Computer Hardware Engineer Career

Job Description: Research, design, develop, or test 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.


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Computer Hardware Engineer Career

What Computer Hardware Engineers do:

  • Build, test, and modify product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.
  • Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.
  • Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
  • Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.
  • Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.
  • Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.
  • Assemble and modify existing pieces of equipment to meet special needs.
  • Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Provide technical support to designers, marketing and sales departments, suppliers, engineers and other team members throughout the product development and implementation process.
  • Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.
  • Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.
  • Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.
  • Analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware.
  • Provide training and support to system designers and users.
  • Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.
  • Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan layout, including type of computers and peripheral equipment modifications.
  • Evaluate factors such as reporting formats required, cost constraints, and need for security restrictions to determine hardware configuration.
  • Recommend purchase of equipment to control dust, temperature, and humidity in area of system installation.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Holland Code Chart for a Computer Hardware Engineer

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