What is Embedded Engineering?

What is Embedded Engineering?
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Embedded engineering is applying engineering principles to designing and developing embedded systems. These systems comprise hardware and software elements designed to function precisely. They can be found in various products, from automobiles to consumer electronics, medical equipment, and industrial automation. To succeed, embedded engineers must be knowledgeable in hardware and software, creating dependable, efficient, and affordable solutions.

Embedded engineers must have sound knowledge of hardware design, digital signal processing, circuit design, microcontrollers, embedded software, and computer networks. They must be able to design, develop, and debug embedded systems on multiple platforms, such as the ARM processor and other microcontrollers. Additionally, they should be adept at working with real-time operating systems (RTOS) and embedded Linux. Furthermore, they should be acquainted with industry standards like CAN (Controller Area Network), SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit), and USB (Universal Serial Bus). Familiarity with communication protocols, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet, is also a must.

Embedded engineering favors real-time operations in several scenarios to interact with the internet. Let us see some.

Solves issues in the real world

Embedded engineering can influence multiple automated systems necessary for manufacturing processes, optimizing operations to save businesses time and money. These solutions include enhancing cell phone communications, regulating neighborhood traffic, and diagnosing medical conditions.

It makes systems simple to control 

As embedded systems usually serve one purpose only, their components are cost-effective, long-lasting, and low-maintenance. Furthermore, these systems don’t need extra memory or storage space, thus making them more straightforward to install at home.

Enhances the general effectiveness of assigned jobs 

Embedded engineering concentrates on creating embedded activities that execute one task at a time and, when joined, can improve efficiency in a range of business operations. For example, intelligent farm automation uses sensors to conduct multiple tasks simultaneously while analyzing soil quality, weather conditions, light levels, irrigation, and other elements.

It depends on basic operating systems

Simple assembly language-based embedded systems having a single duty or task to complete only require a slight adjustment. These systems can function with fewer needs on more dated or more external operating systems that require little to no update.

What is the role of an embedded engineer?

Embedded engineers are responsible for designing, developing, testing, and troubleshooting embedded software and hardware systems. They must have strong technical skills, be knowledgeable in programming languages, and be proficient in working with embedded systems. Additionally, they must understand how to integrate hardware and software components and be able to write code for embedded systems. These systems must be designed to meet the desired performance, reliability, and cost goals. Additionally, they need a strong understanding of computer architecture, operating systems, communication protocols, real-time operating systems, embedded systems, and digital signal processing, as well as the ability to design and develop embedded systems based on the requirements of the customer or product.

Embedded engineers must be able to troubleshoot and diagnose hardware and software issues, test and debug embedded systems, and keep current on the latest techniques. They must also have exceptional communication skills to collaborate with other engineers and customers to guarantee that the products meet the desired specifications.

What are the advantages of embedded engineering for businesses?

Manufacturers may benefit from the first-mover benefits of premium pricing and higher market share due to embedded engineering’s expedited regulatory compliance and decreased time to market. Moreover, reducing software development and testing costs and enhancing embedded software quality boosts profitability and cuts support costs.

Require skills of an embedded engineer

Because the position of an embedded software engineer is so specialized, several different skill sets are needed for these actors to perform their duties to the highest standard.

Although many other talents are needed, the fundamental ones are as follows:

Operating systems

Programming experience in embedded Linux or other relevant systems is essential for embedded engineers.

Assembly language knowledge is necessary in at least one case, such as ARM.

In-depth knowledge of the following topics is also essential or desirable:

  • Basics of microprocessors
  • Basic concepts of microcontrollers
  • Primary electronics
  • Algorithms
  • Design motifs

Working within constraints is a crucial skill for an embedded software engineer. They should be flexible and resourceful since their software depends on the hardware it interacts with. It’s essential to stay within predetermined memory and performance limits and to allocate resources for functions and components. An excellent embedded software engineer should be able to create efficient code and know how to maximize the performance of the software components.

