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Computer Hardware Engineers

Research, design, develop, or test 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.   (O'Net 17-2061.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Automation Engineer, Computer Architect, Computer Designer, Computer Engineer, Computer Hardware Designer, Computer Hardware Developer, Computer Installation Engineer, Computer Tester, Configuration Manager, Design Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Engineer, Field Service Engineer, Hardware Design Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Information Technology Consultant (IT Consultant), Microchip Specialist, Network Engineer, Project Engineer, Senior Hardware Engineer, Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE), Systems Engineer, Systems Integration Engineer, Telecommunications Engineer
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
  • Related Occupations
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    Career Video
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    Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics photo Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
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    Wages
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 33.00   $ 37.66   $ 53.39   $ 60.01   $ 64.00   $ 49.61  
    Yearly $68,640   $78,330   $111,050   $124,820   $133,120   $103,190  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 31.59   $ 34.35   $ 38.97   $ 50.38   $ 66.86   $ 43.68  
    Yearly $65,710   $71,450   $81,070   $104,800   $139,070   $90,860  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Computer and electronic product manufacturing 39.3%
    Computer systems design and related services 22.2%
    Scientific research and development services 7.3%
    Federal government, all industries 6.2%
    Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 5.8%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
     
  • Build, test, and modify product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
     
  • Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.
     
  • Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
     
  • Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
     
  • Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
     
  • Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
     
  • Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
     
  • Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
     
  • Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Knowledge
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
     
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
     
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
     
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Skills
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
     
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Abilities
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Work Activities
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
     
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Interests
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Computer Hardware Engineers
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Engineer Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Professional Engineering
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  •  
  • Experience: A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers  updated July 2013
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Computer Hardware Engineers
    Back to Top
     
      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Computer Engineering, General.
     
    • Computer Hardware Engineering.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Computer Hardware Engineers.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Computer Hardware Engineers :
  • Computer Hardware Engineers
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Computer Hardware Engineers
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  • Computer Network Architects
  •  
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  •  
  • Computer Systems Engineers/Architects
  •  
  • Database Administrators
  •  
  • Energy Engineers
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  • Petroleum Engineers
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  • Software Developers, Systems Software
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  • Validation Engineers
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Computer Hardware Engineers 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor