A Guide to Careers in the Semiconductor Industry28 Sep, 20236 minutes
A Guide to Careers in the Semiconductor IndustrySemiconductors can be found all around us. W...
A Guide to Careers in the Semiconductor Industry
Semiconductors can be found all around us. With its intricate circuits and cutting-edge innovations, this industry plays a pivotal role in shaping our digital world.
Considering this industry's significant role, it’s no wonder that there is considerable demand for educated professionals - in fact, there’s a worldwide shortage of semiconductor talent!
If you’ve ever been interested in this industry, you may be wondering what job prospects it has to offer - plenty, we can assure you! In this guide, we explore the many career paths you can pursue in the semiconductor industry, the qualifications and skills required and the financial benefits you can expect.
What Type of Jobs Can You Get in the Semiconductor Industry?
The semiconductor industry offers various jobs and career opportunities. From designing intricate circuits to overseeing manufacturing processes, there's a role for every skill set.
Researchers are needed to uncover new materials and methods, while engineers play an important role in bringing designs to life, ensuring functionality and performance.
Of course, it’s not all about the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. Quality support specialists, technical professionals and sales teams also play a vital role in bringing semiconductor chips to market.
Some examples of the niche roles available in the semiconductor industry include:
- Nanotechnology researcher
- Process integration engineer
- Equipment technician
- Product marketing engineer
- Equipment engineer
- Quality control technician
- Software development engineer
- Machine learning engineer
- Sales representative
- Account Manager
What Should I Study to Get into the Semiconductor Industry?
As you’ve seen above, there are several careers in the semiconductor industry that you can follow. Currently, the bulk of the demand is for professionals at the higher end of the sector, which we will focus on below.
To thrive in this industry, you must obtain a strong knowledge foundation in one of the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Some possible degrees you can complete include engineering (software, electrical and others), computer science, and physics.
Necessary Skills to Start a Career in the Semiconductor Industry
While the importance of technical knowledge cannot be overlooked, developing certain soft skills is equally important.
You will require problem-solving skills as you often deal with complex challenges. You will also find yourself collaborating with multidisciplinary teams, which is where effective communication skills will prove handy.
Additionally, a passion for continuous learning and an adaptable nature will help you to stay at the forefront of innovation, allowing you to easily adapt to the changes that will be inevitable within this field.
Does the Semiconductor Industry Pay Well?
The pay you receive will ultimately depend on the type and level of job you have. More technical careers, such as engineers, will likely earn more than those working in sales.
According to Indeed, the average base pay for semiconductor engineers in the US was $103,854 per year (August 2023). The lowest was estimated at $65,476, and the highest was $164,727. This demonstrates the generally high earning potential for all engineers in the semiconductor industry.
ZipRecruiter also shared their insights into the average salary for those working in the semiconductor industry as a whole. In the US, the pay ranges from $27,500 to $176,000 a year, with the national average being $84,422 a year, or $41 an hour.
What is the Future of the Semiconductor Industry?
When looking at the future trends in the semiconductor industry, the general consensus is that market revenue will shrink this year. This is primarily due to worsening economic conditions and the fact that consumer spending habits have changed since the Corona pandemic eased.
Despite this, there will be growth in other industries that make use of semiconductors, such as automotive vehicles. Additionally, there is still a significant shortage of talent in the semiconductor industry. So, in spite of the poor expectations for growth, there is still high demand for qualified candidates.
Interested in Pursuing a Career in the Semiconductor Industry?
The semiconductor industry offers ample career opportunities. While getting into this career requires a significant investment in your knowledge and expertise, the financial rewards and endless career prospects are well worth it.
If you’re considering a career in the semiconductor industry, MRL works with key players in the sector, helping them to source top talent. Contact our team to learn more about how we help support you in your career journey.