Hardware Engineer Salary
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.Read More...
Additionally, hardware engineers provide colleagues with specific advice about product life cycle support characteristics and acceptance criteria. Other tasks completed by hardware engineers include creating specifications and hardware device performance numbers, actively participating in company meetings, and using technical expertise to conduct failure prevention analysis and improve reliability. Hardware engineers may use their engineering knowledge to provide ideas for design features as well. In all tasks, the hardware engineer must closely follow company guidelines and procedures. One of the engineer's main tools include a personal computer with specialized software to create simulations and projections related to hardware capabilities.
A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related field is required for this position. In addition, previous experience in a similar position may be preferred. Hardware engineers must be able to multitask and prioritize project requirements. They should possess strong interpersonal skills to communicate with other engineers and present complex concepts to non-technical staff. They must also understand hardware and software interactions and plan accordingly for product evaluation.
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
Advancing into a Senior Hardware Design Engineer role seems to be a popular career move for Hardware Engineers, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $111K per year. The most common promotion for Hardware Engineers is Senior Electrical Engineer, a position that typically pays $96K annually. Another standard transition for Hardware Engineers seeking advancement is to assume a Computer Hardware Engineer role, where pay is often $68K.
Hardware Design Engineer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Hardware Engineer
Apple Computer, Inc, Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems Inc, Qualcomm Inc, and Seakr Engineering, Inc. are among the top companies that take on many Hardware Engineers. Hardware Engineers flock to Google, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $145K lead the pack in compensation. Soaring salaries can also be found at Apple Computer, Inc, Oracle, and Oracle Corp., where earnings of $123K, $117K, or $109K are standard for Hardware Engineers.
With a median salary of only $75K (about half the top paying employer's rate), Cisco Systems Inc lags significantly in the earnings department. Seakr Engineering, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp, and Rockwell Automation, Inc. also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $76K, $77K, and $81K.
Popular Skills for Hardware Engineer
Survey takers working as Hardware Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in verilog, Field-Programmable Gate Array, C++ Programming Language, and Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Office, Linux, and Microsoft Word. Most people experienced in Board Design / Debug also know C.
Pay by Experience Level for Hardware Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Hardware Engineers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $76K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $94K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Those with 10 to 20 years of experience under their belts can expect their paychecks to flourish around the six-figure median of $100K. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $109K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Hardware Engineers, Mountain View provides a pay rate that is 46 percent greater than the national average. Hardware Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Cupertino (+45 percent), Sunnyvale (+37 percent), Santa Clara (+30 percent), and San Jose (+21 percent). Compared to the national average, Dallas Hardware Engineers have considerably lower salaries, 23 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Employers also pay below the national average in Houston (16 percent lower) and Los Angeles (5 percent lower).