Employment of computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. A limited number of engineers will be needed to meet the demand for new computer hardware because more technological innovation takes place with software than with hardware. However, demand may grow for hardware engineers as more industries outside of the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry begin to research and develop their own electronic devices. Thus, although declining employment in the manufacturing industries that employ many of these workers will impede the growth of this occupation, computer hardware engineers should be less affected than production occupations because firms are less likely to outsource their type of work.
An increase in hardware startup firms and the ongoing increase in devices with computer chips embedded in them, such as household appliances, medical devices, and automobiles, may lead to some job growth for computer hardware engineers.
Engineers who have a higher level degree, as well as knowledge or experience with computer software, will have the best job prospects. Job applicants with a computer engineering degree from an ABET-accredited program will have better chances of landing a job.
Computer Hardware Engineers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Computer hardware engineers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program