Hardware Engineer Salary

A sizeable majority of Hardware Engineers in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $82K per year. Total incomes of Hardware Engineers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $13K from bonuses and close to $10K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $59K and $123K. While the company and experience level impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Hardware Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$60,349 - $116,961
(Median)
$60K
$82K
$120K
MEDIAN: $81,829
10%
50%
90%

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$15.10 - $49.73
(Median)
$15
$29
$50
MEDIAN: $28.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$60,349 - $116,961  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,349  
Profit Sharing
$927 - $10,081  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$59,293 - $122,519  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 749
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.10 - $49.73  
   
Overtime
$19.50 - $67.11  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,349  
   
Profit Sharing
$927 - $10,081  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$59,293 - $122,519  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 52
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Job Description for Hardware Engineer

Hardware engineers are responsible for designing computer hardware for their company. They participate in every aspect of product development, including concept creation, prototype design, product development, and testing. One of their main duties includes proposing architecture and design execution. They also participate in validation tasks after a prototype has been created, performing careful analysis to identify hardware issues and suggest changes to the development team. Hardware engineers generally report their progress to the hardware leader in their department.

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Hardware Engineer Tasks

  • Research, design, develop, and test computer or computer-related equipment.
  • Provide technical support to team members.
  • Define and coordinate corrective action changes.
  • Write documentation and test specifications.

Common Career Paths for Hardware Engineer


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Hardware Engineers who move on to become Senior Hardware Design Engineers may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Hardware Design Engineers get paid an average of $108K per year. Given that the median pay is $68K, it may be surprising to find that an Electrical Engineer is the most common role for Hardware Engineers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Senior Electrical Engineer role — which pays $95K — is also typical for Hardware Engineers, though less common by comparison.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Hardware Engineer


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Hardware Engineers include Cisco Systems Inc, Intel Corporation, Apple Computer, Inc, Qualcomm Inc, and Hewlett-Packard Company. Although Apple Computer, Inc leads the field in pay with a median salary of $122K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $82K on the low end all the way up to $172K at the top. Soaring salaries can also be found at Cisco Systems Inc, Oracle Corp., and Qualcomm Inc, where earnings of $110K, $106K, or $103K are standard for Hardware Engineers.

Lockheed Martin Corp, Hewlett-Packard Company and Intel Corporation are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $75K, $87K, and $96K.

Popular Skills for Hardware Engineer


Hardware Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Matlab, Systems Engineering, and verilog are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent, 27 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, and VHDL. Many workers who know Board Design / Debug also know Engineering Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Hardware Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Hardware Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $75K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $90K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $105K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $108K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Hardware Engineers, busy Cupertino offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 43 percent above the national average. Hardware Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Mountain View (+38 percent), Boston (+28 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), and Santa Clara (+26 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Dallas Hardware Engineers earning much less — 21 percent less — than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Houston (15 percent lower) and Denver (6 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Hardware Engineer Salaries




National Average
$84,000


Skills That Affect Hardware Engineer Salaries

Matlab
up arrow 37%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 27%

up arrow 17%


Simulation Program with Integrated Circuits Emphasis (SPICE)
up arrow 4%

Test Engineering
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 2%

Verilog Vhdl
up arrow 1%

Board Design / Debug
0%

C++
0%

National Average
$84,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

C
up arrow 3%

VHDL
up arrow 9%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 12%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 121 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 72% employee benefits None: 6%
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