Roles we hire for




Firmware Engineer

Firmware Engineer

A Firmware Engineer designs, tests, and maintains software that controls hardware devices, across a variety of industries.

What does a Firmware Engineer do?

The term “firmware” refers to specific software that’s installed on hardware, which allows the device or product to run. Simply put, a Firmware Engineer develops and designs these systems, working alongside software and hardware engineers to provide the products, devices or machines they work on with instructions on how to operate.

Firmware Engineers are found within a variety of industries - from defense to cryptocurrency to self-driving cars to smart products. Any product that contains its own, specific software and hardware, may have a team of firmware engineers behind it who ensure the product runs smoothly.

What is the typical background of a Firmware Engineer?

A Firmware Engineer often has a degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering, or Computer Science. More senior roles may require more advanced degrees, like Masters or PhDs.

What are some of the typical responsibilities of a Firmware Engineer?

  • To develop the overall vision for a firmware launch or update: A Firmware Engineer will often be responsible for developing the overall product plan for a new product that needs firmware, or for significant updates that need to occur to an existing product.
  • To perform updates and improvements to firmware systems: A firmware engineer will need to understand how to deploy code that instructs devices or products to update their features or behave differently.
  • To research and plan new firmware features: A Firmware Engineer may need to independently research and review the latest firmware technology to implement in their own product. What’s the latest code that others are using in the industry to make firmware run faster? As the design of a product changes to keep up with competitors, how does this impact the product’s firmware and software needs? Firmware Engineers will often need to answer questions such as these through research and staying up-to-date on market trends.

What are some of the skills a successful Firmware Engineer should have?

  • Excellent programming skills: A successful Firmware Engineer should have exceptional programming and language skills, often in C++, Python or Linux.
  • Testing and QA experience: Firmware Engineers will need to understand how to identify errors or fix malfunctioning firmware - without impacting the overall performance of the machine or product they are working on.
  • An understanding of secure systems: Firmware engineers should know how to design secure systems that can be protected from attacks, and should know how to assess the potential security risks of their projects.
  • Project management skills: To keep testing and QA processes on track, a Firmware Engineer will need outstanding project management skills; including the ability to communicate deadlines and needs to product, finance, documentation, or other teams.
  • Ability to be analytical: A Firmware Engineer will need a keen understanding of advanced arithmetic, algorithms and data, and how these can be applied to their work.

What are some of the typical job titles of a Firmware Engineer?

We’ve recruited for many different Firmware Engineer roles, including job titles like:

  • Firmware Engineer
  • Senior Firmware Engineer
  • Principal Firmware Engineer

How many years of experience should a Firmware Engineer have? 

The years of experience required for a Firmware Engineer can vary depending on the level of the position being offered (entry-level, mid-level, senior), the complexity of the projects, and the specific needs of the company. Here's a general guideline:

Entry-Level Firmware Engineer: Typically, entry-level positions may require little to no professional experience beyond internships or academic projects. However, a strong foundation in relevant subjects and some hands-on experience through personal projects, internships, or academic research in firmware development is often expected. So, it could range from 0 to 2 years of experience.

Mid-Level Firmware Engineer: For a mid-level position, a candidate is usually expected to have around 3 to 5 years of relevant experience. At this level, engineers should have demonstrated the ability to design, develop, and troubleshoot firmware solutions and possibly have experience with more than one hardware platform or programming language.

Senior Firmware Engineer: Senior positions often require 5+ years of experience, with some companies looking for 8 or more years for highly specialized or leadership roles. Senior firmware engineers are expected to lead projects, mentor junior engineers, and have a deep understanding of firmware development processes, hardware architecture, and software engineering principles. They should also be good at problem-solving, debugging complex issues, and making architectural decisions.

It's important to note that beyond just the number of years, companies will look at the depth of experience, including the types of projects worked on, the complexity of the firmware developed, leadership roles undertaken, and specific skills like programming languages (e.g., C, C++). Additionally, a strong portfolio of projects can significantly improve a candidate's application, sometimes even offsetting the requirement for a certain number of years of experience.

What types of companies typically hire Firmware Engineers? 

Many types of companies hire firmware engineers. Here are some of the most common types of companies we've worked with where firmware engineers are in high demand: 

Automotive Industry: With the increasing sophistication of vehicles, including  autonomous cars, the automotive sector hires firmware engineers to develop software for vehicle control systems, infotainment systems, and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Aerospace and Defense: Firms in this sector require firmware engineers to work on various systems, including navigation, communication, and weapons systems. These roles often involve working on highly specialized and critical systems.

Industrial and Manufacturing: Companies that produce industrial machinery and equipment, including robotics and automated systems used in manufacturing processes, seek firmware engineers to develop and maintain the software that controls these machines.

Telecommunications: Firms in the telecommunications industry hire firmware engineers to work on the development of hardware used in networking and communication, such as routers, switches, and modems.

Research and Development Firms: Organizations that focus on research and development across various fields may hire firmware engineers to contribute to pioneering new technologies and products.


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