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

For semiconductor processor jobs, employers prefer applicants who have completed an associate degree, often in semiconductor manufacturing technology. However, experience plus completion of a 1-year certificate program in semiconductor technology, offered by some community colleges, may also be sufficient. Some semiconductor technology programs at community colleges include internships at semiconductor fabricating plants. Other applicants may qualify by completing a degree in high-tech manufacturing. Hands-on training is an important part of degree and certificate programs.

To ensure that operators and technicians keep their skills current, employers provide regular on-the-job training. Some employers also provide financial assistance to employees who want to earn an associate or bachelor's degree, especially if the employee is working toward becoming a technician.

Workers advance as they become more comfortable with the equipment and better understand the manufacturing process. Employees train workers for several months, after which they become entry-level operators or technicians. After a few years, as they become more knowledgeable about the operations of the plant, they generally advance to the intermediate level. This entails greater responsibilities. Over time, usually 7 to 10 years, workers may become senior technicians, who lead teams of technicians and work directly with engineers to develop processes in the plant.

People interested in becoming semiconductor processors -- either operators or technicians -- need strong technical skills, an ability to solve problems intuitively, and an ability to work in teams. Mathematics, including statistics, and physical science knowledge are also very useful. Communication skills and an understanding of manufacturing principles are also very important.

Degree Programs
In the United States, the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC) is an organization that has partnered with the Semiconductor Industry Association to provide curriculum as well as faculty training and development for semiconductor manufacturing programs at nearly 100 two- and four-year institutions nationwide. MATEC has developed more than 50 curriculum modules addressing all aspects of semiconductor manufacturing.  If you are seeking an associate degree, check with local 2- or 4-year colleges and universities to see if they offer programs in "Semiconductor Processing Technology."

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

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