Aspiring embedded systems engineers can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree with a specialization in embedded systems engineering. There are networking, continuing education and professional certification opportunities available through a number of organizations.
Embedded systems engineer is a relatively new job classification that merges electrical engineering and computer science. These computer engineers work on hardware and software designs for electronic medical equipment, industrial and military control systems, mobile communications devices, appliances, and remote controls. They need at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, and some schools now offer certificate and undergraduate and graduate degree programs in embedded systems engineering.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in embedded systems engineering or a related field|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||0% for electrical and electronics engineers; 17% for software developers*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$77,858**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com.
Salary Information for Embedded Systems Engineers
PayScale.com reported in 2016 that the median annual salary for an embedded systems engineer was $77,858. Specific wage data for embedded systems engineers is not available from the BLS, but a review of information for electrical engineers and systems software developers can provide an idea of the salary an engineer in this field could expect. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that electrical engineers earned a median annual salary of $93,010 as of 2015, while systems software developers earned a median wage of $105,570.
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Career Information for Embedded Systems Engineers
The BLS projected that employment opportunities in electrical engineering would see little to no growth from 2014 to 2024, but the number of jobs in the computer software engineering field was expected to grow by 17% during that time. Industries that utilize embedded systems engineers include defense, robotics, communications, consumer electronics, and aeronautics.
Most electrical and computer software engineers are required to have at least a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS. In response to the developing embedded systems engineering field, some schools offer certificate, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and Master of Science (M.S.) programs specializing in embedded systems engineering. These programs might offer courses in computer architecture, real-time operating systems, and the application of embedded systems.
For networking, continuing education and professional certification opportunities, embedded systems engineers might turn to professional organizations, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Through IEEE's Computer Society, embedded systems engineers can earn the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) designation (www.ieee.org). Additionally, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) offers Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) programs to enhance computer engineers' skills and improve opportunities for advancement (www.acm.org).
An embedded systems engineer brings together knowledge of electrical engineering and computer engineering in the design of different systems and electronics. These professionals can find work in the robotics, aeronautics, defense, communications, or consumer electronics industries.