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Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 17-2061 Computer Hardware Engineers
Research, design, develop, and 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. Exclude "Computer Software Engineers, Applications" (15-1031) and "Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software" (15-1032).
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Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
OJT: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Tasks: Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology. Build, test, and modify product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation. Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction. Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications. Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system. Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives. Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements. Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications. Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data. Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed. Provide technical support to designers, marketing and sales departments, suppliers, engineers and other team members throughout the product development and implementation process. Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. Evaluate factors such as reporting formats required, cost constraints, and need for security restrictions to determine hardware configuration. Analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware. Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan layout, including type of computers and peripheral equipment modifications. Assemble and modify existing pieces of equipment to meet special needs.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $38.47   Entry $80,011.00
Mean $54.04   Mean $112,397.00
Experience $61.82 Experience $128,585.00

The data is based on the May 2016 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2017.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2014Projected Employment 2024Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
1,3301,46040.94
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Alabama A & M University
Auburn University
Tuskegee University
University of Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama in Huntsville
University of South Alabama
Occupational Videos
17-2061.00 Computer Hardware Engineers