How To Become An Embedded Systems Engineer (With Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Embedded systems is an engineering field that helps control and regulate internal systems of devices. This profession usually requires knowledge and expertise in both software development and hardware specifications. Learning more about embedded systems engineering can help you determine if this is the right choice for you. In this article, we answer the question, "How to become an embedded systems engineer?", and find out their duties and average salary.

What is an embedded systems engineer?

Embedded systems engineers design, develop and implement embedded systems in non-computer devices and products. Devices that do not have the hardware and operating systems of traditional computers have embedded systems that help control the device. These systems require customisation as per device hardware and mechanics. Consumer electronics, manufacturing machines, medical devices, automotive vehicles and aviation systems typically use embedded systems.

Embedded systems engineers usually undertake software development, but are also responsible for the maintenance and performance of the system as a whole. Unlike traditional software engineers or coders, they understand the hardware of the devices and work with the given hardware specifications. They also have to account for changes in temperature and other environmental factors while designing systems. Organisations in the defence, manufacturing, healthcare, aviation, mechanical and electronics industry hire embedded systems engineers to make embedded systems for their products.

Related: What Does A Systems Engineer Do? (With Career Advice)

How to become an embedded systems engineer

Here are the steps you can follow to learn how to become an embedded systems engineer:

1. Identify your interests

Embedded systems engineering is a niche field, and other engineering subjects usually attract more interest. To confirm whether this is the right career choice for you, introspect and discover your motivations for becoming an embedded systems engineer. If you are interested in robotics, printed circuit boards (PCBs), the programming language C and have been curious about how devices work, this might be a promising career for you.

2. Get the right education

Some private and government higher education institutes offer Bachelor of Technology in embedded systems engineering degree programmes. If you are confident in your choice, you can enrol for such a programme and obtain a specialised degree. Studying science subjects like physics, chemistry and computer science is usually a requirement for such colleges, but the exact eligibility conditions may vary. You can also pursue a diploma in embedded systems after your BTech or BSc degree in computer science. Master of Technology in embedded systems programmes are also available in a few colleges.

It is important to note that you can become an embedded systems engineer without studying it as a core subject in your bachelor's or master's degree. If you have done your bachelor's in computer science, electronics, electrical, manufacturing or any other related domain, you can still learn the required skills to become an embedded systems engineer. These include learning the language C, fundamentals of electronics and sensors, knowledge of micro-controllers and circuit designs, CAD design and building expertise in related subjects.

3. Enrol for certifications

There are several short-term and part-time diploma courses for embedded systems that you can pursue. Alternatively, you can complete individual certifications to develop expertise in embedded systems fields like electronics, circuit design and C programming. These programmes may last for a few weeks or a few months, and you can also complete them after your bachelor's degree. Specialised certification courses on cloud computing, assembly and data processing can also be beneficial.

4. Apply your knowledge

Embedded systems engineering is an application-driven domain, and amassing only theoretical knowledge is usually insufficient. Even before you start your professional career, it can be helpful to practise C programming and experiment with circuit design. Further, you can learn about microcontrollers and understand how different embedded devices work by practising regularly. Working on personal projects can also help you build practical skills and confidence.

5. Find an internship

Once you have the required knowledge and skills, you can start looking for internships and apprenticeships in companies you desire to join. You can ask your college professors or seniors to recommend your application in their network or write a letter of recommendation for you. Completing an internship can also increase the chances of getting a full-time employment offer.

Related: What Are Internships And How Do You Find One?

6. Create your resume

With some professional experience, practical skills and educational qualifications, you can create your resume. Use a suitable format to highlight your hard and soft skills. Add an executive summary at the very top of your resume to summarise your job application for recruiters and hiring managers.

Related: Resume For Freshers: Guide With Template

7. Apply for jobs

Look for embedded systems engineering jobs on online portals and look for career opportunities on company websites. You can also approach top employers in different industries and enquire about vacancies and relevant job opportunities. Remember to attach a customised cover letter with all your job applications.

Duties of an embedded systems engineer

The duties and responsibilities of an embedded systems engineer usually vary across organisations and industries. There are a few everyday responsibilities that they may share:

  • design and implement software and operation systems for embedded devices and systems

  • coordinate with the production and manufacturing team

  • review and test code as per device design and hardware specifications

  • improve the efficiency and stability of the embedded system

  • maintain embedded systems with timely updates and addition of features

  • diagnose technical problems and solve them

  • provide expertise in product design and production

  • enable seamless hardware and software integration

  • ensure safety and reliability of embedded systems

Senior embedded systems engineers may have more autonomy over designing and developing the hardware and software of a product. They usually work with the company's senior leadership and execute the strategic business vision. Principal embedded systems engineers typically manage a team of several embedded architects, embedded systems engineers and senior embedded systems engineers.

What is the average salary of embedded systems engineers?

The average salary of embedded systems engineers is ₹4,52,350 per year. Your experience, location, qualifications, and employer may influence your salary. Some specialised roles, like embedded firmware engineers or embedded hardware designer engineers, may earn a higher salary.

Skills of embedded systems engineer

Here are some skills that can be essential for the success of embedded systems engineers:

C language programming

While a few languages may be useful in embedded engineering, the most important one is C. Knowing C and other languages is usually a standard requirement for all embedded systems engineer roles. Familiarity with other languages like C++, LabView, Python, Rust and Assembly Language can also be helpful.

Related: What Is C Programming Language? Benefits And Career Advice

Circuit designing skills

Understanding circuits, printed circuit boards, sensors, microprocessors, memory, CAD and other subjects can be useful for systems engineers. Since they are responsible for creating an interface between hardware design and the operating system, they usually work closely with the mechanical aspects of the product. Overall, they require comprehensive knowledge of the entire embedded systems and how different elements can influence each other.

Analytical skills

Systems engineers may have to use large volumes of product data and information to design effective solutions. They usually have to account for several data sources and points and may have to process the data to make it readable. Thus, knowing basic analytical models and tools can be beneficial for systems embedded engineers.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips And Examples

Communication skills

Embedded systems engineers coordinate with several experts from the production, hardware, software, management and product design departments. Collaborating with other engineers to exchange feedback and work as a team is essential for systems engineers. They may also have to maintain meticulous records and documentation of their process, which requires strong written communication skills.

Attention to detail

Designing software systems for embedded devices is a complex process with several variables and elements. Being focused and vigilant while working and paying attention to small details is essential for the job and can help avoid costly mistakes. Using precise measurements and accurate values also helps embedded systems engineers maintain the quality of their products and solutions.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted website at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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