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Become A Hardware Test Engineer

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Working As A Hardware Test Engineer

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

  • $95,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Hardware Test 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 Test 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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Hardware Test Engineer jobs

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Hardware Test Engineer Career Paths

Hardware Test Engineer
Hardware Design Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Systems Integrator Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Principal Engineer
Director, Hardware Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Tester Project Manager Senior Manager
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Quality Assurance Analyst Business Analyst
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Test Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Quality Assurance Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Lead Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Design Verification Engineer Software Test Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Test Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Senior Design Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Senior Consultant Senior Technologist
Senior Engineering Technician
9 Yearsyrs
Hardware Design Engineer Electrical Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Hardware Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
System Test Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Verification Engineer Senior Design Engineer Project Leader
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
System Test Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer Program Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Tester Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Test Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 4.5%
Engineer 3.7%
Internship 3.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.0%
Engineer 2.8%

Hardware Test Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.5%

Female

9.8%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Asian

25.5%

Hispanic or Latino

8.4%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Chinese

20.7%

Mandarin

20.7%

Spanish

13.8%

Russian

10.3%

Cantonese

10.3%

Persian

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

German

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

French

3.4%

Carrier

3.4%
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Hardware Test Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

9.8%

University of Washington

9.8%

Purdue University

7.6%

North Carolina State University

6.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.5%

Northeastern University

6.5%

Wake Technical Community College

5.4%

California State University - Long Beach

5.4%

University of California - San Diego

4.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.3%

Santa Clara University

4.3%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.3%

University of California - Davis

3.3%

Edmonds Community College

3.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.3%

University of Phoenix

3.3%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.3%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.2%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

47.6%

Computer Science

12.2%

Computer Engineering

9.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.6%

Business

3.1%

Biomedical Engineering

2.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

Computer Networking

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Political Science

1.7%

Computer Systems Security

1.7%

Information Technology

1.4%

Management Information Systems

1.0%

Physics

1.0%

Computer Applications

1.0%

Graphic Design

1.0%

Information Systems

1.0%

Accounting

1.0%

Engineering

1.0%

Systems Engineering

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.6%

Masters

23.4%

Other

12.9%

Associate

9.0%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Hardware Test Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2014 $193,700
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Apr 29, 2016 $152,131
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 16, 2015 $152,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 28, 2016 $149,068
Hardware Test Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jun 30, 2016 $146,459
Hardware Test and Validation Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA May 23, 2014 $145,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA May 26, 2014 $145,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 16, 2015 $138,000
Hardware Test Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 22, 2013 $138,000
Wifi Hardware Test Engineer EERO Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 27, 2016 $135,000 -
$150,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 28, 2013 $135,000
Hardware Test Engineer EERO Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 16, 2016 $132,912 -
$145,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google, Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 14, 2015 $115,000
Hardware Test Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 18, 2013 $115,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 18, 2013 $115,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 13, 2016 $115,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 23, 2015 $113,300
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 30, 2016 $112,500
Senior Hardware Test Engineer/Windows Driver Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 23, 2016 $112,487 -
$124,200
Staff Hardware Test Engineer Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2015 $110,448 -
$146,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 14, 2014 $95,221
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 05, 2014 $95,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 20, 2016 $94,300
Hardware Test Engineer (Signal Integrity Testing) Beyondsoft Consulting Inc. Redmond, WA Jan 09, 2016 $93,600
Hardware Test Engineer and Software Development Aluratek Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 10, 2015 $92,102
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 07, 2015 $92,000
Hardware Testing Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 26, 2014 $92,000
Hardware Test Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 15, 2015 $92,000

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Top Skills for A Hardware Test Engineer

LabEquipmentFirmwareWindowsServerTestProceduresLinuxTestEquipmentTestCasesPCBRFTestFixturesLabviewSetupTestResultsTestSoftwareVideoTestReportsPCISystemLevelVmwareEthernet

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Top Hardware Test Engineer Skills

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Firmware
  3. Windows Server
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented a new lab bench layout, and was in charge of the Toyota Lab and Toyota Lab Equipment.
  • Support hardware and firmware engineers with cable and test jig assembly and PCB repairs.
  • Install and configure Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Suse Linux Enterprise Server operating systems.
  • Reviewed, updated, and validated component-level test procedures.
  • Design, development and execution of all phases of development testing on an Android/Linux based wireless telephone for business jet use.

Top Hardware Test Engineer Employers

Hardware Test Engineer Videos

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