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Semiconductor Processor Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings -
Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations 

Career Path Forecast
Employment of semiconductor processors is projected to decline by 32 percent between 2008 and 2018. This reflects a changing manufacturing environment in which technological advances have reduced the need for workers.

Most of the microchips produced in the United States are highly complex. The success of these chips depends chiefly on their speed and flexibility. Meeting both of these goals requires smaller individual components, which are now measured in nanometers (one millionth of a millimeter). Because the components are so small, it is now impossible for humans to handle chips in production, since these chips are so sensitive to dust and other particles. As a result, there has been a decline in semiconductor processor employment for many years, despite a strong domestic industry. As technology advances, the decline in employment is expected to continue.

Jobseekers can expect competition for these positions, in response to the rapid decline in employment. Nonetheless, some jobs will open up due to the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Prospects will be best for applicants with associate degrees and experience in high-tech manufacturing. Like most manufacturing industries, the semiconductor industry is highly sensitive to economic downturns.

Despite competition for these jobs, however, people who are interested in this type of work should be aware that the duties of semiconductor processors closely resemble those of other high-tech manufacturing jobs. Many of the skills learned in an associate degree or technical school program -- as well as on the job -- are transferable to other occupations.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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