A computer hardware engineer is someone who researches, designs, develops, and tests computer equipment such as chips, circuit boards, or routers.
What does a Computer Hardware Engineer do?
Computer hardware engineers typically do the following:
- Design new computer hardware, creating blueprints of computer equipment to be built
- Test the completed models of the computer hardware they design
- Analyze the test results and modify the design as needed
- Update existing computer equipment so that it will work with new software
- Oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware
Computer hardware engineers analyze complex equipment to determine the best way to improve it. They design new types of information technology devices. They use logic and reasoning to clarify goals, examine assumptions, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems. They identify complex problems in computer hardware, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and figure out the best way to implement them. Engineers often work on teams and must be able to communicate with other types of engineers as well as with non-technical team members.
Computer hardware engineers ensure that computer hardware components work together with the latest software developments. Therefore, they sometimes work withsoftware developers. For example, computer hardware engineers give developers of mobile applications information about what kind of software a cell phone can run.
What is the workplace of a Computer Hardware Engineer like?
Computer hardware engineers usually work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms. Some work in computer systems design firms, research and development firms, or for the federal government. More than 95 percent of computer hardware engineers work in metropolitan areas.