|Quick Facts: Semiconductor Processors|
|2012 Median Pay||
$33,020 per year
$15.88 per hour
|Entry-Level Education||Associate’s degree|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||21,300|
|Job Outlook, 2012-22||-27% (Decline)|
|Employment Change, 2012-22||-5,800|
Semiconductor processors oversee the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, which are commonly known as integrated circuits or microchips. These microchips are found in all electronic devices—including cell phones, cars, and laptops—and are an important part of modern life.
Microchips must be kept completely clean and free of impurities because the circuitry is so small that a particle of dust can damage it. To ensure this, semiconductor processors work in “clean rooms” that are kept free of contamination. They wear special garments, called “bunny suits,” over their clothes to prevent lint or other particles from contaminating the clean room.
Many employers prefer that semiconductor processors have an associate’s degree in a field such as microelectronics.
The median annual wage for semiconductor processors was $33,020 in May 2012.
Employment of semiconductor processors is projected to decline 27 percent from 2012 to 2022. Although there will be a strong demand for semiconductors in many products, automation at semiconductor factories, known as fabricating plants, is expected to grow, so fewer workers will be needed in this occupation.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of semiconductor processors with similar occupations.
Learn more about semiconductor processors by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.