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Computer Hardware Engineer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Computer Hardware Engineers Career Video



Researches, designs, develops, and tests 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.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Programming and Software Engineering pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Updates knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
  • Builds, tests, and modifies product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Writes detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and supports hardware introduction.
  • Confers with engineering staff and consults specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Specifies power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
  • Designs and develops computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
  • Selects hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
  • Monitors functioning of equipment and makes necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Tests and verifies hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
  • Directs technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Automation Engineer -- Works with mechanical processes and equipment that perform programmed tasks in sectors such as manufacturing or food processing. This includes maintaining robotics that manufacture cars or produce pharmaceuticals.
  • Microchip Specialist --