Computer Engineers (except Software Engineers and Designers)

(NOC 2147)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware and related equipment, and information and communication system networks including mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fibre-optic networks, wireless communication networks, intranets, the Internet and other data communications systems. They are employed by computer and telecommunication hardware manufacturers, by engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications firms, in information technology consulting firms, by governmental, educational and research institutions and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 80 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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 significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Computer Engineers (except Software Engineers and Designers) most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 74% 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

$21.00

Minimum

$38.00

Median

$45.36

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,700

Minimum

$59,960

Median

$97,893

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware and related equipment, and information and communication system networks including mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fibre-optic networks, wireless communication networks, intranets, the Internet and other data communications systems. They are employed by computer and telecommunication hardware manufacturers, by engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications firms, in information technology consulting firms, by governmental, educational and research institutions and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors.

Job duties

Computer and telecommunications hardware engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Analyze user's requirements, and design and develop system architecture and specifications.
  • Research, design, develop and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware such as microprocessors, integrated circuit boards and semiconductor lasers.
  • Develop and conduct 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 perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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 optimize 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. // 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.

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 or territorial 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 acquire 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

360

employed in 2016

98.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

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

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

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%

Northern

3.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

30.3%

Information, Culture & Recreation

26.3%

Computer System Design Services

11.8%

Public Administration

10.5%

Professional Business Services

5.3%

Other Professional Services

What is the age of Employment?

46.7%

25-34

26.7%

35-44

13.3%

45-54

6.7%

65+

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

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

40.0%

Bachelor's degree

$84,780 median annual income
24.0%

Doctorate

N/A
24.0%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
5.3%

High school

N/A
2.7%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

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

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Computational mathematics

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of mathematics to the theory, architecture, and design of computers, computational techniques, and algorithms. These programs include courses in computer theory, cybernetics, numerical analysis, algorithm development, binary structures, combinatorics, advanced statistics, and related topics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Computer engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Mathematics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. These programs include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

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

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
PO Box 613, Station "M"
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 461-1325
Fax: (902) 461-1321
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 420
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
Tel: (613) 236-0569
Fax: (613) 236-6193
Information and Communications Technology Council
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Tel: (613) 237-8551
Fax: (613) 230-3490

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