Computer Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Computer Engineer, or Computer Hardware Engineer, is responsible for researching, developing, and building computer or telecommunications hardware such as processors or circuit boards. Their main duties include developing new computer hardware products, overseeing the manufacturing process of their designs, and testing prototypes before products head to market.

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Computer Engineer duties and responsibilities

A Computer Engineer has many duties and responsibilities in the computer or telecommunications industries. No matter which industry they work in, some of the most common duties they should be able to perform regularly include:

  • Conduct market research
  • Plan and develop new hardware products for computer or telecommunications devices
  • Coordinate with other engineers to develop new products
  • Supervise production
  • Develop and test prototypes
  • Assess the capabilities of their new designs
  • Develop long-term relationships with suppliers
  • Develop instruction and troubleshooting manuals to support customers in using the new hardware

What does a Computer Engineer do?

A Computer Engineer develops new products and computer hardware tools that customers need. They also perform regular research to remain up to date with current computer hardware technology and trends. Computer Engineers plan and execute the development of the hardware and supervise the manufacturing process to ensure their designs are built properly. They must then test their products, work out problems, create modifications, and ensure a fully functional product is sent to market. They also supervise the installation process to ensure their designs and prototypes are properly installed and ready for use.

Computer Engineer skills and qualifications

There are several skills and qualifications to look out for in a Computer Engineer candidate. Some of the skills that come in handy in any industry include:

  • In-depth knowledge of technical infrastructure and design
  • Excellent team leadership and coordination skills
  • Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent understanding of the market
  • Ability to network with suppliers and maintain positive relationships
  • Highly-developed organizational skills
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of electricity and electronics
  • Ability to plan and design prototypes

Computer Engineer experience requirements

A Computer Engineer who is expected to work as a part of a team, under supervision, may have no previous experience other than their education. However, a Computer Engineer who is in charge of leading projects and developments as the supervisor is generally expected to have a minimum of 10 to 12 years of experience in the field of computer engineering.

Computer Engineer education and training requirements

A successful Computer Engineer candidate has a degree in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, or a related discipline. They must be licenced engineers, recognized by the governing body of their province. A Master’s degree in Computer Engineering is a strong asset for a candidate and may be a prerequisite for some jobs.

Computer Engineer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average Computer Engineer salary in Canada is $78,853 per year. Salaries vary based on factors like geographical location, size and type of industry, and level of experience. 

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Computer Engineer job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Computer Engineer and a Software Engineer?

A Computer Engineer focuses solely on the hardware components of a computer or telecommunications device. They develop the actual architecture of the products. A Software Engineer, on the other hand, focuses on developing the software for the devices only. While the two may work side-by-side in developing new projects, they are each responsible for different aspects of the technology.

How can you make a Computer Engineer job description stand out?

A clear and concise description of the job is important. A job description also stands out if the information is broken down into bulleted lists and concise paragraphs. A mention of competitive salary, room for growth, and unique employee privileges should also stand out to job seekers. If you require your Computer Engineer to have knowledge and experience of specific hardware linked to your industry, be sure to make that clear in the job description.

What qualities should you look for in a Computer Engineer?

A good Computer Engineer candidate is an individual who is truly passionate about their work and developing breakthroughs in technology. They are excited to work on new projects and enjoy working closely with others. A successful candidate also has the expertise in the field, as well as the interpersonal and communication skills needed to present their new developments to their superiors and customers.

Are there different types of Computer Engineers?

Yes, some Engineers develop computers and laptops, while others design and build cellular phones, and others work on tablets and other devices. They may have similar tasks but each specializes in different types of technology and different markets.

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