Firmware Engineer

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Working As A Firmware Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $93,394

    Average Salary

What Does A Firmware Engineer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Firmware Engineer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Firmware Engineer jobs

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Firmware Engineer Career Paths

Firmware Engineer
Principal Software Engineer Principal Engineer Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Principal Software Engineer Software Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Technical Analyst
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Senior Member Technical Staff Software Engineer-Consultant
Principle Software Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Software Development Engineer Embedded Software Engineer
Senior Embedded Software Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Engineer
Senior Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Firmware Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Senior Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Technical Specialist Web Developer
Senior Web Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer-Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Software Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Technician Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Architect Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer-Consultant Principal Software Engineer Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Firmware Developer 3.1 years
Firmware Engineer 3.0 years
Embedded Engineer 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 3.4%
Internship 2.7%
Consultant 2.5%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.4%
Engineer 3.0%

Firmware Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.1%

Female

12.6%

Unknown

7.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Asian

29.9%

Hispanic or Latino

6.1%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Chinese

23.3%

Mandarin

23.3%

Spanish

10.0%

French

6.7%

Cantonese

6.7%

Swedish

3.3%

German

3.3%

Japanese

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Carrier

3.3%

Tagalog

3.3%

Hebrew

3.3%

Thai

3.3%

Cebuano

3.3%
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Firmware Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

11.2%

University of Colorado at Boulder

9.1%

University of Texas at Austin

7.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

University of Southern California

5.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.1%

Northeastern University

5.1%

University of California - Irvine

5.1%

Iowa State University

4.6%

Santa Clara University

4.1%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

4.1%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.1%

University of Utah

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

San Diego State University

3.6%

Utah State University

3.6%

Colorado State University

3.6%

University of Florida

3.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

38.5%

Computer Engineering

22.4%

Computer Science

19.1%

Business

3.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Physics

1.9%

Mathematics

1.8%

Engineering

1.4%

Computer Networking

1.1%

Engineering Technology

1.0%

Management

0.7%

Computer Technical Support

0.7%

Engineering Science

0.7%

Communication

0.7%

Systems Engineering

0.5%

Computer Information Systems

0.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.5%

Project Management

0.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.5%

Computer Engineering Technology

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.7%

Masters

39.2%

Other

9.0%

Doctorate

3.1%

Associate

1.7%

Certificate

1.1%

Diploma

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Firmware Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Firmware Engineer Nextev LLC San Jose, CA Nov 21, 2016 $185,000
Firmware Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Mar 28, 2016 $184,000
Firmware Engineer-Technologist Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Santa Ana, CA Aug 24, 2016 $183,914 -
$219,900
Mac Firmware Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Aug 10, 2015 $178,000
Manager II, Firmware Engineer Management Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Feb 27, 2015 $173,041
Firmware Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 11, 2015 $165,000 -
$229,300
Firmware Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 06, 2015 $165,000 -
$229,300
Firmware Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Dec 22, 2016 $160,000 -
$180,000
Firmware Engineer Infineon Technologies Americas Corp. Milpitas, CA Jun 09, 2016 $160,000
Camera Firmwire Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 05, 2016 $160,000 -
$180,000
Firmware Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 09, 2016 $159,500 -
$191,000
Firmware Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Dec 16, 2015 $159,100 -
$170,000
Staff Firmware Engineer Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 08, 2016 $157,477 -
$167,477
Staff Firmware Engineer CNEX Labs, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 11, 2016 $157,477
Firmware Engineer Intel Mobile Communications San Diego, CA Jul 25, 2016 $117,499 -
$129,500
Firmware Engineer Fitbit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 06, 2015 $117,229 -
$130,000
R and D Engineer Firmware 4 LSI Corporation, An Avago Technologies Company Colorado Springs, CO Jun 14, 2016 $117,000
Firmware Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Oct 26, 2016 $116,982 -
$136,982
Firmware Engineer Intel Mobile Communications North America Santa Clara, CA Aug 22, 2016 $116,875 -
$152,800
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 15, 2016 $116,874 -
$129,500
Engineer Staff, Firmware On Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 29, 2015 $116,800
Engineer Staff, Firmware Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC San Jose, CA Aug 29, 2015 $116,800
Firmware Engineer III Receptec Corporation Holly, MI Jun 05, 2015 $94,725 -
$104,725
Firmware Engineer III Receptec Corporation Holly, MI Sep 03, 2016 $94,725 -
$104,725
Engineer, Staff II-Firmware Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 28, 2015 $94,665 -
$142,600
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Longmont, CO Sep 19, 2015 $94,536 -
$96,400
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Longmont, CO Dec 01, 2016 $94,536 -
$145,300
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Longmont, CO Aug 19, 2015 $94,536 -
$112,000
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Longmont, CO Oct 26, 2015 $94,536 -
$145,300
Firmware Engineer Intel Corporation Longmont, CO Jan 13, 2016 $94,536 -
$145,300

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Top Skills for A Firmware Engineer

HardwareAssemblyLanguageC/C++LinuxI2CWindowsFirmwareDevelopmentDeviceDriversUSBSPIRtosEthernetPCGUIFpgaAlgorithmAsicDSPUserInterfaceLCD

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Top Firmware Engineer Skills

  1. Hardware
  2. Assembly Language
  3. C/C++
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform firmware and hardware upgrades necessary to add proprietary communications protocol used with new RS-485 interface.
  • Developed firmware code using C or Assembly languages and potentially utilize Visual product skills.
  • Developed, analyzed, debugged C/C++ code for Hard Disk Drive Controller Firmware.
  • Assisted in debugging of socket based, and Linux specific bugs on all platforms.
  • Developed an I2C device driver on TI micro controller.

Top Firmware Engineer Employers

Firmware Engineer Videos

Embedded Firmware Engineering Career Opportunities - Cameron Resources Group

Oliver Wing - X-Box Firmware Engineer

Reverse engineering vendor firmware drivers for little fun and no profit [linux.conf.au 2014]

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