Computer Hardware Engineer

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

What is this job like?

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, test, and oversee the installation of computer hardware. Computer hardware includes computer chips, circuit boards, systems, modems, keyboards, and printers. (Computer software engineers design the programs to run computers.)

Computer hardware engineers are much like electronics engineers, but work only with computers. The rapid advances in computers are a result of their work. To keep up, these workers must stay up to date on what they know.

How do you get ready?

A bachelor's degree in engineering is needed for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. College grads with a degree in a science or mathematics may get some jobs.

Getting into engineering school requires a strong report card in math and science, and courses in English, social studies, and computers. Also, some schools prepare an engineer to get a job upon graduation while others prepare an engineer for graduate school. It is a good idea to research the school before you attend.

In a typical college, the first 2 years are for studying math, science, engineering basics, the arts, and social sciences. In the last 2 years, most courses are in engineering, mostly in a single branch.

Engineers should be creative, curious, analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team. People skills are important. This is because engineers often work with people in a wide range of fields.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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