Embedded Systems Engineers

Embedded Systems Engineer Solders Computer Chip

An embedded system is a combination of computer hardware, software, and mechanical parts (sensors, actuators, etc.) that is designed to perform a specific function, often in real-time. These systems require a high degree of predictability and reliability; have a variety of requirements that include size, power, safety, security, cost, and regulation; and typically communicate with one another and interact with the physical world via sensors and actuators in a feedback loop. Embedded systems—such as a microcontroller in a car—are usually not apparent to the user, but are integral for the successful completion of a particular function (such as the control of a braking system or power windows). Embedded systems engineers research, design, develop, test, and troubleshoot embedded systems.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Research, design, develop, and test embedded systems
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience An internship or co-op at an embedded systems engineering–related employer is highly recommended
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Math
  • Research
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Consulting Firm Owner or Professor
  • Engineering Manager
  • Lead Project Engineer
  • Embedded Systems Engineer
  • Embedded Systems Technologist or Technician