PCB Designer

Decide what microchips are needed in electronics.
picture of PCB Designer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do PCB Designers do?

PCB stands for “printed circuit board.” They’re the flat components you find in pretty much any piece of electronic equipment you can think of, from computers to radios. Though they look like a space alien’s roadmap, in reality, they’re the element that connects all the electronic parts of the object. A PCB Designer creates the layout and design of this important piece of equipment.

All electronics need PCBs, which means PCB Designers have a wide range of choices when it comes to places where they can work. You might decide to focus on small, complex pieces of equipment, or lean more towards large, basic ones. There are jobs for PCB Designers in these two markets, and pretty much anything in between.

Your design will depend on where the circuit board will end up. If you’re designing for something very small, you need to be careful about the amount of space you take up. But if it’s large, you have a little more leeway. You can make circuit boards that are double-sided, single-sided, or even multilayered.

You’re the one who figures out where each microchip should be mounted and where connectors need to be. You take into account things like what pieces need to be close together in order to connect and have the entire equipment work. While designing, you make sure to keep things like magnetic interference or electronic interference to a minimum since both will keep the equipment from working.

Should I be a PCB Designer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • How to become a PCB Designer

    Most PCB Designers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:xo9mda&chl=no+college+%2814%25%29|certificate+%2824%25%29|associate%27s+%2837%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2823%25%29|master%27s+%282%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,14,37
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