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Become A Hardware Development Engineer

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Working As A Hardware Development Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $124,569

    Average Salary

What Does A Hardware Development Engineer Do

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. These engineers discover new directions in computer hardware, which generate rapid advances in computer technology.

Duties

Computer hardware engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new computer hardware, creating schematics of computer equipment to be built
  • Test the completed models of the computer hardware they design
  • Analyze the test results and modify the design as needed
  • Update existing computer equipment so that it will work with new software
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware
  • Maintain knowledge of computer engineering trends and new technology

Many hardware engineers design noncomputer devices that incorporate processors and other computer components and connect to the Internet. For example, many car parts have computer systems embedded in them. Computer hardware engineers also are designing a growing number of medical devices with a computer system and the ability to connect to the Internet.

Computer hardware engineers ensure that computer hardware components work together with the latest software. Therefore, hardware engineers often work with software developers. For example, the hardware and software for a mobile phone frequently are developed jointly. Hardware engineers also may perform some computer programming in a hardware description language (HDL), which describes the digital circuits in hardware. Using this language, computer hardware engineers can simulate how the hardware design would work, test for errors, and then fix the design.

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How To Become A Hardware Development Engineer

Most computer hardware engineers need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited computer engineering program.

Education

Most entry-level computer hardware engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, although a degree in electrical engineering or computer science also is generally acceptable. A computer engineering major is similar to a major in electrical engineering but with a heavy emphasis on computer science.

Many engineering programs are accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Employers may prefer students from an accredited program. To prepare for a major in computer or electrical engineering, students should have a solid background in math and science.

Because hardware engineers commonly work with computer software systems, a familiarity with computer programming usually is expected. This background may be obtained through computer science courses.

Some large firms or specialized jobs may require a master’s degree in computer engineering. Some experienced engineers obtain a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). All engineers must continue their learning over the course of their careers in order to keep up with rapid advances in technology.

Other Experience

Some students participate in internships while in school so that they can gain practical experience.

Advancement

Some computer hardware engineers can advance to become computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer hardware engineers use computer programming tools to analyze the digital circuits in hardware to determine the best design.

Creativity. Computer hardware engineers design new types of information technology devices.

Critical-thinking skills. These engineers use logic and reasoning to clarify goals, examine assumptions, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems.

Problem-solving skills. Computer hardware engineers identify complex problems in computer hardware, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and figure out the best way to implement them.

Speaking skills. Engineers often work on teams and must be able to communicate with other types of engineers as well as with nontechnical team members.

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Do you work as a Hardware Development Engineer?

Hardware Development Engineer Jobs

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Hardware Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.5%
Top Employers After
Engineer 5.9%
Consultant 5.0%
Manager 3.4%

Do you work as a Hardware Development Engineer?

Hardware Development Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.7%

Female

14.4%

Unknown

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

52.5%

Asian

22.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Black or African American

8.5%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

21.4%

German

14.3%

Cantonese

14.3%

Mandarin

14.3%

French

10.7%

Portuguese

7.1%

Chinese

7.1%

Hebrew

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Russian

3.6%
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Hardware Development Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

11.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

8.2%

University of Texas at Austin

8.2%

Purdue University

6.6%

University of Florida

4.9%

North Carolina State University

4.9%

University of Kentucky

4.9%

Santa Clara University

4.9%

Drexel University

4.9%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.9%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

4.9%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.9%

University of Rochester

3.3%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.3%

University of Akron

3.3%

University of Idaho

3.3%

New Mexico State University

3.3%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.3%

Iowa State University

3.3%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

46.2%

Computer Engineering

11.8%

Mechanical Engineering

8.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.5%

Computer Science

4.1%

Engineering

3.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

3.0%

Business

2.4%

Systems Engineering

1.8%

Finance

1.8%

Linguistics

1.2%

Management

1.2%

Drafting And Design

1.2%

Aerospace Engineering

1.2%

Chemistry

1.2%

Physics

1.2%

Plastics Engineering

1.2%

Information Sciences

0.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.6%

Management Science

0.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.1%

Masters

33.0%

Other

6.6%

Doctorate

3.8%

Certificate

2.7%

Associate

2.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Hardware Development Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 19, 2016 $195,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 13, 2016 $189,700 -
$233,900
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 29, 2015 $182,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 31, 2016 $181,000 -
$233,900
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 26, 2016 $181,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Develop ENG Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 25, 2016 $180,000 -
$200,000
Principal Hardware Development Engineer A2Z Development Center, Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 25, 2016 $180,000
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 11, 2016 $180,000 -
$233,900
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 19, 2015 $177,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 14, 2015 $175,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 19, 2016 $175,000 -
$187,200
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 18, 2016 $175,000 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 19, 2016 $175,000 -
$191,000
Hardware Develop ENG 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 13, 2016 $175,000 -
$195,000
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 22, 2016 $145,000 -
$187,200
Hardware Develop ENG Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 22, 2016 $145,000 -
$165,000
Hardware Develop ENG 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 04, 2016 $145,000 -
$165,000
Hardware Development Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 14, 2016 $143,850 -
$151,300
Hardware Development Engineer III A2Z Development Center Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 26, 2016 $143,500
Hardware Develop ENG 5 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2015 $143,200 -
$229,300
Hardware Develop ENG 5 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 18, 2015 $143,200 -
$229,300
Hardware Development Engineer III A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 14, 2016 $142,814 -
$185,000
Hardware Development Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 11, 2016 $125,400
Hardware Development Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 25, 2016 $125,020
Hardware Development Engineer I A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Dec 26, 2016 $125,000
Hardware Development Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 10, 2016 $125,000
Hardware Development Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 28, 2015 $125,000
Hardware Develop ENG Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 15, 2016 $125,000 -
$145,000
Hardware Development Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Aug 29, 2016 $125,000
Senior Staff Hardware Development Engineer Polycom, Inc. Austin, TX May 05, 2015 $125,000 -
$150,000

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Top Skills for A Hardware Development Engineer

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  1. Circuit Boards
  2. PCB
  3. Hardware Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed circuit boards for industry standard bus-architecture computers.
  • Create and Supports the release of Gerber's & BOM's to prototype and production PCB board.
  • Hired to manage all aspects of hardware development for various NASA Life Sciences Project Division experiments at Johnson Space Center.
  • Implemented control loops, FFT, and data acquisition/logging in FPGA and real time applications.
  • Evaluated and debugged prototypes and defined required modifications for network color laser printers.

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Top 10 Best States for Hardware Development Engineers

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Washington
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Virginia
  7. Maryland
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Colorado
  10. Arizona
  • (4,092 jobs)
  • (1,305 jobs)
  • (3,206 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (748 jobs)
  • (926 jobs)
  • (507 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)
  • (394 jobs)
  • (329 jobs)

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