Computer engineers build and manage various types of computer systems and networks and work in a variety of businesses. They usually deal with computer hardware and software design and might work with other information technology professionals to get their jobs done. Although some tasks performed by a computer engineer are common to the field, one might be chosen to perform a specific duty in a team setting depending on his or her specific skills. A computer engineering salary depends on the engineer's education, experience and location, as well as the company where he or she works.
Among the main factors determining a computer engineering salary are the levels of education and experience the job candidate has gained. A recent graduate who lacks work experience might start at a lower salary than a graduate who had various internships during his or her course of study. A college degree is important for most computer engineering jobs, and the degree the candidate earns can have a large effect on his or her salary. Those who have earned a master's or other postgraduate degree might start in a higher-paying position; however, a higher degree does not automatically mean a higher salary if the candidate lacks experience.
The type of job the candidate will perform also has an impact on a computer engineering salary. Entry-level jobs usually start out at a lower salary than more advanced positions, such as manager or lead engineer. Hardware design salaries also differ from those of software engineering, but the difference varies by company. Most computer engineers can expect to see a salary increase as they gain more experience in the organization and move into positions with more responsibilities. The time required to attain these promotions will depend on the company and the individual's performance and skills.
The location of the candidate and the type of business where he or she plans to work are also major factors in a computer engineering salary. The country and even the city in which one works can mean a considerably higher or lower salary. Large cities in the United States tend to pay higher wages to computer engineers, but this might not always be the case in other countries. The type of company hiring the computer engineer can also affect the salary; for example, federal and state government positions might pay a higher computer engineering salary than a non-profit organization or university.