What is a Hardware Test Engineer?
Hardware test engineers design, implement and execute plans to test computer hardware systems. These IT professionals typically employ various types of testing, including functionality, safety, compatibility, stress and systems tests.
Specific duties of hardware test engineers might include developing testing procedures, establishing test tool requirements, finding and fixing bugs in hardware, and recording test results. They also document any changes made to computer hardware and take part in specification and design reviews.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field; some employers prefer a master's degree|
|Job Skills||Ability to work autonomously, problem-solving skills, attention to detail, oral and written communications skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$89,556|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||5% (for all computer hardware engineers)|
Source: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Hardware test engineers typically need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, like computer or electrical engineering; however, some employers give preference to candidates with a master's degree in one of these areas. Hardware test engineers generally need knowledge of Visual Basic or C/C++ and should have a good understanding of electrical engineering basics. Employers also tend to seek job applicants with at least two years' experience in a test development or related environment.
Hardware test engineers must be able to work independently since they typically conduct tests with little supervision. They also must have strong problem-solving skills, enabling them to identify and fix bugs in the hardware they're testing.
Hardware test engineers must show attention to detail to be able to accurately document test results, as well as record any changes based on those results. Additionally, hardware test engineers need excellent oral and written communication skills for presenting test results to co-workers and management.
Career Outlook and Salary
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't compile job statistics specific to hardware test engineers, it did project that computer hardware engineers in general should see job growth of 5% between 2016 and 2026. This was about the average growth for all U.S. occupations.
As of June 2018, hardware test engineers earned a median annual salary of $89,556, according to PayScale.com.
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