Computer Engineers (except Software Engineers and Designers)

(NOC 2147)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Computer engineers design, implement, evaluate, modify, maintain, and test computer systems and related equipment. They work for computer and telecommunication hardware manufacturers, engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications firms, information technology consulting firms, governmental, educational and research institutions, and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors. Computer engineers may specialize in several areas including analog and digital signal processing, fibre optics, integrated circuits, lasers, microprocessors, microwaves and radio astronomy.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 35 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. However, competition for positions may be low due to few qualified jobseekers. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers) most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 71% of Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers) who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $72,494. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$19.00

Minimum

$31.25

Median

$53.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,700

Minimum

$59,960

Median

$97,893

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Computer engineers design, implement, evaluate, modify, maintain, and test computer systems and related equipment. They work for computer and telecommunication hardware manufacturers, engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications firms, information technology consulting firms, governmental, educational and research institutions, and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors. Computer engineers may specialize in several areas including analog and digital signal processing, fibre optics, integrated circuits, lasers, microprocessors, microwaves and radio astronomy.

Job duties

Computer and telecommunications hardware engineers:

  • Analyze user's requirements, and design and develop system architecture and specifications.
  • Research, design, develop and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware like microprocessors, integrated circuit boards and semiconductor lasers.
  • Complete design verification simulations and prototype bench tests of components.
  • Supervise, inspect, and provide design support during the manufacturing, installation and implementation of computer and telecommunications hardware.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with suppliers and clients.
  • May lead and coordinate teams of engineers, technologists, technicians and drafters in the design and development of computer and telecommunications hardware.

Network system and data communication engineers:

  • Research, design and develop information and communication system network architecture.
  • Research, evaluate and integrate network system and data communication hardware and software.
  • Assess, document, and enhance the capacity and performance of information and communication system networks.
  • May lead and coordinate teams of design professionals in the development and integration of information and communication system architecture, hardware, and software.

Sample job titles

  • computer engineer
  • computer hardware engineer
  • computer systems engineer
  • data communications specialist
  • fibre-optic network designer
  • network specialist - computer systems
  • network systems engineer
  • systems designer - hardware
  • telecommunications engineer
  • wireless communications network engineer

Skills

You should enjoy problem-solving, be able to think analytically and logically, and be interested in technology and the development of computer systems and equipment. Strong math skills and effective communication skills are both very important. Creativity would also be helpful. Computer engineers may specialize in a number of areas including analog and digital signal processing, fibre optics, integrated circuits, lasers, microprocessors, microwaves and radio astronomy.

Job requirements

  • Computer engineers require a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical or electronics engineering, engineering physics or computer science.
  • A master's or doctoral degree in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Other considerations

Rapid changes in computer technology mean that people in this field should be prepared to keep abreast of new developments in computer hardware, software, and networking technologies. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience. Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and gain knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

By the numbers

Quick look

380

employed in 2016

94.7%

employed full-time

5.3%

self employed

10.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
89.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.4

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

81.6%

Halifax

9.2%

Annapolis Valley

5.3%

North Shore

3.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

38.9%

Professional, scientific and technical services

31.9%

Information and cultural industries

12.5%

Public administration

5.6%

Manufacturing

2.8%

Educational services

What is the age of Employment?

32.0%

45-54

29.0%

25-34

22.0%

35-44

14.0%

55-64

3.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

40.3%

Bachelor

$65,519 median annual income
24.7%

College Diploma

$62,538 median annual income
23.4%

Master

$58,106 median annual income
5.2%

High school

N/A
2.6%

Trade Certification

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Trade Certification

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the symbolic inference, representation, and simulation by computers and software of human learning and reasoning processes and capabilities, and the modelling of human motor control and motions by computer-driven machinery. They include courses in computing theory, cybernetics, human factors, natural language processing, robot design, and applicable aspects of engineering, technology, and specific end-use applications.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Computer Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of computer hardware and software systems and related equipment and facilities; and the analysis of specific problems of computer applications to various tasks.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Mathematics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. They include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Physical Sciences

College or University Program

These programs focus on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
Ottawa, ON
Information and Communications Technology Council
Ottawa, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.