Careers in Advanced Manufacturing: How to Get Started in Semiconductors

Now more than ever, people depend on technology. Many people’s daily tasks have been outsourced to tech, whether it’s using a map app on the phone to navigate from Point A to Point B, ordering a car, take-out, or movie online, and staying in touch with loved ones.

The ever-increasing demand for tech means that the number of job opportunities is increasing as well, as are training programs to prepare people to work in those fields. The U.S. government has introduced new pathways to semiconductor and advanced manufacturing jobs, and many schools, including Orange Technical College, are offering career certificate programs to meet demand. 

If you’re interested in advanced manufacturing and technology, learn more about how to get started in the semiconductor industry.

What Are Semiconductors?

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, semiconductors are “essential components of electronic devices.” 

Semiconductors have many applications and are often responsible for powering health care, clean energy, transportation, communications, military systems, and computing. They’re made from elements such as silicon or germanium, which have been adulterated to change their conductivity. 

Semiconductors are all around. In fact, it’s now hard to imagine life without them. Without semiconductors, there wouldn’t be any TVs, radios, smartphones, computers, advanced medical equipment, or video games.

Nearly one-quarter of a million people in the U.S. work in the semiconductor industry. Semiconductors themselves are a top-five U.S. export, coming behind airplanes, refined oil, and cars.

What Are Different Types of Semiconductor Jobs?

So, what do those quarter of a million people who work in the semiconductor industry do? Plenty. There are various jobs available in the sector, including engineering, manufacturing, and quality assurance. 

The skills you need for each type of job depends on the job type and your career path. 

How Do I Get Started in the Semiconductor Industry?

Today, there’s ample opportunity for getting started in the semiconductor industry. While some roles may require a four-year degree in engineering, efforts are underway to fast-track entry into the field, due to ongoing demand and need for skilled workers. The U.S. Department of Labor is holding an Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Sprint to help companies find qualified workers. 

Orange Technical College’s Tech Express program, in partnership with Valencia College, is another way to get started in advanced manufacturing and semiconductors. The mechatronics and machining technologies career certificates are both eligible for the program, which provides allows you to build on your skills, earn college credit, and train for the high-paying jobs of the future.

Why Work in the Semiconductor Industry?

The semiconductor industry is booming, and the earnings potential and number of jobs available reflects that. The Semiconductor Industry Association reports that the industry is the largest contributor to labor productivity growth in the U.S. 

Eighteen states, including Florida, are home to semiconductor facilities, but jobs in the field are available in any state. Workers also earn higher-than-average salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that industrial engineering technicians have a median salary of $61,210, nearly 50% higher than median salary for all jobs. 

If the news about semiconductors has you feeling excited for your future, don’t wait. Contact Orange Technical College today to learn about career certificate and apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing.