Is Semiconductors A Good Career Path for Graduates

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The semiconductor industry is an important part of the U.S. economy. It contributes to the G.D.P, technology jobs, and good paying income to workers. But, is Semiconductors a good career path for graduates? Let’s see!

First, reports from Fortune Business Insights predict that the semiconductor industry will grow by 4.7% from 2020 to 2027.

A similar but higher projection from the WST says the worldwide semiconductor market is expected to increase by 16.3% in 2022, continuing to grow by 5.1% in 2023.

However, semiconductors companies are faced with many challenges in growing their workforce with skilled technicians and engineers.

This means there is a growing demand for skilled workers in the semiconductor industry but a shortfall in supply.

With this, we can see that the semiconductors industry possesses some of the factors that make a good career path for most people – high pay, job availability, and exciting work. Having said that, let’s dig deeper and see what more this career path has in store.

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Who is a Semiconductor Engineer?

A semiconductor engineer makes electrical products known as circuits or microchips. These microchips can be found in electronic devices such as cell phones, cars, and laptops.

Semiconductors usually work with silicon. In other words, they oversee the manufacturing of electronic semiconductors.

Semiconductor products are an important part of modern life. I mean, how in the world will smart mobile phones, cars, and laptops function without those chips!?

To become a semiconductor engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, or a related field.

Finally, most semiconductor jobs require strong math and technical skills.

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Examples Of Semiconductors

The most commonly used semiconductors are Gallium Arsenide, Germanium, and Silicon.

Semiconductors use Silicon in electronic circuit fabrication. Also, they use Gallium Arsenide in solar cells and laser diodes.

Further, Germanium is used as a semiconductor in transistors and various other electronic devices.

What Are Different Types of Semiconductor Jobs?

You can find semiconductor jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and quality assurance jobs.

Further, your job will include testing and calibrating components and other electrical equipment that uses semiconductors.

Examples of this equipment are computers and mobile phones.

Duties of a Semiconductor

Your duties as a semiconductor differ by field. For instance, if you are an engineer, your job will be to improve semiconductor design or develop new devices.

Secondly, you can work in manufacturing and packaging jobs. For example, you can work as a wafer technician.

So, you’ll operate complex technical machinery in a clean environment. By this, you’ll help build and package chip devices and other hardware.

Further, a Quality assurance technician ensures that products meet technical and safety specifications.

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How to Become a Semiconductor Engineer

If you want to become a Semiconductor Engineer, then you might first consider how much education you’ll need.

According to Zippia.com, 77.3% of semiconductor engineers have a bachelor’s degree.

Further, only 11% of semiconductor engineers have a master’s degree. You might be able to get an entry-level semiconductor job, however, it’s hard to become one without a college degree.

Also, Zippia.com states that you can see doctoral and associate degrees for semiconductor job holders.

In addition, experience in other jobs will help you become a semiconductor engineer. For instance, many semiconductor engineer jobs require experience in a role such as research Assistant.

You can also get experience in roles such as an internship or senior process engineer.

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Is Semiconductors A Good Career Path?

Yes, the semiconductor industry is thriving. A report from Fortune Business Insights predicts that the industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.7% from 2020 to 2027.

In addition, the semiconductor industry is growing from the rapid development of new-age technologies.

These technologies are powering up smartphones, tablets, and several other connected devices. Certainly, people are relying more and more on these devices.

For instance, you can work remotely, attend classes online, order food, and have an online video conference. All these are enhanced by technology-driven devices.

With these devices rapidly becoming part of our daily lives, the market for semiconductor jobs is also expanding.

So, if you have the skill and passion, semiconductors can be a good and rewarding career path for you.

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Is Semiconductors a Good Career Path: What are the Benefits of Semiconductor Job?

Semiconductor engineers enjoy benefits ranging from insurance and on-the-job training to flexible time schedules and free food.

However, the benefits you get might depend on the company you work for. For instance, ONSEMI employees state they enjoy good compensation, good benefits, and a flexible time schedule on Glassdoor review.

Further, employees at ON Semiconductor enjoy the following benefits:

  • Team Outings
  • Health Insurance
  • Cafeteria
  • Work From Home
  • Free Food
  • Education Assistance
  • Soft Skill Training
  • Job Training
  • International Relocation

Another semiconductor company that provides good benefits to its employees is Dynex. Dynex believes that the hard work and dedication of its semiconductors should be rewarded. Therefore they offer the following benefits amongst others;

  • Pension
  • Life Assurance
  • Holiday Allowance
  • Flexible time
  • Holiday Purchase scheme
  • Higher Education Sponsorship
  • On-the-job training
  • paid Professional membership fee

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What are the Job Prospects for Semiconductors?

WSTS report states that the worldwide semiconductor market is expected to increase by 16.3% in 2022, continuing to grow by 5.1% in 2023.

Further, a more recent report from Fortune Business Insights predicts that the industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.7% from 2020 to 2027.

Similarly, after a strong growth year of 26.2% in the year 2021, WSTS expects another year of double-digit growth for the worldwide semiconductor market in 2022 with a forecast of $646 billion, up 16.3%.

