Hardware Test Engineer

Test products for glitches to make sure they are working well.
picture of Hardware Test Engineer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$61,000 – $148,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Hardware Test Engineers do?

A Hardware Test Engineer works in product development, examining computer components. As a Hardware Engineer, you are usually employed in the earliest phases of the creation of new hardware. Your job is to think like someone who will use the products every day.

Because each new computer component being developed can serve several purposes, you must be a creative Hardware Test Engineer, envisioning a variety of users in your head every time you approach a product. A technology professional, for instance, might use a CD-ROM drive more often than a casual computer user. So you develop different testing methods to collect data from the perspective of a wide variety of potential customers. This ensures that the product is fully functional.

It is also important to remember that Hardware Test Engineers troubleshoot backwards. You’re one of the first people to try out a company’s latest invention, which means there are no records of problems, FAQs, or lists of known issues and how to fix them. Because of this, you must think ahead, anticipate glitches, and create unique tests that will show you what happens if a snafu occurs. It’s like you’re getting paid to break the component in a thoughtful way.

Since you’re on the front line during the critical moment between idea, prototype, and production, your opinions are used by Designers to address potential design flaws before the product is manufactured on a wide scale. Based on your tests, you also make recommendations to Developers for future products, and even for the software that is packaged with the component when it debuts.

Should I be a Hardware Test Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Hardware Engineer

    How to become a Hardware Test Engineer

    Most Hardware Test Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:caa9ha&chl=no+college+%284%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2884%25%29|master%27s+%2810%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,4,84
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