Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Nora Barry from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Nora Barry

Third Secretary

Civil and Public Service Jobs

Read more

  Nora Barry
A keen interest in current affairs, a willingness to travel and an acceptance that this role is a lifestyle choice are all necessary. I believe having lived abroad for a period of time and experiencing different cultures are also an advantage.
Close

Enterprising?
Enterprising 
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation
Occupation Details
logo imagelogo image

Engineer - Computer Hardware

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k >  
Computer Hardware Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Computer hardware engineers work with the mechanical, electrical and electronic parts of computers. They design and develop computers, computer components and the computerised parts of other appliances.


The Work header image

Most computers are made by linking microprocessor chips, components and equipment together to form a system. The design process may begin with the computer systems analyst providing an outline specification for a computer system to meet a particular need. A team of logic designers works on the initial logic design to produce detailed specifications. They translate the ideas into detailed drawings and circuit diagrams.

A team of hardware design engineers take the design, and build and test a prototype or working model. They buy the computer chips, assemble the hardware components and build the necessary interfacing equipment. They test the prototype to make sure it meets the specification requirements, and carry out any necessary modifications to the design.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology.

bullet

Build, test, and modify product prototypes using working models or theoretical models constructed with computer simulation.

bullet

Write detailed functional specifications that document the hardware development process and support hardware introduction.

bullet

Specify power supply requirements and configuration, drawing on system performance expectations and design specifications.

bullet

Confer with engineering staff and consult specifications to evaluate interface between hardware and software and operational and performance requirements of overall system.

bullet

Design and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.

bullet

Select hardware and material, assuring compliance with specifications and product requirements.

bullet

Monitor functioning of equipment and make necessary modifications to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.

bullet

Test and verify hardware and support peripherals to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.

bullet

Direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

bullet

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment:  Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

bullet

Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

bullet

Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment:  Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

bullet

Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

bullet

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

bullet

Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

bullet

Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

bullet

Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

bullet

Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

bullet

Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

bullet

Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

bullet

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

bullet

Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

bullet

Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

bullet

Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a computer hardware design engineer, you need strong technical knowledge of computers and electronic systems. You must have a flair for turning system requirements into detailed designs. You need to be able to work to deadlines and budgets; you may also need to consider the cost and availability of components.

Computer hardware engineers must be able to work as part of multi-disciplinary teams; you must have strong oral and written communication skills. You need to be able to explain complex information to others and give clear instructions.

This job requires good eyesight and normal colour vision, as you may be dealing with electrical wiring.

A willingness to learn and develop your knowledge is also important as the technology and industry is constantly changing and improving and you will need to keep up-to-date with latest developments.


Entry Routesheader image

Computer hardware engineers typically complete an appropriate degree programme. Relevant course titles include Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer and Electronic  Engineering or Computer Systems Engineering, among others.

Most of the universities and Institutes of Technology offer courses in this area.

It is essential to check the course content and details to ensure the course you choose is appropriate to the branch of engineering you want to follow.

Computer hardware engineers can gain Chartered Engineer and Incorporated Engineer status, which are both highly regarded by employers throughout industry. This Initial Professional Development programme (IPD) helps develop the knowledge already acquired at degree level and helps apply this knowledge to a work situation. It usually takes a minimum of four years and includes on the job training, mentoring, job rotations and participation in professional development courses that are appropriate to your career path. See Engineering Ireland for full details.

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Computer Hardware Engineer - from:  YouTube Video

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Society for Chartered IT Professionals in Ireland
  Address: 87-89 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 644 7820
  Email: info@ics.ie
  Url www.ics.ie
   

bullet

Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: info@engineers.ie
  Url www.engineersireland.ie
   

 

