Job vacancy highlight: Embedded software, firmware and electronic design engineers

Now and then we have a surge of job vacancies in a particular field and this time, we have three. Topping this month’s engineering vacancy popularity contest, we have: embedded software engineers, firmware engineers and electronic design engineers.

But what do these positions entail, and why are they so popular?

Embedded software engineers

Embedded software is the first level of code running on a physical device - for example, BIOS on a computer. Embedded software is in everything from smartwatches to toasters and, with the rise of IoT devices and robotics, it’s becoming more common and embedded software engineers are becoming more in demand. 

Embedded software engineers are required to write code while anticipating how it will interact with the underlying hardware or electronics. Accordingly, embedded software engineers require an in-depth understanding of embedded architectures and the hardware involved. 

If you’re intrigued by a career in embedded software engineering, you’ll need the following skills and qualifications:

  • Qualification: degree in computer engineering or similar;
  • Soft skills: a love of problem-solving, project management, meeting client demands and attention to detail; and
  • Technical skills: C and C++, real-time operating systems, assembly language knowledge, embedded programming techniques and basic electronics.

Typical salaries for embedded software engineers range from £38,951 in Scotland and Wales to £61,045 in London.

Top tip for becoming an embedded software engineer: experience is crucial. If you’ve not had experience in this field, speak to RTRS about short-term contracts and projects. 

Firmware engineers

Firmware is the programmable software in electronic hardware devices that tells it how to work. Such devices include mobile phones, remote controls and children’s toys. Firmware engineers develop and implement this software. 

The responsibilities of a firmware engineer can range from project managing programming, designing firmware plans, creating instructional technical manuscripts and even customer meetings and prototype installations. 

The most sought-after skills for firmware engineers include:

  • Qualification: a degree in computer science, software engineering or similar;
  • Soft skills: analytical, communication, creativity and problem solving; and
  • Technical skills: debugging skills, hardware knowledge and C or C++. 

Typical salaries for firmware engineers range from £40,609 in Scotland and Wales to £63,643 in London.

Top tip for becoming a firmware engineer: personal branding is vital, whether you're actively looking for a job right now or not. Have a quick read about personal branding and your job search

Electronic design engineers

Electronic design engineers design, develop and test devices that have an electronic power source. They have been responsible for some pretty impressive inventions over the years including the humble radio and the much-loved television. 

Today, electronic design engineers are responsible for mobile phones, robotic technology and much more - making them highly in demand. Sectors in particular need of this specialism include defence, healthcare, aviation and automotive. 

The most requested skills for electronic design engineers include:

  • Qualification: a degree in electronic design or similar;
  • Soft skills: communication, reporting, commercial awareness and project management; and 
  • Technical skills: CAE, circuit design and analysis and C or C++.

Typical salaries for electronic design engineers range from £35,636 in Scotland and Wales to £55,850 in London.

Top tip for becoming an electronic design engineer: there has been a 32% increase in the electrical engineering workforce over the past year making your CV crucial for being selected. Take a look at our top engineering CV tips for help with improving yours. 

Get in touch

If you think you have what it takes to fill one of these positions, speak to a specialist engineering recruitment consultant at RTRS today.

Richard Metcalfe

Senior Recruitment Consultant

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