Hardware Engineer Salary (United States)

A little over a half of Hardware Engineers report fewer than five years in the field, making for a fairly junior workforce. The group as a whole takes home roughly $81,158 per year on average. Compensation generally starts at $58,129 and does not exceed $119,650 per year. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though years of experience and the individual firm have a (lesser) impact as well. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a solid majority earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Hardware Engineer Salary (?
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.
)
$59,181 - $111,816
(Median)
59K
79K
99K
110K
MEDIAN: $79,085
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Hardware Engineer Salary (?
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.
)
$16.00 - $50.87
(Median)
16
30
41
51
MEDIAN: $30
10%
50%
75%
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
$59,181 - $111,816  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,493  
Profit Sharing
$804 - $9,635  
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).
)
$58,129 - $119,650  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 581
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
$16.00 - $50.87  
   
Overtime
$16.61 - $68.03  
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 - $12,493  
   
Profit Sharing
$804 - $9,635  
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).
)
$58,129 - $119,650  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 39
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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.
Read More...
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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As Hardware Engineers make advancements in their career path, salaries may climb quite a bit. Those in less important roles may make $26K less annually than those in higher-end positions, such as Senior Hardware Design Engineer. The most common career progression for Hardware Engineers leads to becoming an Electrical Engineer, which actually results in a pay cut of $14,234. However, many Hardware Engineers also opt to become a Senior Electrical Engineer, a move that typically includes a raise of $13,427.

Hardware Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Hardware Engineer

Cisco Systems Inc attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area—the median in that office is $109,245—but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $77K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $155K.
Intel Corporation offers the lowest pay in the field, with a median salary of just $97,374. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Oracle Corp. ($102,439) and Qualcomm Inc ($105,103).

Popular Skills for Hardware Engineer

Survey takers working as Hardware Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Matlab, verilog, and Simulation Program with Integrated Circuits Emphasis (SPICE) are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 39 percent, 16 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, and VHDL. Most people familiar with C also know verilog and 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, level of experience is overall a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation—more experience does not yield dramatically higher pay—and pay raises are largely incremental. In five to 10 years time, starting salaries of $77K can reach $88K. Those with 10 to 20 years of experience under their belt earn around $107K, climbing well into the six-figure pool. Once they've gotten two decades of experience under their belts, Hardware Engineers encounter slower salary growth; at this point, they earn $107K annually. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 15 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 7 percent. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; about two-thirds of respondents fit between this range.

Pay Difference By Location

Mountain View
up arrow 37%
San Francisco
up arrow 36%
up arrow 26%
Raleigh
up arrow 13%
Sunnyvale
up arrow 8%
National Average
$81,000
Austin
up arrow 11%
Houston
up arrow 12%
Dallas
up arrow 21%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Hardware Engineers in search of above-average pay will head to California: In particular, Hardware Engineers in Mountain View, San Francisco, and San Jose are the best-paid American cities for Hardware Engineers, who enjoy higher pay rates than the national average. For Hardware Engineers, Texas means smaller paychecks—those in Dallas, Houston, and Austin earn less than Hardware Engineers in the rest of the country. Houston and Austin are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median—salaries hover around -12 percent and -11 percent, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Hardware Engineer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 32%
National Average
$81,000

Skills That Affect Hardware Engineer Salaries

Matlab
up arrow 39%
up arrow 16%
Simulation Program with Integrated Circuits Emphasis (SPICE)
up arrow 11%
C++
up arrow 7%
Test Engineering
up arrow 6%
Perl
up arrow 5%
Linux
up arrow 4%
Engineering Design
up arrow 3%
Verilog Vhdl
up arrow 1%
National Average
$81,000
Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
up arrow 1%
C
up arrow 3%
VHDL
up arrow 8%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 131 votes.

Gender

Female
7%
female alumni
 
Male
93%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 74% employee benefits None: 6%
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