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Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, design, and test computer hardware such as computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and accessories, including keyboards, scanners, modems, and printers. They also direct the manufacture and installation of these products. The occupation resembles electronics engineers, except for the fact that computer hardware engineers specialize in computers and related equipment.

Job Skills

Computer hardware engineers should be logical, detail-oriented thinkers. They need to possess patience, persistence, the ability to work under pressure, ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. They should be familiar with abstract concepts and technical analysis, and should be comfortable communicating with other team members and with users.

Income

In 2002, computer hardware engineers earned a median annual salary of $72,150. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $46,190, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $114,880. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of computer hardware engineers:

  • Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing - $76,600
  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing - 75,300
  • Computer systems design and related services - 74,320

Training and Education

A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level positions. Graduate degrees are essential for any faculty positions and for research and development programs, and many graduates pursue graduate degrees in engineering or business management in order to familiarize themselves with new technologies or broaden their education. Students should thoroughly investigate the curricula and accreditation of various programs because of the specialization of the programs. Requirements for admission to undergraduate engineering programs include mathematics, science, English, social studies, humanities, and computer and information technology. While programs are designed to last only 4 years, many students take 4 to 5 years to complete their studies. New employees usually are mentored under the supervision of experienced employees, and sometimes enroll in on-the-job training.

Employment

In 2002, computer hardware engineers held about 74,000 jobs. 40% were employed in computer and electronic product manufacturing, 24% were employed in professional, scientific, and technical services firms, and the rest worked in telecommunications.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of computer hardware engineers is expected to increase more slowly than the average. This will be due to intense foreign manufacturing competition, rising productivity, and increased utilization of foreign computer hardware engineering services. Job openings will result from the need to replace workers who are promoted to managerial positions, as well as those who change careers or leave the labor force. Competition will be fierce for job openings because of the increasing number of degrees that are granted in this field.

Directory of Schools Offering Computer Engineering Degrees

Hardware Engineer Training

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            B.S. in Computer Programming
            • Turn your love of technology into a career in a high-demand, fast-growing field! Why earn your tech degree from GCU?
            • Since 1949, GCU has been a premier private Christian university in Arizona, helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential.
            • Many graduate and undergraduate degree focuses such as: IT, cybersecurity, business analytics, IT management & more.
            • Acquire skills for entry-level positions, learn new skills with the goal to re-career or develop a portfolio of projects to strengthen job candidacy.
            • Courses are available online, evenings and on campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Talk to us to learn about financial aid, start dates and more!
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            Master of Science in Computer Engineering
            • Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Computer Engineering program teaches students to create groundbreaking hardware and software solutions for new and emerging systems
            • You will learn to drive innovation and solve the most difficult computer engineering challenges with advanced knowledge of key topics including: security and assurance, network systems, computer architecture, and advanced programming
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
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            Web Development Programming Diploma Program
            Platt College , Anaheim
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
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            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            ABCO Technology , Inglewood
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
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            Computer Programming (AAS)
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            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
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            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            Computer Information Systems (Bachelor of Science) - Online
            • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
            • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
            • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
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            Software Development for Creative Technologies (Bachelor of Science)
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            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            Online Master of Science in Software Development

            Maryville University is a private university in St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of more than 6,800 students.

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            MS in Computer Science
            • Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Computer Science program is designed to help students discover groundbreaking solutions to complex technology challenges and develop expertise in areas such as security and assurance, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, and advanced programming.
            • Students will gain advanced knowledge in critical areas, such as Security and Assurance, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Architecture, and Advanced Programming.
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
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            B.S. in Computer Information Systems / Computer Networking
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
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