Computer Hardware Engineer Salary 

As technology continues to play an important and ever-advancing role in our everyday lives, computer hardware engineering professionals remain in very high demand because they have the skill set to develop the next generation of computer systems. 

In the computer world, advanced hardware trends are being introduced to society, like Sensors, 3D printing, advancement, and rapid production of mobile devices. Hardware engineering serves the purpose of maintaining this advanced hardware. 

This article provides the compensation perks of the computer hardware engineering profession, for example, hourly salaries, annual salaries, wages, bonuses, etc.

Article Road Map

Industries With Highest Employment Concentration/ Computer Hardware Engineer Salary 

1. Industries That Design Computer Systems And Related Systems

  • Employment Rate – 14,600
  • Percentage of industry employment – 0.65%
  • Average hourly wage – $61,75
  • Average annual wage – $128,440 

2. Scientific Research And Development Industries  

  • Employment Rate – 13,360
  • Percentage of industry employment – 1.68% 
  • Average hourly wage – $82.91
  • Average annual wage – $172,460

3. Manufacturing Industries Of Semiconductors And Various Electronic Components

  • Employment Rate – 9,240
  • Percentage of industry employment – 2.58%
  • Average hourly wage – $64.81
  • Average annual wage – $134,800

4. Manufacturing Industries Of Computer And Peripheral Equipment

  • Employment Rate – 6,030
  • Percentage of industry employment – 3.88%
  • Average hourly wage – $68.35
  • Average annual wage – $142,160

5. OEWS Equipment Designation Industries 

  • Employment Rate – 4,930
  • Percentage of industry employment – 0.23%
  • Average hourly wage – $56.73
  • Average annual wage – $117,990

6. Data Processing And Hosting Industries

  • Employment rate – 3,830
  • Percentage of industry employment – 1.01% 
  • Average annual wage – $60.04
  • Average hourly wage – $124,890

7. Software Publishing Industries

  • Employment rate -1,750
  • Percentage of industry employment – 0.33
  • Average hourly wage – $80,57
  • Average annual wage – $167,580

Computer Hardware Engineer Career And Educational Qualifications 

Acquiring an educational qualification for a hardware engineering career can land an individual into promising future roles. 

Hardware engineers can graduate to leadership roles just with experience and professional development. 

Most individuals who aim to achieve higher roles often strive to obtain project management positions; after obtaining this role, they work directly with other hardware engineers who manage the project development team. Project managers act as intermediaries between their teams and executives. 

Computer and information system management is also a profession for hardware engineers. These professionals operate IT divisions in their organizations. 

They manage projects, analyze data, guide decision-making, and assist their teams by providing any kind of support they need. 

For a hardware engineering career, organizations often value individuals with experience more than those with advanced hardware engineering education. Job experience is more critical, particularly for all hardware engineering executive roles. 

In addition to experience, try achieving certificates essential to your organization’s most important tools because they could open doors for Job advancements.

There are various pathways to becoming a hardware engineer; aspiring hardware engineering professionals are to achieve several degrees like; 

  • Doctorate programs in IT
  • Bachelor’s in IT
  • Associate in computer programming
  • Associate in software programming
  • A 4-year computer engineering degree
  • A 4-year computer science degree
  • A 4-year electrical engineering degree
  • Computer architecture programs
  • Digital system design programs

Payscale’s January 2023 engineering career data shows that a bachelor’s degree in computer hardware engineering promises the highest salary earnings for undergraduates on an average scale. 

This profession delivers the highest salary because it is a special degree that teaches advanced programming and technical skills. 

On the other hand, a master’s degree in computer engineering programs and a master’s degree in software engineering attract the highest average salary for graduates. 

In some cases, aspiring computer hardware engineers may enter the professional field without certificates and degrees by exploring online boot camps. 

These programs offer fundamental Computer sciences, programming, and project management lessons, which are essential to a hardware engineering career. 

These online boot camps also have perks like enabling an individual to cover an even broader curriculum and offering different starting salaries than just holding a degree would.  

Read Also: How Hard Is It To Find A Job? And What Makes It Hard?

Computer Hardware Engineer Career Achievements And Experience

An aspiring computer hardware engineer should grasp experience and achievements in the profession in order to be considered a big shot in the profession or organization at all.

