Becoming a Verification Engineer
So, you think you might like to become a verification engineer? A verification engineer develops testing processes to determine if a product works as expected before it launches or is delivered to a customer. A verification engineer might work to debug a software program before it launches or work to ensure a widget works like a customer expects before mass production begins. Modifications might be recommended to tweak the design, but when a project is completed, the verification engineer has ensured a quality product is delivered to customers.
Like many engineers, those who verify that a product is developing according to plan usually work in a comfortable office environment, though they might spend time in a development lab. Because engineering and design are often a collaborative process, engineers often work together as a team to complete a project, though verification engineers might have the added stress of being responsible for a project's ultimate success.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree required|
|Licensure||Licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) may be required|
|Experience||At least 2-5 years of related experience required for most positions|
|Key Skills||Math skills; communication skills; teamwork; familiarity with software such as C/C++, Verilog, and OVM/UVM|
|Salary||$101,711 per year (for design verification engineers)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, *Payscale.com, Monster.com
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Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Verification is an engineering imperative, not a unique specialty. All 17 recognized engineering specialties need experts with the technical knowledge and understanding of testing methodologies to make sure products work. A bachelor's degree in one of the engineering specialties, awarded after the successful completion of a 4 or 5 year course of study, is the basic minimum requirement for an entry-level position as a verification engineer. Regardless of the engineering specialty chosen as an undergraduate major, the course of study should be approved by ABET, an accrediting organization for college and university engineering programs. Examples of related majors include mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering, to mention just a few.
Complete an internship. Completion of an internship as an undergraduate or immediately after attaining a bachelor's degree is more than a resume enhancer. It is an opportunity to practice and perfect the unique job skills necessary to succeed as a verification engineer. In addition to possessing technical knowledge, a verification engineer, who usually works as part of a team, must demonstrate strong communication skills, proficiency in analytical reasoning, and proficiency in troubleshooting solutions to complex problems.
Step 2: Obtain Professional Licensure
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professional licensure of engineers may be required, depending on the type of work to be performed. Even when not required, some employers may prefer licensed engineers. The process for obtaining a Professional Engineer license should begin immediately after graduation with the successful completion of a Fundamentals of Engineering exam. States have different requirements for work experience and continuing education for taking an exam to attain a license as a Professional Engineer.
Step 3: Consider a Graduate Degree
Although a bachelor's degree opens the door for consideration for entry-level engineering jobs, many employers give preference to verification engineers who hold master's degrees. The additional technical knowledge that comes from an advanced degree is essential to carrying out complex testing methodologies for verification.
Step 4: Gain Work Experience and Advance
After gaining extensive engineering experience, verification engineers may be qualified for supervisory roles. Some experienced engineers may even open their own firms.
Earning a bachelor's degree, obtaining a license, considering an advanced degree, and gaining work experience to continue advancement are great steps to follow to make the most of a career as a verification engineer.