Computer Engineer: Duties & Salary

Gina L | July 29, 2009

Computer EngineersIf you’ve ever been called a computer geek, good for you! A career as a computer engineer can be a fulfilling and lucrative career for those with a knack for computer science.

What does a computer engineer do?
Computer engineers work to design, build, test, and implement hardware and software applications for computer networks in a variety of settings, from home office to big business. Since even the smallest businesses rely on some type of computer system for their daily tasks, computer engineers are known to work all over the map in both the private and public sectors.

Computer engineers specializing in software need to be fluent in a variety of programming languages, like Java, C++, and COBOL. Being well-versed in the Internet is an absolute must, as many businesses have or want to establish a website or web applications in order to grow their client bases.

Computer engineers who specialize in computer hardware work in research, design, development, testing, and supervision of all aspects of the manufacturing and installing of computer hardware. The hardware of a computer includes chips, circuit boards, systems, keyboards, modems, printers, and other related equipment. Some computer hardware engineers have a background in electronics because the two fields are related, because computer hardware involves circuitry.

How much do computer engineers get paid and what kinds of computer engineer jobs can I get?
Computer engineers will be in hot demand as computer networks grow in importance for companies both large and small. As a computer engineer, you can find employment in a variety of industries in both the public and private sectors, such as business, telecommunications, government, and health care. Computer engineers specializing in the Internet will be successful in finding employment for businesses that rely on a Web presence for interacting with clients.

According to a 2006 report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of computer software engineers was close to $80,000.

Computer technology grows at a rapid pace, and therefore the demand for skilled professionals in computer engineering will also grow quickly. The demand for computer software engineers will be especially high as businesses look to acquire more sophisticated technology in order to keep up with or exceed the competition.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for computer software engineers is expected to grow by nearly 38 percent by the year 2016. This amounts to approximately 324,000 new jobs and one of the biggest increases among all industries.

If you are looking for a career in an industry that will continue to flourish despite whatever bad news hits Wall Street, network your way into a job as a computer engineer.



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