Who Earns More Computer Hardware Engineer or Software Engineer?

Tyler Yates

When choosing a career in the tech industry, one of the biggest questions that comes to mind is which path will lead to a higher income: computer hardware engineering or software engineering? Both fields deal with technology and require a certain level of expertise, but the answer to this question may surprise you.

Firstly, let’s define what each field entails. Computer hardware engineers design and develop computer systems and components such as processors, memory devices, and routers. They also test and evaluate systems to ensure they meet the required specifications.

On the other hand, software engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining software applications. This can include anything from mobile apps to operating systems.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what each field entails, let’s dive into the differences in earning potential.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for computer hardware engineers in May 2020 was $119,560. In comparison, software developers had a median annual salary of $110,140 during the same time period.

While this may seem like a clear win for computer hardware engineers in terms of earning potential, it’s important to note that these figures only represent median salaries. The upper end of both fields can potentially earn significantly more than these averages.

In addition to salary differences between computer hardware engineers and software engineers, there are also differences in job growth. According to BLS data, employment for computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 2% from 2019-2029. In comparison, employment for software developers is expected to grow at a much faster rate of 22% during the same time period.

So now that we have examined both earning potential and job growth for computer hardware engineering versus software engineering, which path should you choose? Ultimately it depends on your personal interests and skill set.

If you enjoy working with physical technology such as processors and routers then computer hardware engineering may be the right fit for you. However, if you are more interested in developing software applications and working on the latest technology trends, then software engineering may be the better choice.

In conclusion, both computer hardware engineering and software engineering offer lucrative career paths with potential for high earnings. It’s important to weigh your interests and skill set before deciding which path to pursue. Ultimately, with hard work and dedication, both fields can lead to a successful and fulfilling career in the tech industry.