From smart security systems, protecting our homes and businesses; to innovative homeware; a thermostat that helps to reduce bills, our TV, its remote control; our mobile phones and computers, even a simple calculator; to traffic lights; SAT NAVs; pacemakers and so much more, we are extraordinarily surrounded by embedded systems.

These are the systems that have been designed to assist you in completing a task, problem or process and are found in nearly all aspects of modern-day life. Usually, this will involve a combination of hardware and software working proficiently to give a machine or device the capability to fully or semi-automate the specific task. The system will use something known as a ‘microcontroller’ or ‘micro compressor’ to convert an input, received from either a user or the environment, into the appropriate output.

Consider the two examples of a TV remote and a thermostat. For the TV remote, an input would be received by a user pressing a specific button, the output being the desired channel appearing on the TV. With the thermostat, the input is detected by monitoring the temperature of the environment, with the output being the heating turning on/off as required.

The constant innovations of technology and the drive for the Internet of Things (IoT) has resulted in an incredible demand for those that are able to optimise the link between man and machine i.e., the embedded engineer! Here we discuss the role of an embedded engineer and the skillset likely to help you become involved, or advance in a fascinating and constantly evolving career in this field.

Embedded Engineer: What do they do?

An embedded engineer plays an integral role in the design and implementation of the hardware or software for an embedded system. They will write code, which requires a deep understanding of the hardware the system runs on. Their in-depth knowledge and expertise of the system or process will also include the ability to troubleshoot and debug problems, as well as the ability to effectively analyse data to inform the decisions required for optimising performance. More recently, embedded engineers have become heavily involved in the IoT. The desire for innovation that enables devices to be connected to the ‘cloud.’

Embedded Engineer: Person Specification

A great way to discover the skillset required to meet the demands of a career in embedded engineering is to read through job specs. Even if you’re not yet ready to apply, it can give a useful insight into the experience and skills you may currently be lacking and give you the drive to advance in the right direction. Of course, with so much diversity within the field, the technicalities of the knowledge and experience required will vary, but there are still a number of common themes particularly when it comes to your personal qualities and interests. To help you decide whether a career in embedded engineering is for you, we’ve put together a handy list of desired qualities for you.


The career of an embedded engineer follows on well from a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or almost any engineering related field. Those same Bachelor’s make you well suited to pursuing a Masters in embedded engineering. This can also be an excellent way to further enhance your knowledge whether you are just starting out your career or looking to advance into a more senior role.

Proficient in Programming Languages

Widely considered one the most efficient programming languages, an understanding of C is likely to be a requirement of almost any role for an embedded engineer.

Analytical Mind

The ability to analyse data and use it to effectively guide decisions plays a huge role in optimising the performance of almost any system or process. For engineers in almost any discipline, optimising performance is fundamental to success. For an embedded engineer this may involve using analytics from troubleshooting software or debugging hardware. Analysing not only what went wrong, and how to fix it but how did that impact performance and effect the desired goal of the system.

Technical Knowledge

The specifics of the technical knowledge required depends largely on the embedded system you will be working on and a job spec will usually detail what’s expected. To give you a heads-up, with the increased demand for roles within IoT it’s likely that technical knowledge will be required for common interfaces, especially wireless communication technologies, such as Bluetooth, and IoT solutions including ‘Cloud’ platforms.

Keen Interest and Experience in IoT 

Speaking of IoT, in the modern world, a huge proportion of embedded engineers will be involved in this field. It’s likely you’ll be involved in enabling previously analogue and mechanical machines to be connected to the internet, so you want to make sure this is an area of technology you take a keen interest in.

Passion for Environment

Many embedded systems are being constantly evolved and advanced in a bid to help save our planet. Thinking back to the embedded system of a thermostat, if by connecting that thermostat to the internet allows its user to more effectively monitor their energy, and subsequently cut their usage (and bills!), then the environmental impact of everybody benefitting from this systemcould be huge. There are many roles for embedded engineers, whose goals centralise around protecting our environment. Sharing a passion for the environment with those you work for or with, can be a great motivator and drive to succeed in a role.

Strong Conceptual Mindset

Since an embedded engineer is the driving force behind the intricate design of the hardware that controls a system or process, they have the ability to influence the features they believe will contribute to the success of the system in completing its specific task. A strong conceptual mindset brings innovation to the field of embedded engineering, whatever the project is that you are working on.

Good Interpersonal Skills

When working on an engineering project, however big or small, it’s likely that you will be one part of a larger team. As an embedded engineer, your role is a huge part of that team but that makes it more important than ever to be able to collaborate as part of the team and effectively communicate ideas, designs, and problems to anyone else involved.

Learn More About BMR Solutions

Along with a whole host of specific skills, expertise, personal attributes and qualities, ultimately, an embedded engineer is likely to be passionate for research and cutting-edge technology.

Here at BMR solutions, we too are passionate about the job opportunities within the engineering and manufacturing sectors. We work alongside the very best companies and can help you find your dream job. Why not start your search on our website or get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.