In a world where electrical devices are crucial to life’s functionality, semiconductor engineering becomes a top career, and a much needed service to millions.
A semiconductor engineer sees to it that an electrical device is functional. They design, construct, and test any electronic circuit for computers and more electronic devices.
What does a semiconductor engineer do?
Semiconductor engineers make electrical products that enable integration of workers, materials, machines, energy, and information. They mostly work with silicon, a main feature in semiconductors, and a lot of emphasis is put on wafer bonding and etching. To make up a semiconductor in many devices, these engineers use a process called water etching to create a conduction pathway on a silicon wafer. As many semiconductor engineers work in the manufacturing industry, they are based in manufacturing plants, in very clean environments to avoid any contamination of the wafers. They work with individual companies, organizations, and governments to custom design semiconductors for them.
The following are tasks for semiconductor engineers;
- Design and develop semiconductor systems, software and modules, as well as interfaces and structures.
- Review and provide specification documents.
- Avail engineering software support.
- Identify and resolve any software problems that may arise.
- How to become a semiconductor engineer?
In order to begin a career as a semiconductor engineer, one needs to at least procure a Bachelor’s Degree in Material Science and Engineering, or Applied Physics with emphasis in fields like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Fields like software engineering, information technology and information systems are also crucial for a semiconductor engineering career. After a grounding in any of these fields, one can enroll for a master’s degree to enhance their skills in semiconductor engineering.
Most semiconductor engineering courses are offered at master’s and doctorate levels. The following are courses on Semiconductor Engineering one can undertake;
- At Cardiff University, this is a course offered by the School of Engineering in concert with the School of Physics and Astronomy as well as the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS). This course will help you gather important training and experience in the fields of semiconductor theory, fabrication and applications as well as silicon technology.
- This course is also offered by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. It is designed to equip students with extensive skills in semiconductor theory and applications.
- This course, offered by the University of Strathclyde, is designed for individuals seeking to empower their skills in the electronic and electrical engineering industry.
Semiconductor engineer skills
The work of semiconductor engineers is to ensure efficiency by studying product requirements. As such, they are required to be versatile in their service, and this is what makes them a great fit for companies, governments and non-profit organisations. With a current high demand in their services, semiconductor engineers need a set of skills in order to stand a chance in an already competitive industry. These include data analysis and processing, engineering design, manufacturing process engineering and troubleshooting. Others are, but are not limited to;
From the onset of this career, engineers in this field require the use of trigonometry and the principles of calculus to enable them design and troubleshoot problems in their work.
The biggest duty of semiconductor engineers is to save time and money through designing electrical products to bring ease to workflow. Creativity, hence, is a crucial skill all need to exhibit in their designing and development of products.
Critical thinking and problem solving.
These are important skills for semiconductor engineers as their work requires they bring solutions to workflow related challenges. As such, they need to critically evaluate how their products are beneficial to work efficiency, and as well determine how safe the products will be once they are in use.
All semiconductor engineers must be coherent in their writing, listening, and communication abilities. They need to be able to listen to the needs of their clients, be able to speak clearly how they intend to offer solutions to their needs, and be able to clearly write instructions and directions on products they design for future use.
Apart from the skills mentioned above, semiconductor engineers have individual years of experience that determine how they find work and how much they earn. In a survey done by PayScale, it is shown that varying levels of experience greatly influence pay. An entry level semiconductor engineer is projected to earn way less than an experienced engineer. Location is as well, another factor that influences salary. In the UK, Indeed noted, in an anonymous survey, that the average salary for a semiconductor engineer £47,809 per year depending on company and location, as well as experience.
These are sites where one can find employment as a semiconductor engineer: