Log InSign Up

What does a Hardware Engineer do?

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A hardware engineer is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of computer hardware. This includes the physical components of a computer system, such as the motherboard, CPU, memory, and storage. Hardware engineers also develop and test prototypes of new hardware products.

Hardware Engineer job duties include:

  • Develops and improves upon existing hardware designs
  • Creates prototypes of new hardware designs
  • Conducts research on potential new hardware designs and technologies
  • Identifies and solves problems with existing hardware designs
  • Develops testing methods for new and existing hardware
  • Tests prototypes of new hardware designs
  • Writes reports detailing the results of tests conducted on hardware
  • Keeps up to date on current and emerging technologies in the field of hardware engineering
  • Works with other engineers and technicians to develop new hardware designs

Hardware Engineer Job Requirements

A hardware engineer typically needs a bachelor's degree in engineering, although some jobs may require a master's degree or higher. Many hardware engineers also have professional certification, such as through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In terms of experience, most hardware engineers have at least five years of experience working in the field before being promoted to a managerial position.

Hardware Engineer Skills

  • Experience with various hardware components
  • Excellent soldering skills
  • Experience reading and understanding schematics
  • Ability to troubleshoot and identify hardware issues
  • Strong understanding of electronics principles
  • Experience with PCB design and layout
  • Ability to use electronic test equipment
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented and able to follow complex instructions
  • Good time management skills

Related: Top Hardware Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Hardware Engineer

There are many different types of hardware engineers, but all share a common goal: to create and improve upon devices that people use every day. If you’re interested in becoming a hardware engineer, you will need to have a strong foundation in math and science, as well as experience with design and engineering software.

Most hardware engineers have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, although some also have a master’s degree or higher. In addition to your coursework, it’s important to get experience working with hardware, whether through an internship or by participating in extracurricular activities like robotics clubs.

Once you have your degree and some experience under your belt, you can start applying for jobs at hardware companies large and small. Many hardware engineers work on teams of other engineers, so it’s important to be a good communicator and team player. You’ll also need to be able to work independently when necessary.

As you gain experience, you may move into management or become a technical expert in a particular area of hardware engineering. No matter what path you take, continuing to learn and keeping up with new technologies will help you succeed in this ever-changing field.

Related: Hardware Engineer Resume Example

Related: Hardware Engineer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Editorial staff

Photo of Brenna Goyette, Editor


Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

Similar articles