California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Computer Hardware Engineers in California

May also be called: Computer Engineers; Hardware Engineers; Network Engineers; Telecommunications Engineers

Specialties within this occupation include: Electrical Hardware Engineers

What Would I Do?

Computer Hardware Engineers research, design, develop, and test computer and computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. They may supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer hardware.

Computer Hardware Engineers work in offices, laboratories, or manufacturing firms. They conduct most of their work at computer workstations. Engineers typically work a standard 40-hour workweek; however, it may be necessary to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines, which can lead to job pressure.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Computer Hardware Engineer may appeal to those who enjoy working with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. Engineers search for facts using a variety of sources in order to solve complex problems. They may work independently or as part of a team.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2021 for Computer Hardware Engineers in California was $146,157 annually, or $70.27 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Most Engineers receive excellent benefits, including health and life insurance, vacation, sick leave, and a retirement plan.

What is the Job Outlook?

Computer Hardware Engineers should find a good job market over the next few years, which accounts for employment growth and job replacement needs. However, there may be some competition for jobs due to the high volume of engineering graduates. In addition, employment may be sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy.

How Do I Qualify?

A bachelor's degree in engineering is the basic requirement to work as a Computer Hardware Engineer, generally with a concentration in computer science, electronics engineering, or related field. Coursework tends to be heavy on mathematics and the physical and life sciences. Advanced computer skills are also vital to the Engineer's education.

Finding a Job

Direct contact with employers is a traditional means to finding a job as a Computer Hardware Engineer. College placement offices, company recruiting events, job fairs, networking, and online job search sites are also good places to look. Career associations sometimes offer job openings on their Web sites. Additionally, some Computer Hardware Engineers may place resumes on job boards. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

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