Firmware Engineer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a firmware 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 a firmware engineer.
Who is a Firmware Engineer?
A firmware engineer is a technician whose responsibility is to create and implement software for specific business applications and systems. For electrical devices like remote controls, cell phones, and medical equipment, firmware is the programmable data. As a subset of computer software, firmware essentially controls embedded systems. Firmware can also be referred to as software or a set of instructions that enables the hardware to function as intended. Firmware is inseparably anchored with the hardware, unlike ordinary software, making them mutually dependent.
Therefore, a firmware engineer is a technician with expertise in creating and putting in place sector-specific hardware and software systems. A firmware engineer is responsible for creating and putting in place the software necessary for electronic devices to function. Electrical engineers’ attention to detail and software developers’ language and logical prowess are combined by firmware engineers. A vast range of items, including remote controls, personal computers, consumer goods, cars, etc., require firmware engineering. The daily duties of a firmware engineer can change depending on their area of expertise, level of authority, and place of employment.
To design a software program that satisfies the functional and operational requirements and helps implement a system that will aid in achieving the desired goal, firmware engineers must perform their duties efficiently. He will need to modify the software to maximize functional efficiency and implement a system to the requirements of the client. He may work alone or as part of a team. The hardware that the software runs on is closely crafted by firmware engineers. He is essential in supporting the full life cycle of the product line, from conception through the software application’s final execution. To deliver the best services for the clients’ products, he conducts appropriate analysis before designing and developing firmware. He makes sure the firmware is thoroughly tested before implementation and works with the other engineering staff members to address and resolve any technical concerns. Even after the system has been properly implemented, he assesses its effectiveness and makes sure it complies with the company’s norms and regulations. In addition, a firmware engineer is in charge of managing several other technical and engineering staff members. He is in charge of helping to write and manage all reports and documentation related to the software application. As well as participating in the training and mentoring of the new staff members, he may use recommendations to increase the application’s effectiveness. He makes sure the system is constructed by the organization’s policies and procedures.
Candidates for firmware engineering jobs should have strong programming skills and knowledge. Most firmware engineering job demand experience with programming languages used for application development and regularly mentioned knowledge of Java, C/C++, and Microsoft SQL Server. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, firmware engineers may have a competitive advantage over other engineering candidates for employment. Firmware engineering certificate programs specifically focused on practical skills related to technological advancements and can help one with employment opportunities in the firmware industry. A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is another route to specialized training. Students are introduced to creating and understanding firmware-required hardware systems through coursework.
Employers typically look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, mathematics, or the physical sciences, however, certain degrees are not necessary. Depending on the position, an advanced degree may be required. The ability to program determines employment possibilities and can be acquired through education, training, and internships. Some companies provide intensive training programs. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for entry into the profession of firmware engineering, while some employers or companies might prefer a master’s degree. Although certification is typically voluntary, it may be preferred by employers. Certification is available for specific software and applications.
Firmware Engineer Job Description
Below are the firmware 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.
Firmware engineers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:
- Assess new software to ensure that it functions properly with existing hardware and doesn’t introduce any errors.
- Create and review code, evaluate software programs, and fix errors or malfunctions in the code.
- Recruit, interview, hire, mentor, and manage new employees.
- Carry out market research to identify the aspects that customers will find most alluring to develop new items that will sell well.
- Handle firmware design and development for goods and services.
- Create, test, and release embedded system firmware.
- Write C/C++ code and microcontroller assembly
- Communicate with hardware engineers to ensure correct system integration.
- Develop device drivers and board support packages
- Run unit tests and troubleshoot
- Produce and keep up technical documentation
- Ensure to be a part of code reviews.
- Assist with customer assistance as needed.
- Keep abreast of business changes and best practices.
- Recognize areas for process enhancement
- Suggest new equipment and technology
- Offer advice to other engineers in the creation of firmware
- Review the design and code, then make suggestions for improvement.
- Conduct testing to verify the architecture and design of the product.
- Work together on technical and design challenges with other engineers.
- Create firmware algorithms to deal with unusual circumstances and faults.
- Install and check the embedded system’s firmware.
- Use firmware to troubleshoot system, performance, and functional issues.
- Maintain projects’ scope, budget, and timing constraints.
- Examine the technical spec for accuracy and completeness.
- Create reports on the status, problems, and hazards of the project for management.
- Aid in firmware optimization to meet performance requirements.
- Offer help to customers rapidly and accurately on the product.
- Make sure that you are following all corporate policies and procedures.
- Review other engineers’ source codes and offer comments.
- Identify the viability of innovative system designs by working with other departments.
- Conceive computer or mobile operating systems for smartphones or tablets
- Work with programmers to create code that adheres to a computer’s memory constraints.
- Develop new product prototypes that adhere to strict design guidelines.
- Create technical documentation, including programming manuals, flowcharts, diagrams, and schematics.
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or any related discipline.
- A minimum of 3 years of experience in firmware development.
- Experience with Linux operating procedures is a plus.
- Experience with Python or other scripting languages is advantageous.
- Proficiency in C/C++ programming languages.
- In-depth understanding of embedded systems
- Practical knowledge of hardware interfaces and protocols
- Must be able to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines.