Here are some experiences that give individuals a high chance of being employed;

  • Experience in conducting research, designing, developing, and testing information processing hardware. This hardware includes computer chips, circuit boards, and systems and electrical components.
  • Experience in designing new products and modifying existing products
  • Experience in developing technical specifications for production
  • Experience in analyzing hardware configurations and processing solutions
  • Hardware performance testing to specifications experience 
  • Participation in special project developments as assigned 

Computer Hardware Engineering Salary

Computer Hardware Engineering Salary By 75th Percentile 

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Senior computer hardware engineers earn $79.29 hourly and $164,490 annually on average.

Computer Hardware Engineering Salary By 50th Percentile 

The U.S Bureau of labor statistics states that Middle-level computer hardware engineers earn $61.62 hourly and $128,170 annually on an average scale.

Computer Hardware Engineering Salary By 25th Percentile 

The U.S. Bureau of labor statistics states that Junior-level computer hardware engineers earn $48.02 hourly and $99,880 annually on an average scale.

Computer Hardware Engineering By Salary 10th Percentile 

The U.S Bureau of labor statistics, Entry-level computer hardware engineers earn $37.07 hourly and $77,100 annually on an average scale.

Computer Hardware Vs. Software Engineering?

These two professions, although having entirely different demands, require advanced education and specialized skills. 

Organizations that specify the use of computers usually employ these professionals and compensate them generously for their jobs. Both hardware and software engineers actually earn almost the same amount of salary, both annually and hourly. 

Clearly, we said “almost,” meaning there is a difference in their salary amounts. Basically, hardware engineers top software engineers very slightly as they earn a little bit more than software engineers on average.

The United States Bureau of Labor statistics affirms that software engineers earn an average salary of $90,750, while computer hardware engineers earn $90,880.


What Does A Computer Hardware Engineer Do?

Computer hardware engineers do research, design, and test all computer components. They research, design, and properly develop computer systems such as processors, memory devices, networks, and routers.

Is Computer Hardware Engineering A Good Career?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth for computer hardware engineers by 5% from 2021-2031. May 2021 BLS data put the median salary at $128,170 per year for computer engineers and show that salaries vary by industry and region, sometimes significantly.

Where Do Most Computer Hardware Engineers Work?

Many computer hardware engineers work in research labs and for computer companies and design firms. They work in computer and electronic product manufacturing, computer system design, and scientific research and development. Most of these professionals work in urban areas.

Which Is Better, Hardware Or Software Engineering?

Software engineers are usually creative, collaborative, and reliable and have natural leadership skills. Hardware engineering can require more patience, awareness, and innovation because the physical components of computer operating systems typically take much longer to test, update, and install.

What Is The Lowest Salary For A Hardware Engineer?

Hardware Engineer Entry Salary. $39,500 is the 25th percentile, and salaries below this threshold are outliers. $75,000 is the 75th percentile.

Do Computer Hardware Engineers Code?

Yes. Computer hardware engineers need coding experience. The most successful professionals in this field know how to code in Python, C, C++, and Verilog. You can learn to code independently or as part of a training program, giving you many chances to build expertise.

Which Pays More, Hardware Or Software Engineering?

Hardware and software engineers typically earn similar salaries on average. According to Payscale data, as of January 2023, software engineers earn an average salary of $90,750, while hardware engineers earn $90,880.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Being A Computer Hardware Engineer?

Cons: Growth can be very limited. You need constant study and knowledge of upcoming technologies. It takes a lot of work to get into this career.

How Many Years Is Computer Hardware Engineering?

Bachelor’s degree programs in computer or electrical engineering are typically designed to last 4 years, but many students find that their degree takes 4 to 5 years to complete.

How Long Do Computer Hardware Engineers Work?

Computer hardware engineers typically work 40 hours per week, and about 25% of engineers work more than this. The job probability for computer hardware engineers is estimated to increase by 9% over the next decade, and this growth is slower than usual compared to average employment.


Computer hardware engineers combine their very skilled and proficient knowledge in technology, electronics, and hardware engineering to design, produce and build computer systems. 

They can also develop individual components for Computer systems like microchips, processors, circuit boards, and computing peripherals like routers, keyboards, and even printers. 

Computer hardware engineering jobs are in extremely high demand, and these professionals are usually promised generous salaries, compensation packages, and bonuses. 

The whole field of engineering offers sufficient opportunity for skill advancement across a range of fields. 

Still, to acquire these roles, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and consider specialization and skill-specific programs because you won’t earn the bulky salary you wish to earn only just by being a computer hardware engineer degree holder.

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