Embedded Systems Engineer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an embedded systems engineer. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an embedded systems engineer.
Who is an Embedded Systems Engineer?
An embedded system is a microprocessor-based hardware system in computers and other technological devices that uses special software to perform different tasks reliably and functionally. This system is necessary for the technology to function properly so that the user can rely on the device in real-time to perform certain tasks. For example, in a car, an embedded system is used to deploy airbags or an anti-lock braking system.
A vehicle systems engineer is the person who designs, develops, tests, and maintains the vehicle system. These systems are found in cars, phones, and other technological devices.
An embedded systems engineer can use these four steps below to effectively design or improve an embedded system:
- Determine the purpose of the embedded system
This involves researching the needs of the system in a particular industry and talking to company executives to understand what type of technology the company wants to develop.
- Create a plan
A development plan often includes a visual model of the system design and how the engineer can make it work. This can help the engineer prepare for development obstacles and create potential solutions if such obstacles arise.
- System design and development
The goal of the embedded systems engineer is to create an effective embedded system or to improve an existing system. They often document all system design processes, so that they can refer to them when the embedded system requires further development to increase features such as system speed and load.
- Testing and refinement
To determine whether the system is fit for purpose and working efficiently, an engineer tests its functionality using performance testing software. This will determine if the system meets performance standards or if it needs to be modified. After this, the system can be finalized with company management or customers.
The embedded systems engineer is often responsible for all aspects of embedded systems related to the performance of the device or application. They may use different types of software tools to test the performance level of the system and optimize its operation.
Embedded Systems Engineer Job Description
Below are the embedded systems engineer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of an embedded systems engineer include the following:
- Researching software and hardware for system optimization and deployment of updates
- Maintaining documentation in all phases of creating an effective embedded system
- Assessing system reliability and performance
- Identifying and correcting system problems to improve performance
- Serving as a source of technical support for the team members
- Modifying existing design, hardware, or software to improve performance or add new functionality
- Writing new code from scratch, using high-level programming languages such as C++ or Java
- Working with other engineers to create designs that meet customer requirements while minimizing cost and risk.
- Advising customers to determine their needs and assess the feasibility of proposed solutions
- Creating schematics of circuit boards, computer networks, or other systems to help communicate design ideas to colleagues.
- Maintaining knowledge of relevant technologies and industry trends to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Conducting tests to evaluate new designs or components before they are put into production.
- Working with customers or other external partners to identify their needs and requirements.
- Developing prototypes to test new ideas or concepts
- Holding meetings with clients and the software team to define software specifications.
- Creating design goals and schedules.
- Designing and writing the embedded software code according to the required specifications.
- Testing the scalability and structure of the software.
- Implementing the embedded system and interpreting error reports.
- Fixing bugs and optimizing the system.
Several qualifications are required to become an embedded systems engineer. These include:
Most employers require embedded systems engineers to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field.
Education and experience
Most embedded systems engineers’ education takes place during school. During their undergraduate years, students learn the basics of computer science and engineering. They also receive on-the-job training by working with an experienced engineer.
Certification and licensing
Certification of embedded systems engineers varies from state to state. Some states require engineers to be certified to install HVAC systems. Therefore, you may need to obtain multiple certifications depending on the work you wish to perform.
- Object-oriented design
Object-oriented design is a method of software development that uses objects to represent data and actions. It allows you to create reusable code, which can help you reduce the time needed to develop new software. It also makes it easier for other engineers to understand and update the code. This skill can also be used when creating embedded systems.
- Time Management
Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a way that ensures project deadlines are met. As an embedded systems engineer, time management skills are important because they allow you to complete projects on time and satisfy customers. It is also important for achieving project goals so that you can be rewarded by your employer.
Testing and Verification
Verification is the process of testing a system to ensure that it works as intended. As an embedded systems engineer, you may need to develop and design software that controls machines or devices. It is important to test your work thoroughly to ensure that it works properly before implementing it in the workplace. This ensures that all safety measures are in check and that the product works as intended.
- Problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are needed by embedded systems engineers to identify and solve problems with the hardware they design. They may have to solve problems when the circuit board is not working properly or when software products are not functioning well. To do this, they must analyze the problem, find solutions, and test their ideas to find the most effective solution.
C++ is a programming language used by embedded systems engineers to create different software. These professionals need to know C++ to be able to create the programs and applications needed to manage their projects. Embedded systems engineers also use C++ to create prototypes, which involves writing code to simulate the operation of a real product.
- Assembly language
Assembly language is a low-level programming language that allows you to control the hardware of a computer system. As an embedded systems engineer, it is important to know assembly language because it can help you debug and optimize your code, which can improve the performance of the software you develop. You can also use assembly language to create new programs or applications.
