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Career profile Semiconductor Processing Technician

Also known as Device Processing Engineer, Diffusion Operator, Engineering Technician, Manufacture Specialist, Manufacturing Technician, Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition Engineer (MOCVD Engineer), Probe Operator, Process Technician, Wafer Fabrication Operator

Semiconductor Processing Technician

Also known as Device Processing Engineer, Diffusion Operator, Engineering Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$28,320 - $70,320 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Manipulate valves, switches, and buttons, or key commands into control panels to start semiconductor processing cycles.
  • Maintain processing, production, and inspection information and reports.
  • Inspect materials, components, or products for surface defects and measure circuitry, using electronic test equipment, precision measuring instruments, microscope, and standard procedures.
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What does a Semiconductor Processing Technician do?

Semiconductor Processing Technicians perform any or all of the following functions in the manufacture of electronic semiconductors: load semiconductor material into furnace; saw formed ingots into segments; load individual segment into crystal growing chamber and monitor controls; locate crystal axis in ingot using x-ray equipment and saw ingots into wafers; and clean, polish, and load wafers into series of special purpose furnaces, chemical baths, and equipment used to form circuitry and change conductive properties.

What kind of tasks does a Semiconductor Processing Technician perform regularly?

Semiconductor Processing Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Manipulate valves, switches, and buttons, or key commands into control panels to start semiconductor processing cycles.
  • Maintain processing, production, and inspection information and reports.
  • Inspect materials, components, or products for surface defects and measure circuitry, using electronic test equipment, precision measuring instruments, microscope, and standard procedures.
  • Clean semiconductor wafers using cleaning equipment, such as chemical baths, automatic wafer cleaners, or blow-off wands.
  • Study work orders, instructions, formulas, and processing charts to determine specifications and sequence of operations.
  • Load and unload equipment chambers and transport finished product to storage or to area for further processing.
  • Clean and maintain equipment, including replacing etching and rinsing solutions and cleaning bath containers and work area.
  • Place semiconductor wafers in processing containers or equipment holders, using vacuum wand or tweezers.

The above responsibilities are specific to Semiconductor Processing Technicians. More generally, Semiconductor Processing Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is a Semiconductor Processing Technician salary?

The median salary for a Semiconductor Processing Technician is $40,500, and the average salary is $45,210. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Semiconductor Processing Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Semiconductor Processing Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Semiconductor Processing Technicians earn less than $28,320 per year, 25% earn less than $33,280, 75% earn less than $54,320, and 90% earn less than $70,320.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Semiconductor Processing Technicians is expected to change by -1.8%, and there should be roughly 3,500 open positions for Semiconductor Processing Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$40,500
Typical salary range
$28,320 - $70,320
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-1.8%

What personality traits are common among Semiconductor Processing Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Semiconductor Processing Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Semiconductor Processing Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Semiconductor Processing Technicians typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Semiconductor Processing Technicians typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Semiconductor Processing Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Semiconductor Processing Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Semiconductor Processing Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Semiconductor Processing Technicians somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Semiconductor Processing Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Semiconductor Processing Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Semiconductor Processing Technicians need?

Working as a Semiconductor Processing Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Semiconductor Processing Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Semiconductor Processing Technicians

  • 17.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 45.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.4% completed some college coursework
  • 7.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 6.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Semiconductor Processing Technicians

Semiconductor Processing Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, public safety and security, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Semiconductor Processing Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Important Abilities needed by Semiconductor Processing Technicians

Semiconductor Processing Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Semiconductor Processing Technicians need abilities such as near vision, written comprehension, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Semiconductor Processing Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Semiconductor Processing Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Semiconductor Processing Technicians frequently use skills like operations monitoring, reading comprehension, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Semiconductor Processing Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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