Do you think in ones and zeros? Have a knack for building computer systems, hardware, and software? If so, you have the makings to be a computer engineer! Computer engineers apply mathematics, computer science, and engineering principles to program, build, and manage the computer hardware, software, and systems that operate manufacturing equipment. Computer engineers are like electrical engineers and may even hold the same positions or work on the same projects together.
Computer engineers constantly look to update the computer programming for manufacturing equipment and systems so that they operate at the highest level of safety and effectiveness. These engineers enjoy disrupting “the way things are always done” in the pulp and paper industry by architecting innovative ways to impact the manufacturing, maintenance, and production processes. Because of this, they are imaginative, groundbreaking engineers.
To become a computer engineer, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Advanced computer science knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and on-the-job experience from co-ops and internships are vital to a computer engineer and are desired by employers.
The pulp and paper industry continuously innovates and implements newer technologies, especially as the need for paper-based consumer packaging increases. With newer technologies comes the need for computer programmers and engineers. By choosing to work in the pulp and paper field, computer engineers are on the forefront of cutting-edge technologies that can help reduce waste, protect the planet, and improve the industry.
Here are three available careers that could be waiting for you as a computer engineer!
Computer Software Engineer
Average Annual Pay: $75,000 to upward of $135,000+
What You’d Do: Computer Software Engineers write, program, and configure computer software and systems for machinery and equipment in a manufacturing facility. They improve existing machinery by developing new computer programs and applications. They have their hands on multiple projects simultaneously and often work side by side with electrical engineers. Computer engineers collaborate on technical solutions and provide technical direction for computer maintenance projects including the software, programs, and systems.
Computer Software Engineers:
- Write appropriate code and program machine, equipment, and computer systems
- Implement and configure production management systems and applications
- Offer technical support, demonstrations, and training materials for colleagues
You could be a Computer Software Engineer if… you get a thrill from writing computer code and watching it come to life. You’re independent, imaginative, and forward-thinking. You can have your hands on multiple projects at one time and not miss a beat. You’re fine to work alone, but will also collaborate with other engineers, management, and facility personnel. You have excellent communication skills and can explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand and approachable way.
Information Technology Process Control Engineer
Average Annual Pay: $75,000 to upward of $110,000+
What You’d Do: Information Technology Process Control Engineers are responsible for supporting, updating, troubleshooting, and optimization of all computer systems including their hardware and software. These engineers may work in the manufacturing or production environments but may also support other departments of a facility. They will work alongside reliability, maintenance, and electrical engineers. They are responsible for all system and network updates, backups, change orders, and providing technical support and written documentation of all work performed.
Information Technology Process Control Engineers:
- Work with colleagues on network and system issues, troubleshooting and support
- Coordinate changes, updates/improvements providing appropriate documentation
- Develop, monitor, and share strategies that support or improve existing processes
You could be an IT Process Control Engineer if… you’re always a few steps ahead and can anticipate how even small changes will affect the big picture. You don’t mind being the “go-to” person for all information technology support and are generous and eager to share your ideas for troubleshooting and creating effective changes. Your work keeps the facility’s systems, networks and computer programs running without a glitch.
Average Annual Pay: $75,000 to upward of $140,000+
What You’d Do: Cloud Architects are responsible for maintaining an organization’s cloudbased infrastructure, systems, and environments including servers, security, storage, automation, and front-end platforms. A Cloud Architect will develop, organize, and regularly evaluate cloud systems and applications, hardware, and software. They work closely with IT security to maintain a company’s privacy. A Cloud Architect will also troubleshoot and resolve technical issues across the company.
- Create, automate, and maintain cloud-based systems and applications
- Proactively seek and offer solutions for optimal infrastructure/architecture
- Provide documentation and training for internal teams on all new and existing designed, deployed, and implemented cloud-based projects and initiatives
You could be a Cloud Architect if… you’re a computer wizard who wants to bring the future of tech to the present. You may embody the phrase: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If there’s a better, more efficient, more innovative way to do something you’re all about figuring it out. You don’t mind helping colleagues with more “basic” tech or computer issues because computer engineering is basically part of your DNA. Your work keeps your company safe, secure, and always striving to be forward-thinking.
Computer Engineers are in high demand in nearly every industry as the need for technology and its improvements continue to grow. It’s a rewarding and well compensated career path filled with challenges and opportunities for innovation. Computer Engineers must be analytical and creative, independent and cooperative. They must enjoy problem solving, always thinking ahead, and being brave enough to invent and implement new, better ways of doing things.