Job Search


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

Investigative  Realist  Administrative 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Computers & Software
Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following CAO / HETAC courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 164
Applied Computing
Waterford IT
Applied Physics
University of Limerick
Arts (subject option: Applied Mathematics)
UCC (NUI)
Arts (subject option: Computer Science)
UCC (NUI)
Arts (subject option: Computer Science)
Maynooth University
Arts (subject option: Information Technology)
NUI Galway
Arts (subject option: Mathematical Physics)
Maynooth University
Arts (subject option: Mathematics)
TCD
Arts (subject option: Mathematics)
UCC (NUI)
Automation Engineering
DIT
Business and Information Technology
IT Blanchardstown
Business Computing
Athlone IT
Business Computing
DIT
Business Computing and Digital Media
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Business Information Systems
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Business Information Systems
UCC (NUI)
Business Information Systems
NUI Galway
Business Information Systems
NCI
Business Information Systems
Dublin Business School
Business Information Systems (Cloud Computing)
Dublin Business School
Business Technology
Limerick IT
Communications in Creative Media
Dundalk IT
Computational Problem solving and Software Development
DCU
Computational Thinking
Maynooth University
Computer and Communications Engineering
DIT
Computer and Electronic Engineering
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Computer Applications
DCU
Computer Engineering
IT Blanchardstown
Computer Engineering
Athlone IT
Computer Engineering in Mobile Systems
IT Blanchardstown
Computer Forensics & Security
Waterford IT
Computer Games Development
Letterkenny IT
Computer Games Development
IT Carlow
Computer Games Technology
Griffith College. Dublin
Computer Network Management
Athlone IT
Computer Networks and Systems Management
Limerick IT
Computer Science
TCD
Computer Science
UCD (NUI)
Computer Science
UCC (NUI)
Computer Science
DIT
Computer Science (International)
DIT
Computer Science and Business
TCD
Computer Science and Information Technology
NUI Galway
Computer Science and Language
TCD
Computer Science and Software Engineering
Maynooth University
Computer Science, Mathematical Studies and Arts
Maynooth University
Computer Security and Digital Forensics
Letterkenny IT
Computer Services
Limerick IT
Computer Services (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Computer Systems
University of Limerick
Computer Systems Management
IT Carlow
Computing
DIT
Computing
IT Tallaght
Computing
Dundalk IT
Computing
IT Carlow
Computing
Cork Institute of Technology
Computing
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing
Dundalk IT
Computing
Limerick IT
Computing
Griffith College. Limerick
Computing
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing
NCI
Computing
Griffith College. Limerick
Computing
IT Tallaght
Computing
Dublin Business School
Computing & Multimedia
Dorset College
Computing & Multimedia
Dorset College
Computing & Multimedia
Dorset College
Computing & Multimedia
Dorset College
Computing (Applications, Commercial Programming or Networking)
IT Carlow
Computing (Common Entry)
Letterkenny IT
Computing (Information Technology)
IT Blanchardstown
Computing (Information Technology)
IT Blanchardstown
Computing (Information Technology)
IT Blanchardstown
Computing (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Computing - Games Design and Development (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Computing - Games Development
IT Sligo
Computing - Software Development
IT Sligo
Computing - Systems and Networking
IT Sligo
Computing for Business
Athlone IT
Computing In Applications and Support
NCI
Computing in Games Development
Dundalk IT
Computing in Information Technology
College of Computer Training
Computing in Information Technology Support
Letterkenny IT
Computing in Information Technology Support
Tralee IT
Computing in Multimedia Programming - CANCELLED
Dun Laoghaire IADT
Computing in Software Development
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Computing Science
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing Science
Griffith College. Limerick
Computing Science
Griffith College. Cork
Computing Science (Cloud Computing)
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing Science (Games Development)
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing Science (Network Management)
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing Science (Software Development)
Griffith College. Dublin
Computing with French
Dundalk IT
Computing with Games Development
Tralee IT
Computing with Games Development
Tralee IT
Computing with Media Development
Tralee IT
Computing with Media Development
Tralee IT
Computing with Software Development
Tralee IT
Computing with Software Development
Tralee IT
Creative Computing
Dun Laoghaire IADT
Creative Digital Media
IT Blanchardstown
Creative Media Technologies
Dun Laoghaire IADT
Creative Multimedia (Clonmel)
Limerick IT
Creative Multimedia (Clonmel)
Limerick IT
Digital Animation Production (Clonmel)
Limerick IT
Digital Forensics and Cyber Security
IT Blanchardstown
eBusiness Management Systems
Limerick IT
Electronic and Computer Engineering
University of Limerick
Electronic and Computer Engineering
DCU
Electronic and Computing Engineering
NUI Galway
Electronic Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Electronic/Computer Engineering (Common Entry)
Letterkenny IT
Electronics and Communications Engineering
DIT
Electronics and Computer Engineering
Athlone IT
Electronics and Computer Engineering
IT Blanchardstown
Energy Systems and Automation Engineering
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Engineering
Maynooth University
Enterprise Computing
DCU
Entertainment Systems
Waterford IT
Game Art and Design (Clonmel)
Limerick IT
Games Design
DIT
ICT Engineering: Electronics & Wireless, Networks, Computer Eng
Athlone IT
Information Systems Management
Tralee IT
Information Technology
College of Computer Training
Information Technology
IT Tallaght
Information Technology
College of Computer Training
Information Technology
Waterford IT
Information Technology - Online Flexible Learning
DCU
Information Technology Management
IT Tallaght
Information Technology Management
IT Tallaght
Information Technology Support
Cork Institute of Technology
Information Technology Support - Castlebar
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Internet Systems Development
Limerick IT
Internet Systems Development
Limerick IT
IT Management
Cork Institute of Technology
Management of Business Information
Limerick City College
Management of Information Systems
Limerick City College
Management of IT & IS - Online Flexible Learning
DCU
Management of Technology in Business
NCI
Management Science and Information Systems Studies
TCD
Mathematical Sciences
DIT
Mathematical Sciences
UCC (NUI)
Mathematical Sciences
University of Limerick
Mathematics
TCD
Mathematics and Physics
University of Limerick
Mobile Communications and Security
University of Limerick
Multimedia Web Development
Dundalk IT
Networking Technologies
DIT
Open choice for CSA or MWD
Maynooth University
Open choice for CSE or MWD
Maynooth University
Open Choice for MTH or TPM
Maynooth University
Software Development
Limerick IT
Software Development
Cork Institute of Technology
Software Development
IT Carlow
Software Development
IT Carlow
Software Development (Mobile Apps and Connected Devices)
Athlone IT
Software Development and Computer Networking
Cork Institute of Technology
Software Systems Development
Waterford IT
Theoretical Physics
TCD
Theoretical Physics and Mathematics
Maynooth University
Web Development
Cork Institute of Technology
Web Development and Creative Media
IT Sligo