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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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            PC Repair
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            MS in Information Management
            • The online format of the program combines live weekly classes, multimedia coursework, and collaborative group learning exercises.
            • The program prepares information professionals to design and manage mission-critical information technologies within organizations.
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            • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, our online master’s degree programs promote close collaboration and innovative thinking as students work toward harnessing the power of information to solve complex challenges.
            • 42-credit MS in Information Management which can be completed in as little as 21 months
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            Programming
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • 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.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            • Financial Aid
            Bachelor's (BIT) - Software Analysis and Development
            • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
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            Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems

            See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

            Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

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            Software Development for Creative Technologies (Bachelor of Science)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Computer Information Systems (Bachelor of Science) - Online
            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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            Software Development Coding
            Platt College , Anaheim
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
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            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Accredited
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            Computer Systems Technician (8-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Bakersfield
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
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            Milan Institute , Bakersfield
            • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
            • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
            • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
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