Computer engineering jobs are on the rise. For those interested in pursuing this career, there’s even more great news: the average salary for computer engineers has increased in the last year.

As of January 2021, the average computer engineer salary is $95,612 per year and includes a bonus of $5,500, according to Indeed. Previously, Indeed recorded that the average salary was $83,159 per year

Computer engineers have more perks than just their salary though. If you’re interested in becoming a computer engineer here is everything that you should know.

What Does a Typical Computer Engineer Do?

Computer engineers are important for computer performance, using their knowledge of software and hardware systems to ensure that everything is working perfectly for the user.

Since they have a solid understanding of computers and how they work, they can choose to specialize in a certain area of computer engineering. If they choose to specialize, they can become a software engineer, hardware engineer, or network engineer. They can also explore a range of exciting areas, delving into virtual reality, artificial intelligence, or mobile application. 

Typical duties will depend on their specialty but commonly you’ll find computer engineers that research computer hardware, design mobile and computer software, manage operating systems, or create robots. 

Computer engineers may work at large U.S. technology companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, or Pluralsight. They can also work for government agencies like NASA; the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or in manufacturing, transportation, or telecommunications. 

Some of the top cities to work at if you become a computer engineer are San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. 

What Skills Does a Computer Engineer Need to Have?

Higher education learning provides the clearest path to becoming a computer engineer. Most computer engineers get a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or a similar area of study, like computer science, mathematics, or electrical engineering. 

Certain employers will be looking for extensive experience and studying, so some computer engineers will decide to take on a master’s or even doctorate to apply for those jobs. 

Having an advanced certification in particular hardware or software systems may also be required by some companies. Some examples of certifications areas include Cisco Network, Project Management, and Microsoft Systems Administration.

These degrees and certifications are ultimately very helpful when applying to jobs, but it also helps to have additional skills that will show you are an ideal candidate. 

Computer engineers should be fluent in several programming languages, so being well versed in JavaScript, Python, HTML, Java, and C++ can make you a great candidate. Having strong communication and interpersonal skills can also be incredibly helpful as computer engineers need to work in groups during projects and present their ideas to others once they have completed them.

What are Some of the Perks of Being a Computer Engineer?

Glassdoor conducts an annual list regarding the 50 best jobs in America according to salary, job openings, and job satisfaction. According to their 2020 report, several computer engineering jobs — front end engineer, data engineer, software engineer — were included in the top 10 best jobs. 

Computer engineers have many day-to-day perks that make the job fulfilling. Since technology is constantly evolving, they have to be innovative and creative as they are constantly learning to brand new things every day. Though it may seem like challenging work, it also allows for employees to feel pride and prestige for creating something new. 

There is a lot of flexibility to the job. As an article from The New Yorker points out, over the past couple of decades, the technology industry has changed the way that they work. 

Tech offices have open-plan layouts and workspaces that provide for collaboration. Furthermore, even before the pandemic began, some companies offered their employees the option of working from home. After all, through the use of digital resources such as Slack, Google Docs, and Zoom they would still be able to communicate with other peers.

Some positions also involve travel, which allows engineers to have the freedom to experience new destinations. 

Outlook for Computer Engineering Jobs

Specialized computer engineering roles will be some of the most in-demand jobs, according to a 2021 report conducted by LinkedIn. Due to their high demand, computer engineers also have a great salary. 

The current average salary is $95,612 per year, and certain specialized engineering careers have an even higher base salary. For example, software engineers earn an average base salary of $107,638 and a cash bonus of $4,000. Systems engineers receive about $99,348 annually.

Overall, computer engineers will be essential for the next couple of years in technology. With such a variety in specialization and a variety of job perks — including salary — computer engineering may be the perfect subject to study if you’re interested in pursuing a tech job but want the flexibility of having several career options. 

For those interested in pursuing a career in software development, Powered by Woz U software development courses are available from many of our learning delivery partners.

Sophia Acevedo

Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.