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Thorough knowledge of Agile development methodology is a plus
- Coding skills: Coding is a skill that firmware engineers may employ to develop tools for testing their work. Software is created and modified by firmware engineers using coding languages. They might often need to write computer-readable code in languages like C++, Python, or Java.
- Hardware knowledge: Firmware engineers must have a fundamental understanding of how computers are built and how they function. Knowing how microprocessors, memory, and other parts interact to run software and apps on gadgets such as computers and smartphones falls under this skill. They can use this knowledge to their advantage while developing computer system firmware. Also, they must be able to understand and comprehend computer code, which is often created using a programming language like C++ or Python. You can spot issues and create solutions by understanding these processes. Additionally, you might need to understand how various hardware elements interface with one another in bigger systems. For instance, you must understand how the software of the navigation system of an airplane interacts with the hardware and other components of the aircraft if you are developing the firmware for that system.
- Communication skills: To create and test new technology, firmware engineers frequently collaborate in teams. Collaboration and teamwork require effective communication. To comprehend clients’ demands and expectations, firmware engineers also communicate with other engineers and clients.
- Problem-solving skills: To identify and resolve problems with software and hardware, firmware engineers apply their problem-solving skills. These skills are also used to resolve software and hardware problems to guarantee a device’s correct operation. Firmware engineers create answers for potential future problems using their problem-solving skills. You could also need to create new systems from scratch or troubleshoot problems with current ones. You should be able to assess what a system that is broken is and how to fix it. You should also be aware of when starting again is preferable to trying to remedy a problem that already exists.
- Time management skills: The ability to organize your duties and carry them out in a way that guarantees you fulfill project deadlines is known as time management skills. Firmware engineers usually collaborate on projects with other team members, thus effective time management is essential for ensuring that everyone stays on task and completes their tasks by the due date. Knowing how long it takes to finish different jobs is another aspect of time management that can help you make better decisions about how to move forward with your work.
- Attention to detail: Firmware engineers must pay strict attention to detail when working on a project because they deal with intricate computer programs and systems. This makes sure they catch any mistakes or problems with their work and can address them before they have an impact on the project’s success as a whole. They can fix issues and locate their causes with the aid of their attention to detail.
How to Become a Firmware Engineer
Step 1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree
The minimal educational requirement for the majority of firmware engineer employment is a bachelor’s degree. Professionals in this industry frequently hold degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, and software engineering. These programs provide coursework in mathematics, coding, hardware creation, and software development. Firmware engineering is a concentration or specialization that some universities provide. These courses often cover more complex subjects like real-time operating systems and embedded systems design.
Step 2. Acquire training and relevant work experience
Although you will learn the fundamentals of coding in a bachelor’s degree program, it’s crucial to get hands-on experience with software development tools and languages. You can achieve this by volunteering or working as an intern in the computer science department of your college or at a local tech business. Also, you should learn many coding languages. C, C++, Python, and Assembly have been often used languages in firmware engineering. A firmware engineer will receive most of their training while still in school. While pursuing their degrees, students will master the fundamentals of engineering and computer science. Additionally, they will be trained while working in entry-level employment.
Step 3. Join a professional organization
It is recommended for firmware engineers become a member of professional organizations like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE is an organization that gives its members opportunities to network, collaborate, and progress in their professions. For those interested in working as firmware engineers, the IEEE Computer Society has several resources available. You can sign up for the society on your own or through your school. You can access online courses, attend conferences, and get member discounts on the society’s goods and services.
Step 4. Acquire Certifications
Your abilities and qualifications can be authenticated by certifications for both current and potential employers. Firmware engineers can obtain certifications to hone their skills, demonstrate their knowledge of their job duties, and progress in their careers.
Step 5. Consider earning a master’s degree
A master’s degree can aid you in progressing in your career, even though it is not necessary to become a firmware engineer. A graduate degree in computer science or engineering will help you stand out from the competition when looking for jobs and may even open up managerial opportunities for you. You can gain more understanding about the most recent technological advancements from a master’s degree program, the knowledge that will be helpful to you in your work as a firmware engineer.
Where to Work as a Firmware Engineer
Firmware engineers’ work environment can vary but is typically in an office or laboratory. Firmware engineers may travel to meet with clients and attend conferences. They typically work 40 hours per week, and may also work overtime, in the evenings, on weekends, and during holidays to meet deadlines.
Firmware Engineer Salary Scale
The salary scale of firmware engineers can vary widely depending on factors such as level of education, area of specialty, the type of industry they are in, years of experience, additional skills, and qualifications. In the United States, entry-level firmware engineers can earn approximately $66,000, while the ones with years of experience can earn about $126,000 per year. $87,000 is the typical average amount. The average salary of a firmware engineer in the UK is £43,775 annually, ranging from £32500 to £65000. The salaries of Firmware Engineers in Canada range from $96,000 to $144,000, with a median salary of $120,000 per year. These Engineers typically earn around 4,000,000 NGN per year in Nigeria. The salary range is from 2,040,000 NGN to 6,150,000 NGN. In Germany, the salary is typically between €40,000 to €69,000 per year.