Computer Engineer Salary & Career Outlook

As computers become more integrated into everyday life, computer and software engineers have become some of the most in-demand and valuable members of today's workforce. Handling everything from design and development to testing and troubleshooting, computer engineers are the driving force behind technological innovations and the machines that are now so intertwined with our modern existence. Computer engineer training online can help you qualify for one of these in-demand careers.

Computer Engineer Salary: 2009 Data

Because computer engineers are valuable in today's workforce, they are also highly compensated. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual computer and software engineer salary in 2009 was $93,470. The middle 50 percent earned between $74,250 and $116,510, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $139,930 per year. According to information from Salary.com based on national figures, entry level computer software engineers earn a median annual salary of $56,438.

Though computer application software engineers work supporting technology in a variety of industries, there are a few leading sectors employing a high percentage of these highly-skilled professionals, including:

  • Computer systems design and related services, with a mean annual salary of $95,150
  • Software publishers, with a mean annual salary of $97,840
  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, with a mean annual salary of $112,020

Some of the highest-paying industries in the field include:

  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, with a mean annual salary of $112,020
  • Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers, $108,290
  • Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing, $106,540

According to information from Glassdoor.com, computer engineers working hourly on contract can expect to earn around $30 per hour when working for a major corporate employer.

States with high concentrations of computer software engineers include Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, and Maryland, while the top-paying states in the occupation are California, Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Computer Engineer Training Information

Education and training is an important part of finding work in this field, but those interested can find many computer engineer training online options. Most computer and software engineers hold bachelor's degrees, usually in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics. According to information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science averaged $61,407 in 2009.

Though degrees and educational attainment are important factors in finding work as a computer engineer, it is also extremely important to have relevant and up-to-date programming skills and experience. Thorough knowledge of Java, C, C++, and Python are often essential and can be obtained through certificate programs through professional computing societies.

Career Outlook for Computer Engineers

Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for computer engineers is very positive. In the 2008-2018 decade, job growth is expected to rise much faster than the national average at a rate of 32 percent. As the need for and use of computers and technology continues to grow, the need for computer and software engineers should also grow.