Microcontrollers are small computer chips that can control various electrical devices. They are often used in embedded systems because they allow engineers to build complex automation using simple programming languages. This saves them time and money in prototyping, as they do not need to hire third-party programmers for this task.
- Analytical skills
Embedded systems engineers use their analytical skills to solve complex technical problems. They analyze customer needs and determine the best way to meet those needs through technology. For example, if a customer wants to create a device that can monitor temperature levels in remote locations, an engineer may need to design a system that uses sensors to transmit data over long distances.
- Change control
Embedded systems engineers often use their change control skills to ensure the safety of people and property. They can also use them to maintain consistency in product design or features, which can help companies meet customer expectations. When dealing with new technologies, embedded systems engineers may need to develop their change control skills quickly to adapt to changing circumstances.
Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and solutions. Embedded systems engineers have to be creative when designing systems, as they often have to find ways to solve complex problems.
- Attention to detail
Attention to detail is the ability to notice small details and make adjustments accordingly. As an embedded systems engineer, you may have to study complex computer programs or hardware to make sure they work properly. Attention to detail will help you identify any problems in the system before it is released to the market. It will also allow you to troubleshoot more effectively by noticing minor changes in performance that indicate where the problem lies.
Debugging is the process of finding and fixing bugs in computer code. As an embedded systems engineer, you may be responsible for debugging software that controls machines or devices. This requires attention to detail as well as a thorough understanding of how the system works. You may also need your debugging skills when testing new software to ensure that it works properly before it goes into production.
Organization is the ability to keep track of files, documents, and other resources. As an embedded systems engineer, you will be working with different types of software and hardware that require unique documentation. Strong organizational skills can help you find what you need quickly and reduce the risk of error or confusion. It is also important to be organized when working on projects so that you can complete the work on time and keep a record of your work for future reference.
- Configuration management
Configuration management is the ability to track and document the changes you make to your system. As an embedded systems engineer, you may be responsible for keeping records of all upgrades to ensure that your system works as intended. This skill will help you maintain consistency in your projects and provide documentation for future engineers working on the same system.
- Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS)
Embedded systems engineers use real-time operating systems (RTOS) to control the software that drives embedded devices. These systems are designed to execute tasks within a specific time frame, so they prioritize processes and ensure simultaneous actions. This ensures that the system can react quickly to user input.
- Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)
An embedded systems engineer should be familiar with the various Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that can be used in their work. These are programs that allow engineers to write code, test, and debug within a single interface. Examples of common IDEs are Eclipse, Visual Studio, and LabVIEW.
How to Become an Embedded Systems Engineer
If you want to become an embedded systems engineer, follow these steps:
- Get an appropriate education
Higher education can provide the knowledge and skills needed to understand embedded systems and their development. To do this, consider courses such as engineering, computer science, and information technology. Employers may prefer you to have only a bachelor’s degree, while others may require more advanced training, such as a Master’s degree.
Here are some educational routes you can consider if you are thinking about a career as an embedded systems engineer:
- Associate’s degree
This degree can help you learn more about basic computer functions and software development. It often takes one to two years to complete an associate degree.
- Bachelor’s degree
A Bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for any software-related job. Some undergraduate programs can teach you computer programming languages and familiarize you with the components of software and hardware development.
- Master’s degree
Depending on the hiring manager and the level of experience required for a particular position, a master’s degree can provide additional training and enhance your knowledge of software development. A master’s degree may take two or three years to complete.
- Gain experience through training
It may be useful to take an internship program or additional courses related to software engineering. An internship can allow you to implement the courses of your university program and broaden your knowledge of coding languages. After doing this, you can consider taking additional courses to learn how to code and use different languages correctly.
- Choose an industry to specialize in
Embedded software engineers can specialize in a wide range of industries. If you determine the industry you want to specialize in, you can get an idea of the specific hardware or languages that the industry might use to develop its technology.
- Consider certification
Certification can provide specialized knowledge about certain aspects of an embedded system, which can help you streamline the design, development, and testing stages. Certification can also help you understand and use programming languages to create code, which will allow you to take on other areas of software development. Some companies or hiring managers may require you to be certified to demonstrate your knowledge of code and embedded systems.
Where to Work as an Embedded Systems Engineer
Embedded systems engineers can work in a variety of industries that produce, use, and sell technology or applications. Some employers may require the candidate to have experience or knowledge of a particular industry to have a better understanding of the projects they will be undertaking in this role.
Some of the following industries where embedded systems engineers can work include the following:
- Information technology
- Health care
- Aerospace industries
- Automotive companies
- Construction companies
Embedded Systems Engineer Salary Scale
The average annual salary of an Embedded Systems Engineer in different countries includes the following:
United States: $103758
United Kingdom: £46,951