Embedded Software Engineer Job Description

Embedded software engineers are directly involved in software product, component, and application development and design. They control various devices and machines using software engineering to form embedded systems. Industries where embedded systems are most prevalent are consumer electronics, aviation, automotive tech, and medical science. Embedded software engineers need to be well versed in a wide variety of programming tools and operating systems. People in this profession typically work full-time hours and might need to work overtime or on weekends, depending on the scope and deadline of each project that they work on.


Embedded Software Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

An embedded software engineer’s daily duties and responsibilities can change according to employer, but certain core tasks remain the same. Based on our review of job ads, some of these tasks are:


Embedded software engineers consult with clients to determine their needs and address any issues that might arise. Before beginning the project, they forecast what the outcome of the proposed system will be, including whether it’s within the predetermined budget, and if it will be completed on time.

Designing and Writing Embedded Software

These professionals are tasked with designing and writing the embedded software as per the requirements of the client, which can include preparing and implementing various technical specifications.

Reviewing the Implemented System

Another important duty is reviewing the implemented system in order to understand and interpret error reports, as well as troubleshooting and debugging in the embedded environment to resolve issues.

Maintaining and Documenting

Maintaining the software programs, identifying technical issues, and documenting the resolutions implemented, as well as any other important data, is a key responsibility of these professionals.

Working with Team Members and Clients

Embedded software engineers are responsible for training team members and encouraging them to increase their knowledge and troubleshooting abilities. They also work closely with clients to understand their needs.


Embedded Software Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Embedded software engineers are dedicated to the personal growth and development of the people in an organization. Employers also seek applicants with these abilities:

  • Analytical skillsembedded software engineers must analyze users’ needs and design software accordingly
  • Computer skillsthe ability to understand how a computer works, as well as knowledge of various programming languages, is vital to this role
  • Problem-solving skillsbecause problems will inevitably arise throughout the design process, embedded software engineers must be able to solve the issues as they arise to keep the project on track
  • Detail orientedwhen working on a project or troubleshooting, multiple parts of an application or system might be involved at the same time, which requires attention to detail
  • Interpersonal skillsduring the various stages of the project — designing, developing, programming — interpersonal skills are key because of the necessity of working with others
  • Communication skills – the ability to convey clear instructions, explain how the components work, and field any questions all require good communication skills


Tools of the Trade

An embedded software engineer utilizes the following technology and tools:

  • Text editor
  • Compiler
  • Assembler
  • Debugger
  • Linker
  • Simulating software


Embedded Software Engineer Education and Training

Most employers require that embedded software engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, mathematics, or a related field. However, some employers may prefer applicants to have a master’s degree. Students should complete a concentration of classes related to developing software in order to better prepare for the occupation. A strong background in computer programming can also be beneficial.


Embedded Software Engineer Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the national median annual salary for a software developer, also known as an embedded software engineer, as $107,600 with a median hourly wage of $51.73. An embedded software engineer in the 10th percentile earns approximately $65,670 a year (or $31.57 an hour), while the highest paid in the field make $164,150 a year ($78.92 hourly).
According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, over 1,256,200 software developers are employed in the United States. Projected employment growth for this sector is 24 percent from 2016 to 2026.


Embedded Software Engineer Helpful Resources

We searched the web to find some of the top industry resources for embedded software engineers. Click on the following links to help you determine if this is a career path worth pursuing:

The IEEE Technical Council on Software Engineering (TCSE) – The Technical Council on Software Engineering advocates the application of methods of engineering and its principles to develop computer software. It also endeavors to improve software quality through professional development.

Network and Systems Professionals Association – this association, which is decades old, offers industry-related training programs, publications, and an educational foundation. It also is in the process of reviving its annual conference if it can garner enough interest.

If I Only Changed the Software, Why is the Phone on Fire?: Embedded Debugging Methods Revealed : Technical Mysteries for Engineers author Lisa K. Simone imparts her unique perspective by presenting a real-world scenario quandary in each chapter for the reader to solve, which facilitates the learning of vital debugging skills.

Embedded Systems Hardware for Software Engineers written by Ed Lipiansky, this volume covers electrical and electronic circuits associated with embedded systems, how they work, and how they can be interfaced. Various other related topics such as memory, cache memory, ROM, and RAM are also covered.


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