What does a semiconductor processor do?
Semiconductor processors (sometimes referred to as integrated circuit technicians) supervise the manufacturing process of microchips. The manufacturing process takes place in clean rooms, which are areas of production that are free of all airborne substances because even microscopic particles could damage microchips and make them unusable. Semiconductor processors make sure the rooms are constantly sanitary to avoid contamination. They wear special lightweight clothing to prevent lint and other particles from contaminating the clean room. Semiconductor processors also troubleshoot problems occurring in the production process. They make the necessary adjustments and repairs to equipment and perform routine maintenance. They also assure quality control and test completed semiconductors to make sure they are working correctly. They often run computations and perform diagnostic analyses.
What kind of training does a semiconductor processor need?
Semiconductor processors need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with an associate degree or certificate from a technical school. Many semiconductor processors have an associate degree in automated systems, electronics, electromechanical automation, or other related field. Some have a certificate in semiconductor technology or high-tech manufacturing. Many semiconductor processors complete internships at semiconductor fabricating plants to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide on the job training to enable semiconductor processors to learn the policies and procedures. Semiconductor processors complete additional training and education as needed throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a semiconductor processor?
Employment of semiconductor processors is expected to decline rapidly, decreasing 32% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Technological advances will contribute to the employment decline.
Job prospects are expected to be fair with some competition. Semiconductor processors with formal postsecondary training and high-tech manufacturing experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace semiconductor processors that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.
How much do semiconductor processors make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for semiconductor processors is $77,000; average annual semiconductor processor salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a semiconductor processor is a great choice for people with a strong interest in the production of semiconductors. Semiconductor processors must have a solid understanding of manufacturing principles and the components of semiconductors. Strong technical skills, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are essential characteristics. Semiconductor processors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team. They must always follow the necessary sanitary and safety procedures to avoid contamination of clean rooms and minimize hazards.