Semiconductor Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Math and science courses, as well as classes in computer science, are requirements for students wishing to enter the semiconductor and microelectronics field. Physics and chemistry will help you understand many of the processes involved in developing and fabricating semiconductors and semiconductor components. Strong communications skills are also very important.

Postsecondary Training

Technician jobs in microelectronics and semiconductor technology require at least an associate's degree in electronics, microelectronics, or electrical engineering or technology. Students may attend a two-year program at a community college or vocational school. Students interested in a career at the engineering level should consider studying for a bachelor's degree. The trend toward greater specialization within the industry has made a bachelor's degree in engineering or the physical sciences more desirable than an associate's degree.

An electronics engineering program will include courses in electronics theory, as well as math, science, and English courses. Students can expect to study such subjects as the principle and models of semiconductor devices; physics for solid-state electronics; solid-state theory; introduction to VLSI (very-large-scale integration) circuit systems; and basic courses in computer organization, electromagnetic fundamentals, digital and analog laboratories, and the design of circuits and active networks. Companies will also provide additional training on the specific equipment and software they use. Many companies also offer training programs and educational opportunities to employees to increase their skills and their responsibilities.

Courses are available at many community and junior colleges, which may be more flexible in their curriculum and better able to keep up with technological advances than vocational training schools. The latter, however, will often have programs geared specifically to the needs of the employers in their area and may have job placement programs and relationships with the different companies as well. If you are interested in these schools, you should do some research to determine whether the training offered is thorough and that the school has a good placement record. Training institutes should also be accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (

Military service may also provide a strong background in electronics. In addition, the tuition credits available to military personnel will be helpful when continuing your education.

Once hired, technicians complete on-the-job training that can last from one month to about a year. 

Other Education or Training

Semiconductor technicians must pursue additional training during their careers in order to keep up to date with new technologies and techniques. Many employers offer continuing education (CE) in the form of in-house workshops or outside seminars. Professional associations also provide webinars, workshops, seminars, and classes. For example, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers provides career enhancement, technical knowledge, and professional development webinars; conference seminars and workshops; and other CE opportunities. Contact the institute for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification is not mandatory, but voluntary certification may prove useful in locating work and in increasing your pay and responsibilities. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers certification at various levels and fields of electronics. The ISCET also offers a variety of study and training material to help prepare for certification tests.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Experience working with electronics via school clubs, competitions, and other activities is highly recommended for aspiring semiconductor technicians.

A thorough understanding of semiconductors, electronics, and the production process is necessary for semiconductor technicians. Investigative, research, communication, and critical-thinking skills, a detail-oriented personality, dexterity, and knowledge of computers and computer programs are also important.