What Is the Typical Salary of a Computer Engineer?

Learn about the different types of computer engineers and their job duties. Get information on some of the industries computer engineers work in and discover factors affecting their salaries. Continue reading for more information about the salary for different types of computer engineers. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Computer Engineering Salaries

Types of computer engineers include hardware engineers, systems software engineers and application software engineers. The average yearly income for each of these careers varies, and your employer and location have an effect on what you earn.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Hardware EngineerSystems Software DeveloperApplications Software Developer
Required EducationBachelor's degree in computer hardware engineering Bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences Bachelor's degree in computer software engineering
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 3% 17% 19%
Key Skills Active learning, problem sensitivity Oral expression, critical thinking Programming, fluency of ideas
Certification Certified IT Consultant Certified Usability Analyst Certified Software Quality Engineer

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Computer Hardware Engineers

As a computer hardware engineer, your job revolves around the planning and manufacturing of the various electrical components of computers, such as keyboards, computer chips, routers, circuit boards and printers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 76,360 people employed as computer hardware engineers earning an average salary of $110,650 per year in May 2014 (www.bls.gov).

Salary by Employer

You can earn substantially more working for certain employers, such as other information services; other electrical equipment and component manufacturing; and software publishers. Computer hardware engineers working for these industries earned respective average wages of $145,760, $129,080 and $127,260 in May 2014, according to the BLS. The top industries for these professionals were computer systems design and related services; computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing; and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing. These industries paid respective average wages of $111,530, $113,070, and $111,350.

Salary by Location

The BLS reported in May 2014 that the three states offering the highest average salaries for hardware engineers were California ($123,270), Maryland ($117,730) and Virginia ($116,240). Ohio, Nebraska, Louisiana and South Carolina were some of the lowest-paying states, where average salaries ranged from $68,060-$88,250.

Computer Systems Software Developers

If you want to work as a computer systems software engineer, also known as a systems software developer, you'll create and test software used for operating systems and network distribution. You may also work with business organizations to set up their computer systems concerning the specific needs of the different departments. In May 2014, the BLS reported there were 382,040 of these professionals employed across the country, and they earned an average wage of $106,050.

Salary by Industry

Computer systems software developers working in the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industry earned the highest average wage of $155,210 in May 2014, according to the BLS. Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing offered the highest second highest average wage of $125,140. The computer systems design industry was the top employer and had an average wage of $104,780, while software publishers offered an average wage of $106,210.

Salary by Location

California, Massachusetts and New Jersey paid systems software developers the highest average wages in May 2014, reported the BLS. Professionals in these states earned respective average wages of $124,070, $114,350 and $113,620. The lowest-paid workers averaged $62,660-$84,350, and some states where they worked included West Virginia, Montana, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Computer Applications Software Developers

The field of computer applications software development requires you to use programming languages, such as C++ and Java, to write applications and utility programs based on your clients' specialized needs. There were 686,470 computer applications software developers in the U.S. in May 2014, as reported by the BLS. The average annual salary of these professionals was $99,530.

Salary by Industry

The BLS reported in May 2014 that applications software developers working in the securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage industry earned one of the highest average salaries of $120,220. The computer systems design industry had the highest employment level and offered an average wage of $97,490. Other common industries included software publishing and company and enterprise management, which offered respective average wages of $109,030 and $96,340.

Salary by Location

California, Washington and Massachusetts had the highest average salaries for applications software developers in May 2014, according to the BLS. These locations offered respective average wages $119,970, $115,370 and $109,670. The lowest average salaries ranged from $51,930-$80,260. These were found in states that included Iowa, Kentucky, Idaho, Mississippi and New Mexico.

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