Semiconductor Process Engineer

Improve and manage the step-by-step process of creating a computer chip.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$61,000 – $148,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Semiconductor Process Engineers do?

Making the tiny semiconductor processing chips that go into computers, smartphones, and electronic tablets takes many, many steps. A Semiconductor Process Engineer looks at each one of those steps, making sure that they’re done as efficiently as possible, with the best machines possible.

As a Semiconductor Process Engineer, you spend much of your day in front of a computer, running simulations to look for inefficiencies. You find out how many chips were produced in a shift, and compare that to your projections. If you find discrepancies, you figure out what’s going amiss, then provide solutions. You may search online for new manufacturing equipment, and prepare reports on the cost of that equipment and why it’s a good deal.

As a Semiconductor Process Engineer, however, you’re much more than a bean counter. When machines break or need maintenance, you roll up your sleeves and help the maintenance staff do the job.

You need good people skills to win over the maintenance staff and production workers. You want them to tell you right away if something is going wrong, and to share their ideas on how to improve production. Buying doughnuts is a good start. Being a good listener is better.

Many semiconductor chip designs are protected property, and the information you have on how those chips are made is quite valuable. You need to keep that information safe from competitors and Inventors. So when you run into them, you focus on listening rather than speaking.

Should I be a Semiconductor Process Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to Become a
    Semiconductor Process Engineer

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