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Computer Hardware Engineers

Also called: Design Engineer, Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Systems Engineer

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.


Engineering and Technology
  • computers and electronics
  • product and service development
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
  • physics
Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Basic Skills
  • reading work related information
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • listen and understand what people say
  • read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Persistence
  • Innovation


You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • Cadence Dracula
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
Computer aided design CAD software
  • Mathsoft Mathcad
  • Xilinx ISE Foundation
Development environment software
  • C
  • Microsoft Visual Basic


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree or
master's degree
usually needed

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about computer hardware engineers.