What Do Computer Hardware Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Computer Hardware Engineers research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components. They also update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.

Other tasks include:

  • Build, test, and modify product prototypes, using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.
  • Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
  • Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
  • Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.

We asked Computer Hardware Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

71%

How meaningful is this job

53%


71% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 53% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Computer Hardware Engineers direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed. They store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.

A typical day for a Computer Hardware Engineer will also include:

  • Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Provide technical support to designers, marketing and sales departments, suppliers, engineers and other team members throughout the product development and implementation process.
  • Build, test, and modify product prototypes, using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
  • Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.

We asked some Computer Hardware Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?55% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?41% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?73% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?5% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?23% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Computer Hardware Engineers also analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware. They may also store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Computer Hardware Engineers Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements. They might also Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.

In addition, they Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.

To some Computer Hardware Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan layout, including type of computers and peripheral equipment modifications.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Computer Hardware Engineer, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Computer Hardware Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
86%


Never
5%


Do Computer Hardware Engineers work outdoors?

Never
86%


Once a year
14%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Computer Hardware Engineers

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Related to Computer Hardware Engineers Job Description

Computer Hardware Engineers job description, what do Computer Hardware Engineers do, typical day for Computer Hardware Engineers, what is it like to work as a Computer Hardware Engineer, how many hours do Computer Hardware Engineers work, day to day work of a Computer Hardware Engineer

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/computer-hardware-engineers.htm
http://www.acm.org/
http://www.abet.org/
http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/17-2061.00


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