Computer hardware engineers are the ones who conduct the research, develop the designs and test the prototypes for all sorts of computer components and computing devices. Computer chips, modems, keyboards, monitors and printers are just a few of the pieces of hardware that they design and develop. The career is very similar to that of an electronics engineer, but the knowledge a computer hardware engineer possesses is highly specialized. They work solely with computers and focus their studies on in the inner functions of computing devices. If you are at all familiar with computers, you know that newer, more powerful computers are made available to the public on a regular basis. For this reason, they must constantly be researching and studying the latest developments and trends in their field.

In order to work as a licensed computer hardware engineer, you must at least complete a college (or university) Bachelor of Engineering degree. However, you can get an entry-level computer hardware technician job by completing a general mathematics or science degree or proving you have a deep level of understanding of how a computer works. In order to get accepted into an engineering program, you must have great marks in math and science courses, as well as a high overall average. Having taken computer hardware and programming courses is not required; however it is very beneficial and will improve your chances of getting accepted. There are two ways to approach a degree in engineering. The first is to take courses that will increase your chances of getting a job after graduation and the second is to take the more advanced courses an strive for a higher level of learning. This will prepare you for graduate school. Some schools promote one of these paths over the other, so it is important to spend a lot of time researching schools before you choose which ones you are applying to. The most successful engineers are those who are creative, self-motivated, have good analysis and problem solving abilities and pay a special attention to details.

In the May 2010 report, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that computer hardware engineers received an average salary of $101,600. This is one of the highest average salaries of any engineering discipline and the career has one of the highest starting salaries as well at a little over $62,000. This is partly due to the fact that there are not that many job positions held by computer hardware engineers, relative to the total number of computer-related jobs being held in the United States. There were around 66,960 hardware engineers employed in May 2010. The most popular “industry” of employment is the computer systems design industry, employing around 13,000 people. The next most popular is the computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing industry, at around 10,000.

The job market growth for hardware engineers is expected to be on par with the average overall US workforce growth until around 2018. This growth is mostly due to an increasing demand for computers and peripheral devices made by these engineers.