Why We Love It
$102,390Potential Avg. Salary
-1.4%Job Growth Rate
Don't Take Work HomeCareer Attribute
Good Entry Level SalaryCareer Attribute
RFID engineers specialize in the design and development of radio-frequency identification tags. RFID tags are used to collect information about a tagged unit using a specialized device. RFID engineers design and develop these tags and invent new uses for the technology for a variety of purposes.
What is a RFID Engineer?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in RFID engineer roles:
- Design, develop, and test radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags
- Employ radio-frequency and electronics technology to pair RFID tags with readers and other electronics
- Invent new use cases for RFID technology, and design implementation plans for these uses
- Conduct thorough testing on produced products, and troubleshoot defective products
A Day in the Life
RFID engineers specialize in the design, development, and testing of radio-frequency identification tags. RFID tags are a type of newer technology that allow for tracking and identification of units without a direct line of sight to the RFID tag. RFID technology has been adopted for many uses. In retail stores, RFID tags can replace barcodes and can be used for more efficient checkout processes, to alert associates to low stock of certain items, or to control and prevent theft.
However, RFID tags are not used solely for products. In fact, they can be embedded into pets to provide pet identification in the case of a missing pet who is found without a collar or other identification. Additionally, RFID tags can be paired with mobile phones and apps to send messages or notifications to phones when a user is within a certain proximity of a beacon. For this reason, many businesses have adopted RFID technologies to more effectively market to nearby customers.
RFID engineers are responsible for creating the technology used in RFID tags. They use the principles of radio frequency and electronic conductors to design new RFID tags, and to develop new uses of RFID technology. The role includes design work, research and innovation, and thorough testing. Additionally, RFID tags present some privacy concerns, so RFID engineers may also need to cater systems to protect private information, designing and developing secure systems that can be used in regulated industries.
Typical Work Schedule
Most RFID engineering roles are full-time positions conducted during normal business hours. Overtime may be required on occasion to support deadlines or high-production times.
RFID engineers may be employed by a variety of industries and employers. They may work in research and development for manufacturing companies, software development companies, or government agencies. They may also work for engineering companies, performing work for a variety of companies.
How To Become a RFID Engineer
The first step in becoming an RFID engineer is to earn a bachelor’s degree. Common degrees pursued by aspiring RFID engineers include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or computer engineering. Some colleges may offer RFID-specific courses, which are beneficial for aspiring RFID engineers whose degree isn’t specifically focused on an RFID engineering track. After completing a bachelor’s degree, you should be able to find an entry-level engineering position in the field.
Because RFID engineering is a highly specialized skillset, RFID engineers usually must work their way into the field through a variety of professional work experiences. For example, aspiring RFID engineers may begin their careers as assistant engineers in electronics or broadcast engineering, learning the basic components of radio frequency technology and electronic conductors. Experience in both fields can be beneficial for aspiring RFID engineers to become subject matter experts in RFID technology.
While a bachelor’s degree and many years of professional work experience may be sufficient for qualifying for open RFID engineer roles, some employers may prefer candidates with master’s degrees, especially for management roles. Common master’s degrees pursued by aspiring RFID engineers include mechanical engineering, broadcast engineering, and electronics engineering. The master’s degree pursued is somewhat flexible, as long as it’s in a field of engineering and includes relevant coursework.
RFID Engineer Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do RFID Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, RFID Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $102,390, or $49 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $77,490 or $37 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#63 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
Highest Education Among RFID Engineers
- 6.7% Doctorate
- 25.6% Masters
- 49.1% Bachelors
- 8.4% Associates
- 7% College
- 3% High School
- 0.1% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs137,400
2024 Est. Jobs135,500
Job Growth Rate-1.4%
Est. New Jobs-1,900
How does RFID Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -1,900 jobs for a total of 135,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -1.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#645 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
What Companies Employ The Most RFID Engineers
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Federal government, excluding postal service||17,800||-1,700||-2%|
|Wired telecommunications carriers||16,900||-2,700||-3%|