How Much Can You Make From Semiconductors?

The average salary for a semiconductor engineer is $100,681 per year in the United States. This is based on 173 salaries reported on indeed.com in 2022.

Further, top companies for Semiconductor Engineers in the United States are paying between $123,585 and $171,823 per year on indeed.com

Top companies for Semiconductor Engineers in the United States

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7 Highly Paid Semiconductors Career Paths for Graduates

1. Product and Test Manufacturing Engineer

A Product and Test Manufacturing Engineer works with the manufacturing operations team which is responsible for providing the manufacturing capability to deliver physical infrastructure.

However, your duties include;

  • Ensure manufacturing processes are introduced properly into high-volume production.
  • Ensure infrastructure needs and product specifications are met.
  • Make sure the company maximizes multi-sourcing for each product component
  • Evaluate the product designs and create the processes, tools, and procedures behind the technology

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2. Semiconductor Test Engineer

Semiconductor Test Engineers are part of the global test and automation experts, powering next-generation technologies through advanced solutions.

The duties of a Semiconductor Test Engineer include;

  • Develop, debug and deploy test solutions for Digital, Mix-Signal, and/or Analog semiconductor devices
  • Test program software development is often done in a collaborative environment
  • Load board/probe card schematics design and layout review for a test solution
  • Analyze problems and recommend solutions to optimize customer throughput

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3. Facilities Electrical Engineer

The Electrical Engineer acts as the system owner and subject matter expert for a variety of Electrical Power systems.

Further, you will be responsible for the safety, capacity, reliability, documentation, and advanced troubleshooting of electrical power systems.

In addition, work in cooperation with other engineers, technicians, and managers to ensure that all process specifications are met.

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4. Senior/Principal Semiconductor Applications Architect

Your duty is to manage the technical customer interface in pre and post-sales phases. This includes product promotion, design reviews, integration, troubleshooting, and technical support.

Further, you need to have a good theoretical understanding of digital signal processing, analog, and digital circuits.

5. Optical Fabrication Technician

Optical Fabrication Technicians help fabricate some of the world’s most advanced optical components used in the most advanced semiconductor machines.

In addition, Optical Fabrication technicians produce high-precision quality optics per production schedule.

Further, you can get an Optical Fabrication Technician job with a High school diploma or GED.

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6. Process Engineer, Thin Films/Diffusion

As a Process Engineer, you can spend your time improving yield in the semiconductor industry. In addition, your role includes removing cost and complexity from the factory.

Further, you’ll be required to lead cross-functional continuous improvement and problem-solving activities.

You’ll also develop and adapt processes for new devices, and sustain established semiconductor manufacturing processes.

You can get an entry-level process engineer role even if you’re a recent college graduate with 0-3 years of experience.

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7. Cellular Engineer

A cellular engineer supports log analysis for field certification. Also, you might be required to perform test and lab IOT activities for mobile carriers, for instance.

The cellular engineer can further carry out the following duties;

  • Take responsibility for field/IOT test execution
  • Analyze failure logs and track issues until they are resolved
  • Identify KPIs to improve modem performance, especially for LTE and 5G technologies
  • Send reports to the executive level to outline the current status and to communicate any critical issues

FAQs

How can I start a career in semiconductor?

If you want to become a semiconductor, you might first consider how much education you’ll need. According to Zippia.com, 77.3% of semiconductor engineers have a bachelor’s degree.

Next, develop your skills. Then create or update your resume. If you’re a fresh grad, you might also consider an internship. This will help you gain on-the-job training to boost your portfolio. Further, obtain certifications or licensure, and don’t fail to network!

Is it hard to make semiconductors?

GlobalFoundries states that it takes them three months on average to engrave and transform mirror-smooth silicon wafers into layered semiconductors. In addition, Wall Street Journal reports that Chip makers say ending the shortage is difficult because it takes years to get new factories up and running

What degree do you need to build semiconductors?

To begin a career as a semiconductor engineer, you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Material Science and Engineering. Or Applied Physics with an emphasis in fields like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Why are semiconductors important for the future?

Semiconductors, integrated circuits, transistors, solar cells, and many other computing materials would simply not exist without semiconductors. As a result, semiconductor materials have a significant impact on the supply chain for computing and electronic products.

Does semiconductor industry pay well?

The average salary for a semiconductor engineer is $100,681 per year in the United States. This is based on 173 salaries reported on indeed.com in 2022.

Further, top companies for Semiconductor Engineers in the United States are paying between $123,585 and $171,823 per year on indeed.com.

Is semiconductor a good field?

A report from Fortune Business Insights predicts that the industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.7% from 2020 to 2027.


Conclusion

The semiconductor industry contributes to the economy and individuals. However, there is a growing demand for skilled workers in the semiconductor industry and a shortfall in supply.

So, you can leverage this by acquiring the relevant education and skills required. With companies needing to produce cutting-edge technology-driven, products like mobile phones, computers, and cars, there’ll be a need for skilled talents in the semiconductors industry.


References

  • indeed.com – Semiconductor Engineer salary in the United States
  • wsts.org – WSTS Semiconductor Market Forecast Spring 2022

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