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Computer Hardware Engineer

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Computer Hardware Engineers Career Video

Researches, designs, develops, or tests computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Programming and Software Development pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Updates knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
  • Builds, tests, and modifies product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Writes detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.
  • Specifies power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
  • Confers with engineering staff and consults specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Designs and develops computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
  • Selects hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
  • Monitors functioning of equipment and makes necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Tests and verifies hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
  • Directs technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Design Engineer — Researches and develops ideas for new products and production systems.
  • Engineer
  • Field Service Engineer
  • Hardware Design Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Network Engineer — Designs and implements computer networks.
  • Project Engineer
  • Senior Hardware Engineer
  • Systems Engineer — Analyzes technical and business problems and recommends solutions to clients and engineers. Responsible for designing and implementing improvements to hardware and software of computers.
  • Systems Integration Engineer