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Become A Senior Computer Engineer

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Working As A Senior Computer Engineer

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

  • $84,579

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Computer 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 Senior Computer 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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Senior Computer Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

84.5%

Female

12.1%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

52.5%

Asian

18.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

5.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.7%

Chinese

14.3%

Mandarin

14.3%

Dutch

7.1%

German

7.1%

French

7.1%

Hebrew

7.1%

Cantonese

7.1%
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Senior Computer Engineer Education

Schools

University of Southern California

12.0%

University of Phoenix

10.0%

San Jose State University

6.0%

Southern Methodist University

6.0%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

6.0%

Syracuse University

4.0%

De Anza College

4.0%

University of South Florida

4.0%

Stanford University

4.0%

University of California - Santa Cruz

4.0%

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

4.0%

Wright State University

4.0%

University of Michigan - Dearborn

4.0%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.0%

Santa Clara University

4.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.0%

University of Louisville

4.0%

Maryville University of Saint Louis

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Iowa State University

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

24.9%

Computer Science

17.5%

Computer Engineering

10.1%

Business

6.9%

Mechanical Engineering

6.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

4.2%

Drafting And Design

3.2%

Computer Information Systems

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Information Technology

2.6%

Management

2.1%

Mathematics

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Physics

2.1%

Project Management

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%

Architecture

1.1%

Management Information Systems

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

30.0%

Bachelors

29.5%

Other

19.8%

Associate

9.3%

Doctorate

6.3%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

0.8%
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Real Senior Computer Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR CAD Engineer-PDV Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 17, 2015 $182,000 -
$202,000
Senior Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 13, 2015 $180,000 -
$200,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Flyby Media, Inc. New York, NY Mar 01, 2014 $175,000
SR. Computer Vision Engineer Flyby Media New York, NY Jan 09, 2015 $175,000
Senior CAD Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Austin, TX Sep 10, 2012 $175,000
Senior CAD Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor, L.L.C. Austin, TX Sep 03, 2012 $175,000
SR. CAD Engineer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 25, 2015 $162,000 -
$175,807
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Meta Company Redwood City, CA Sep 13, 2016 $160,000
SR. Physical Design CAD Engineer Apple Inc. Austin, TX Jun 24, 2015 $153,000 -
$173,000
Senior Computational Geometry Engineer Otherlab, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 24, 2016 $150,000
Senior Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 02, 2015 $145,000 -
$165,000
Senior Engineer, Computer Vision Magic Leap, Inc. Mountain View, CA May 18, 2016 $145,000
Senior Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 11, 2015 $145,000 -
$165,000
SR. Data & Computer Vision Engineer Netgear, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 07, 2016 $140,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Van GOGH Imaging McLean, VA Aug 28, 2013 $114,000
Senior CAD Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Apr 12, 2016 $113,834
Senior CAD Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 23, 2012 $110,000 -
$120,000
Senior Computer Engineer Wayne Fueling Systems LLC Richardson, TX Sep 28, 2016 $110,000
Senior Computer Engineer Simmons Sirvey Corporation Richardson, TX Sep 27, 2016 $110,000
Senior Computer Vision Engineer Perceptimed, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 12, 2013 $110,000
Senior 3D Computer Vision Engineer Vangogh Imaging, Inc. McLean, VA Jan 09, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Senior Computer Engineer Partnerweekly LLC Las Vegas, NV Jul 29, 2016 $109,262
Senior CAD Engineer Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation San Diego, CA Sep 01, 2015 $95,930 -
$100,000
SR. CAD Engineer 1 Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Austin, TX Aug 05, 2015 $95,000 -
$115,000
Senior Computational Mechanics Engineer Third Wave Systems Eden Prairie, MN Mar 09, 2015 $95,000
Senior CAD Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 23, 2016 $94,200 -
$153,000
Computer Tomography Imaging Senior Engineer Instarecon, Inc. Champaign, IL Oct 01, 2015 $94,000 -
$110,000
Senior CAD Engineer Ensphere Solutions Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 30, 2012 $91,936 -
$105,000
Senior CAD Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 12, 2014 $90,400 -
$146,900
Senior Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis Engin Deere & Company Waterloo, IA Sep 30, 2013 $90,000 -
$100,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Computer Engineer

  1. CAD
  2. Layout
  3. Computer Hardware Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and reverse engineered commercial aircraft interior parts and assemblies and sub-assemblies using AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
  • Implemented post-layout verification regression, reviewing and debugging verification run results for tape-out QA.
  • Implemented Network Computer job submission for various tools including Cadence simulation jobs with preemption.
  • Collaborated with Manufacturing Engineering team to create initial Bill of Materials and manufacturing procedures and work instructions.
  • Worked as a Senior UNIX Engineer and Team Leader for the WSS (Worldwide Securities Services) line of business.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Computer Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Texas
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Colorado
  10. Alabama
  • (1,668 jobs)
  • (7,449 jobs)
  • (2,003 jobs)
  • (1,548 jobs)
  • (1,041 jobs)
  • (318 jobs)
  • (2,265 jobs)
  • (366 jobs)
  • (922 jobs)
  • (270 jobs)

Top Senior Computer Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Computer Engineer Employers

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