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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Engineers in Los Angeles, California

For those living in the Los Angeles, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for computer engineers. About 21,400 people are currently employed as computer engineers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to about 23,700 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer engineers are expected to grow by about 3.8%. Computer engineers generally research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

A person working as a computer engineer can expect to earn about $51 per hour or $108,120 yearly on average in California and about $46 per hour or $97,400 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for computer engineers are better than earnings in the general category of Engineering in California and better than general Engineering category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: field service engineer, computer installation engineer, and hardware engineer.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer engineer. Computer engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a computer engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Engineer

Computer Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer engineers research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. They also may supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.

Computer engineers update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology. They also direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed. Equally important, computer engineers have to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They are often called upon to talk with engineering staff and consult specifications to review interface between hardware and software and the operational and performance requirements of overall systems. They are expected to monitor functioning of equipment and make needed modifications to insure system operates in conformance with specifications. Finally, computer engineers analyze data to establish and plan layouts using computers.

Every day, computer engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer engineers to analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware. They are often called upon to furnish training and support to system designers and users. They also evaluate factors such as reporting formats required and need for security restrictions to establish hardware configuration. They are sometimes expected to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data. Somewhat less frequently, computer engineers are also expected to layout and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.

They also have to be able to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation And finally, they sometimes have to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.

Like many other jobs, computer engineers must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Engineer Training

California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

California State University-Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3599. California State University-Fullerton is a large university located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,990 students and an admission rate of 60%. California State University-Fullerton has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated four students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

California State University-Northridge - Northridge, CA

California State University-Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330. California State University-Northridge is a large university located in Northridge, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,208 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State University-Northridge has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated zero, twenty-seven, and six students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

Westwood College-Los Angeles, 3250 Wilshire Blvd Ste 400, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Westwood College-Los Angeles is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,046 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Los Angeles has an associate's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated three students in 2008.

University of California-Irvine - Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine, , Irvine, CA 92697. University of California-Irvine is a large university located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,899 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of California-Irvine has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated five students in 2008.

Westwood College-South Bay - Torrance, CA

Westwood College-South Bay, 19700 S. Vermont Avenue, Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90502. Westwood College-South Bay is a small college located in Torrance, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 620 students. Westwood College-South Bay has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated five and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Wireless Communications: Technicians seeking the ETA Certified Electronics Technician specialty are required to have a basic education in fundamental electronics.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Fiber Optics Installer - Outside Plant: The Fiber Optic Installer-Outside Plant certification is designed after the FOI certification, with special emphasis on outside plant applications and standards.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Junior Telecommunications Engineer: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.