Hardware engineer


An ICT hardware engineer is the person responsible for researching, designing, testing and overseeing the installation of ICT hardware. ICT hardware includes computer chips, circuit boards, modems, printers etc.

These functions can be described as:

  • Researching: determining that the solution is the most beneficial and cost effective for the organisation.
  • Designing: determining if the solution meets the as is organisational architecture or does it lead towards the to be architecture.
  • Testing: determining if the solution performs in the anticipated manner and does it need some adjustment.
  • Overseeing installation: ensuring the solution is being installed in a way which will ensure optimal functioning.

An ICT hardware engineer is much like an electrical engineer, except that they will only work with computer hardware. A hardware engineer will work closely with other ICT professionals to ensure that the architecture of proposed systems aligns with the documented 'as is' or 'to be' architecture. They will also work with business analysts, technology architects, testing manager, and release manager.

An ICT hardware engineer exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and from the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

SFIA profile

Within the SFIA profile, the ICT hardware engineer has level 5 capabilities, i.e. ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.

Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.

SFIA skillSFIA skill codeSFIA skill level of responsibilitySFIA skills level descriptor
ConsultancyCNSL5Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.
Specialist adviceTECH5Actively maintains recognised expert level knowledge in one or more identifiable specialisms. Provides definitive and expert advice in their specialist area(s). Oversees the provision of specialist advice by others, consolidates expertise from multiple sources, including third party experts, to provide coherent advice to further organisational objectives. Supports and promotes the development and sharing of specialist knowledge within the organisation.
Emerging technology monitoringEMRG5Monitors the external environment to gather intelligence on emerging technologies. Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation. Creates reports and technology roadmaps and shares knowledge and insights with others.
IT infrastructureITOP4Provides technical expertise to enable the correct application of operational procedures. Uses infrastructure management tools to determine load and performance statistics. Contributes to the planning and implementation of maintenance and installation work, including building and configuration of infrastructure components in virtualised environments. Implements agreed infrastructure changes and maintenance routines. Configures tools to automate the provisioning, testing and deployment of new and changed infrastructure. Identifies operational problems and contributes to their resolution, checking that they are managed in accordance with agreed standards and procedures. Provides reports and proposals for improvement, to specialists, users and managers.

Leadership skills

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
  • Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
  • Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
  • Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
  • Chief executive (leads the organisation).

When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.

Entry points

A hardware engineer will have a minimum of a bachelor level degree in engineering, computer science or information technology.