What does a Computer Engineer do?

Median Pay $115,120
Growth Rate 5%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A computer engineer tests computer components and systems by developing and designing memory devices, processors, circuit boards, and networks. They make computers more mobile or incorporate computers in other areas, such as machines or building materials. They solve issues that occur in computer hardware and aid in the advancement of computer technology.

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How to Become a Computer Engineer

A computer engineer usually needs a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. However, if you earn a degree in computer science or electrical engineering that may be acceptable. A computer engineering degree is very similar to an electrical engineering degree, though the computer engineering degree has additional courses related to computer science.

Some engineering students take part in an intern program while earning their degree in order have work experience upon graduation.

Job Description of a Computer Engineer

computer engineers working

A computer engineer uses models, (working or theoretical) that are constructed with computer simulation to test, build, and modify product prototypes. They develop and design support peripherals and computer hardware, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, or disk drives. A computer engineer monitors the functioning of equipment to an operating system and makes any adjustments or modifications necessary to meet with the conformance with specifications. They remain up-to-date on current advances in computer technology and apply any new knowledge to the job. He or she may also oversee installation and manufacturing of computer-related equipment. They have knowledge of computers and electronics, technology and engineering, design, mathematics and physics.

They are skilled at complex problem solving, speaking effectively to others, active listening, decision making and operation analysis, among other abilities. They communicate information to supervisors, subordinates or others in a clear manner, either by phone, in person or through email. They contribute artistic creativity and ideas that assist in the development or design of a project. Many computer engineers work in research labs and this career tests and builds computer models. These firms are mostly high-tech manufacturing offices and/or labs.

Computer Hardware Engineer Career Video Transcript

With each passing day, we spend more time on computers and expect them to meet more complex needs. Computer hardware engineers have a leading role in the research on, and development of advanced computer technology, and even influence how it’s used.

Computer hardware engineers research, design, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory, and storage media. In most cases, the goal of computer hardware engineers is to discover ways to make computers faster and more powerful. Some more specialized engineers design other devices that incorporate computers, like cars and medical equipment. Some work closely with software developers to design phones, tablets, and other devices.

Computer hardware engineers need to be creative problem-solvers and work well as a member of a team, using their powers of reason to find original solutions. Usually computer hardware engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, though degrees in electrical engineering or computer science are also accepted. Some positions require a master’s degree. Many employers expect computer hardware engineers to have at least some familiarity with software. In this fast-moving millennium, few shape our information world like computer hardware engineers.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Hardware Engineers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 17-2061.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.