Specialized work in embedded engineering

An embedded software developer may regularly oversee or take care of several tasks, such as creating, building, testing, and sustaining the multiple elements of an embedded system. Upon designing, an embedded systems engineer may begin to work on the system right away. The engineer will commonly develop a blueprint or create a schematic of the system, considering the primary purpose of the software while performing. When the blueprint is established, the refining process can begin, which may be done individually or with other engineers, businesses, or clients.

It’s time to test the system to ensure it functions as expected after the software has been developed and enhanced. We’ll try those settings if the gear is designed to operate in multiple scenarios. The embedded software engineer oversees the process and documents the results to be repeated, if needed, and archived. They are system specialists.

How to become an embedded engineer?

Embedded engineers are tasked with designing, developing, and testing embedded systems for various consumer and industrial products, from cars to medical devices and consumer electronics. To become an embedded engineer, one must possess the relevant qualifications, skills, and experience outlined below.

Learn C and C++

It would be beneficial if you prepared thoroughly beforehand. Mastery of the C programming language is a must for embedded software engineers. C is deemed to be one of the most effective programming languages. Whatever industry or business you decide to join, you will likely find C on your team.

Recognize the hardware and its parts

It is essential to comprehend the hardware for which you are crafting code. You cannot expect to inspect the code as an embedded software engineer. Bear in mind that the hardware itself could be the source of the issue. To trace and resolve the problem, you must comprehend how the hardware functions and why it acts the way it does.

Real-Time operating system

The primary purpose of an RTOS is real-time. As a result, data will start to enter and need to be handled immediately by the system. These programs need to be able to deploy resources immediately and choose which activities need more focus than others by an engineer. Popular RTOS are:

  • LynxOS
  • QNX
  • Linux

Master resource allocation and management

Distinguishing your duties as an embedded software engineer will take a significant portion of your tasks. First, you must consider how much of your hardware the embedded system utilizes RAM, ROM, and CPU cycles. These need to be distributed appropriately.

Embedded Engineering career path

Whether you want to become a manager will influence your career path as an embedded systems engineer. The following chart illustrates how someone will advance in the field from least to most experienced:

  • Software or embedded systems engineer
  • Senior software or embedded systems engineer
  • Chief software or embedded systems engineer
  • Chief Technology Officer Chief Software Engineer

Engineers specializing in embedded systems can also work in other fields, although their knowledge is still valuable. These might consist of the following:

  • Quality Assurance 
  • Engineer Sales
  • Project Engineer

Are embedded engineers in high demand?

Given the high demand for embedded software engineers and the anticipated growth of almost 20% by 2028, coupled with the possibility of nearly 300,000 employment openings nationally, the market for these professionals could become increasingly competitive. As a result, locating an embedded software developer could prove challenging, and you may need assistance finding the right fit for your team.

The salary of an embedded engineer

As we have highlighted, embedded engineers are in high demand right now. This means you can expect an income that is above average. According to research, the average yearly pay for an embedded software developer in the United States is approximately 83,000 USD. Nonetheless, the average salary listed on job portals is around 118,000 USD, excluding senior embedded software engineer positions that need more comprehensive expertise. For this title, the figures are much higher, averaging 105,000 USD and topping out at 136,000 USD.

On average, Freelancermap’s pricing and rate index suggests that freelance Embedded Software Engineers bill $78 per hour in September 2022, with rates ranging from $61 to $91 per hour. A full 8-hour work day equals a daily wage of roughly $624. Remember that these are just averages and may vary for those working abroad; you can use the mentioned platform to understand your specific location better.


Experts forecast that demand for embedded engineers will grow as more products and gadgets incorporate embedded technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth across all industries. Although they don’t track embedded engineering precisely, they monitor software developers, predicting a 22% surge in employment for them from 2019-2029, far exceeding the national average for all job types. So, it is an excellent time to start going into Embedded Engineering if you see yourself well-established in the industry within next 5 to 8 years.

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