Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer hardware and supervise its manufacture and installation. Hardware refers to computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and related equipment such as keyboards, modems, and printers. (Computer software engineers—often simply called computer engineers—design and develop the software systems that control computers) The work of computer hardware engineers is very similar to that of electronics engineers, but, unlike electronics engineers, computer hardware engineers work exclusively with computers and computer-related equipment. (See electrical and electronics engineers elsewhere)
In addition to design and development duties, computer hardware engineers may supervise the manufacture and installation of computers and computer-related equipment. The rapid advances in computer technology are largely a result of the research, development, and design efforts of computer hardware engineers. To keep up with technological advances, these engineers must continually update their knowledge.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
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