Hardware Engineer vs. Software Engineer

What is the difference between computer software engineer and computer hardware engineer? Here are some key differences between these two fields:

Personality and Education

Hardware EngineerSoftware Engineer
PersonalityHigh analytical, Creative, Persistence, Initiative, Innovation, Independence, Integrity, Cooperation, Self Control, Dependability, Adaptable, Attention to DetailAnalytical Thinking, Focus, Initiative, Independence, Persistence, Innovation, Leadership, Self Control, Dependability, Deductive Reasoning, Information Ordering, Originality
EducationElectrical & Computer Engineering Degree, Master’s or Bachelor’s, IEEE certificationSoftware Engineering or Computer Science Degree, Master’s or Bachelor’s, IEEE certification

Knowledge, Skill Sets and Employers

Hardware EngineerSoftware Engineer
KnowledgeComputers, Technology, Electronics, Telecommunications, English, Mathematics, ManagementComputers, Technology, Electronics, Mathematics, Design, English Language, Customer and Personal Service, Communications, Sales, Marketing
Skill SetsTroubleshooting, Problem Solving, Systems Evaluation, Decision Making, Active Learning, Time Management, Operations Analysis, Active Listening, Learning Strategies, Persuasion, Critical Thinking, Reading Comprehension, Complex Problem Solving, Coordination, Fluency of Ideas, Written Expression, VisualizationTechnology Design, Complex Problem Solving, Troubleshooting, Critical Thinking, Systems Analysis, Programming, Operations Analysis, Reading Comprehension, Quality Control Analysis, Mathematics, Time Management, Coordination, Installation, Speaking, Writing, Instructing, Monitoring

Workplace, Employers and Salary

Hardware EngineerSoftware Engineer
EmployersHP, Samsung, Intel, AMD, IBM, Toshiba, SonyAmazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, IBM
WorkplaceSan Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, Nassau-Suffolk, NYAtlanta, GA, Boston, MA, New York City, NY


Infographic: Software vs hardware engineer