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What does a Computer Hardware Engineer do?

Learn all about Computer Hardware Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Computer Hardware Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A computer hardware engineer is responsible for the physical parts of a computer system, including the Central Processing Unit (CPU), memory, storage, and input/output devices. They may also be involved in the design of peripheral devices, such as printers and scanners. In addition, computer hardware engineers may work on networking and communications systems.

Computer Hardware Engineer job duties include:

  • Research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.
  • Oversee the manufacturing of computer components by directing quality control personnel and evaluating processes.
  • Install, configure, and maintain computer systems.
  • Train users to use new or updated computer equipment and software.
  • Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan computer specifications and layouts, and peripheral equipment modifications.
  • May supervise computer programmers.
  • Consult with customers about software system design and maintenance.
  • Confer with engineers, technicians, and others to discuss existing or potential engineering products or projects.
  • Prepare reports or correspondence concerning project specifications, activities, or status.

Computer Hardware Engineer Job Requirements

A computer hardware engineer typically has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, although a degree in electrical engineering or computer science is also acceptable. Certification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is also desired. A minimum of five years' experience in computer hardware engineering is required.

Computer Hardware Engineer Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Logical thinking
  • Numerical skills
  • IT skills
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Time management skills

Related: Top Computer Hardware Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Computer Hardware Engineer

In order to become a Computer Hardware Engineer, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field. Then, one must complete an internship or on-the-job training program to gain experience in the field. After that, one can take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to become a licensed engineer. Finally, one can choose to specialize in computer hardware engineering by taking additional courses and/or obtaining a master’s degree in the field.

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