Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology

The people who design computer and electronics hardware have special skills and training that allow them to create devices packing more technology into ever-smaller spaces. Have you ever wondered about the people who create the actual devices rather than the programs they run? Software tends to overshadow the very necessary work done by those who create computer and electronics hardware.

What Type of Training Do Computer and Electronics Engineers Have?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that most computer and electronics engineers have a four-year degree in computer engineering, although some come from electrical engineering backgrounds as well. In looking for a college program to obtain a bachelor’s in computer or electrical engineering, be sure that the programs you consider are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET. Students who take these courses need to be well-prepared in science and math and should take challenging mathematics courses in college.

A background in computer programming is also helpful to a computer or electronics engineer. This is because so much of today’s work involves creating devices that interface with a wide variety of computer programs. Students can also pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering or computer engineering. This is a common step when someone wants to move into a management job or one with a larger company.

Most computer and electronics engineers work for large companies or for the government. A few work independently, designing new hardware and selling it to companies for production. However, this is a very competitive field, and large computer manufacturers tend to “buy” their own talent by offering good computer and electronics engineers full-time employment. Computer and electronics engineers must be able to work with teams to design new products and have good communication skills so that they can explain their ideas to others who may not be as technically knowledgeable.

What Do Computer and Electronics Engineers Do?

Computer and electronics engineers typically design hardware for computer systems or for new devices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They may create prototypes or models of new devices or systems and test them in a laboratory setting. They may also work with retroactive upgrades for older systems, designing ways for them to work with new software. Some computer and electronics engineers are hired by companies to oversee the manufacturing process of devices and computers, as well.

How Much Do Computer and Electronics Engineers Earn?

Computer and electronics engineers are some of the most highly-paid technical specialists, earning a median salary of $98,810 in 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who work for the federal government had the highest median salary at $102,950, while those who worked in production and manufacturing earned a median salary of $101,320. Computer and electronics engineers who worked in the design field had a median annual salary of $98,860, and those who worked in research had a median salary of $92,080. All of these salaries assume a bachelor’s degree in the field; workers who have less education may earn less money, and those with master’s degrees may earn more.

What Is the Job Outlook for Computer and Electronics Engineers?

The field of computer and electronics engineering is only expected to grow by nine percent between 2010 and 2020, despite the boom in electronic gadgets and personal computers. This is due to the fact that hardware does not change as quickly as software. However, the growing number of household appliances, automobiles, medical devices, and other “non-computer” objects that are now utilizing chip technology will also provide some job growth.

computer and electronics engineer must be able to pay attention to minute details and handle a variety of input from various people. If you have a love of computers and electronics and some great ideas for how to improve devices, this may be the job field for you.

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