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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.

Computer Engineering

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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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            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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            1 Program(s) Found
            • 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.
            • Online Courses
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
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            1 Program(s) Found
            Laurus College , Atascadero
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009.
            • Offers career assistance and resource services to both students and graduates.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACCSC).
            • 4 campus locations in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Oxnard, California, with online options as well.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            5 Program(s) Found
            CodingDojo , Online (campus option available)
            • ONLINE BOOTCAMP - Two full stacks in one online coding bootcamp
            • COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM - Develop projects in a vast range of technologies, starting with front-end development and the Python stack, then moving to either iOS, MEAN, LAMP, or Ruby on Rails.
            • TOP-TIER PLATFORM - Quickly get the essentials on the most in-demand technologies through our online learning platform, which has trained thousands of Coding Dojo users and alumni to date.
            • LIVE INSTRUCTOR SUPPORT - Receive hands-on support from ourinstruction team through live lectures, mentorship check-ins, offices hours, and more. In the evenings, access our remote instructor support until midnight from Sunday to Thursday PST.
            • CODE FROM HOME - Experience the accelerated training of our on-campus bootcamps from the comfort of your home. And you can keep your day job! We only require you to dedicate at least 20 hours/week toward the program.
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            Unitek College , Sacramento
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            UEI College , Ontario
            • 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.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            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.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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