Information Technology Careers | Hardware Test Engineer

Hardware Test Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Electrical, Electronic, and Related Engineering

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Hardware Test Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $77,946

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $93,651

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Designs and develops test processes for computer hardware and computer-related equipment. Creates test plans and equipment, implements and monitors test processes, and completes hardware product validations.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina13+10.5%
Nationwide1057+5.4%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Hardware Test Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Python: Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991.
  • Hardware Experience: Experience developing hardware that provides a user-friendly experience, allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in a natural and intuitive way.
  • Test Equipment: Test equipment is a general term describing equipment used in many fields.
  • C++: C++ (pronounced cee plus plus ) is a general-purpose programming language.
  • Oscilloscopes: An oscilloscope, previously called an oscillograph, and informally known as a scope, CRO (for cathode-ray oscilloscope), or DSO (for the more modern digital storage oscilloscope), is a type of electronic test instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages, usually as a two-dimensional plot of one or more signals as a function of time.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Hardware Test Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Logic Analyzers: A logic analyzer is an electronic instrument that captures and displays multiple signals from a digital system or digital circuit.
  • Verilog: Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language (HDL) used to model electronic systems.
  • Embedded Systems: An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints.
  • Signal Generators: A signal generator is an electronic device that generates repeating or non-repeating electronic signals in either the analog or the digital domain.
  • PCI Express: Working experience of PCI Express. PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe or PCI-e, is a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard, designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Graphics Processing Units (GPU): Working experience of Graphics Processing Units (GPU). A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display device. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles.
  • Test Tools: Experience using software products that are functionally designed to test various functional and non-functional requirements of software.
  • VHSIC hardware description language (VHDL): VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language) is a hardware description language used in electronic design automation to describe digital and mixed-signal systems such as field-programmable gate arrays and integrated circuits.
  • PCI Express: Working experience of PCI Express. PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe or PCI-e, is a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard, designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards.
  • Verilog: Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language (HDL) used to model electronic systems.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years20%
3 to 5 years52%
6 to 8 years15%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Hardware Test Engineer
  • Senior Hardware Test Engineer
  • Hardware Verification Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Rf Hardware Test Engineer

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