Approximately 98,583 people were employed in the semiconductor and circuit manufacturing industry in 2020, according to IBISWorld. Nearly all semiconductor technicians work in the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry. Finding a job in the semiconductor industry may mean living in the right part of the country. Certain states, such as California, Texas, Oregon, North Carolina, and New Mexico have many more opportunities than others. Some of the big names in semiconductors include Intel, Motorola, and Texas Instruments. These companies are very large and employ many technicians, but there are smaller and mid-size companies in the industry as well.
Semiconductor technician positions can be located through the job placement office of a community college or vocational training school. Since an associate's degree is recommended, many of these degree programs provide students with job interviews and introductions to companies in the community that are looking for qualified workers.
Internet job boards, and job listings in newspapers or at local employment agencies are also good places for locating job opportunities. Aspiring semiconductor technicians can also find less-skilled positions in the semiconductor industry and work hard for promotion to a technician position. Having more education and training will give you an advantage in the job market for semiconductors and related devices.
As with any manufacturing industry, the advancement possibilities available to semiconductor technicians will depend on their levels of skill, education, and experience. Technicians may advance to senior technicians or may find themselves in supervisory or management positions. Technicians with two-year associate's degrees may elect to continue their education. Often, their course work will be transferable to a four-year engineering program, and many times their employer may help pay for their continuing education. Semiconductor technicians may ultimately choose to enter the engineering and design phases of the field. Also, a background in semiconductor processing and development may lead to a career in sales or purchasing of semiconductor components, materials, and equipment.
Tips for Entry
Read publications such as IEEE Spectrum (https://spectrum.ieee.org/magazine) and The High-Tech News (https://www.eta-i.org/high_tech_news.html) to learn more about the field. Additionally, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) publishes more than 75 journals and periodicals about electrical and electronics engineering and related topics. Visit https://www.ieee.org/publications/index.html#ieee-publications for more information.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: https://jobs.ieee.org and http://www.iscet.org.
Join professional associations such as the IEEE to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.