A computer engineer needs:
- good communication skills
- a logical approach to problem solving
- to be able to work both independently and as part of a team
- an interest in electronics and computers
- to keep up-to-date with technological advances.
In Western Australia, the majority of computer engineers work in offices located in the Perth metropolitan region. They may work in-house looking after the IT system for a sole organisation, or they may work as consultants, for a number of clients. Work hours can vary depending on employers, and may include evenings and weekends in order to carry out work on the system without disrupting regular business activities.
On average, computer engineers can expect to earn between $1,500 and $1,749 per week ($78,000 and $90,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Unsurprisingly, computer engineers spend the majority of their time working with computer systems. They work on both the software and hardware aspects of these systems. Overseeing software can involve developing new specialist programs or using existing programs for a variety of planning and maintenance tasks. Hardware can include setting up the system, installing new components, such as hard drives, into individual computers and running the network cables that allow the computers and peripherals to communicate with each other.
To become a computer engineer, you usually need to study a degree in engineering, majoring in computer engineering or computer systems engineering.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Back to top
If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.