Computer Hardware Engineers

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Supported: 89
  • Analytical: 67
  • Creative: 65
  • Purpose: 44
  • Social: 25

What Computer Hardware Engineers Do

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. These engineers discover new directions in computer hardware, which generate rapid advances in computer technology.

Work Environment

Computer hardware engineers usually work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms.

How to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer

Most computer hardware engineers need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Computer hardware engineers

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. A limited number of engineers will be needed to meet the demand for new computer hardware because more technological innovation takes place with software than with hardware.

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    Growth & Trends

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    This occupation supported 83,300 jobs in 2012 and 77,700 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 6.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 7.3% in 2022 to 89,400 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 84,500, compared with an observed value of 77,700, 8.0% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 2.9% in 2024 to 80,100 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 90,600 jobs for 2024, 13.1% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.