Trades Career: Micro Electronics Manufacturer
Every electronic device is comprised of many smaller components, and each of these components needs to be assembled by either a machine or a human being. These small electronics are called microelectronics, and are especially important for high-tech devices including smartphones, laptop and desktop computers, cars and trucks, and video game consoles — to name only a few.
Because microelectronics are so important to our lives, there are many career opportunities in the micro electronic manufacturing industry. Micro electronic manufacturers are tradespeople who use machines and tools to build or assemble tiny electronic components. They can either operate and monitor the large automatic or semi-automatic manufacturing equipment that makes these components, or perform manual assembly themselves.
Most micro electronics manufacturers will work within a factory, whether it is a small independent technology company, or a large high-volume mass-production factory. This means most of the time, you will be working indoors and in a clean room environment. These jobs may involve physical labour such as lifting, bending, pushing, and pulling, and they require strong manual dexterity to learn how to use the tools and perform delicate assembly work. Micro electronics manufacturers also require a strong attention to detail, as many assembly tasks involve fine details, following complex instructions, and being able to test and troubleshoot machinery and assembled components.
This job involves tasks such as soldering, chemical etching, working with microscopes and magnifiers, baking components, troubleshooting defective devices, repairing or replacing defective components, and performing quality control assessments.
In terms of education, while having a highschool degree is required, whether you also need post-secondary education will depend on whether it is required for where you want to work. Most places will only need on-the-job training or an apprenticeship leading to certification. However, some companies or specializations will also require some college or trade school training courses in electronics theory, component testing, fabrication and assembly, or electronics design.
The electronics manufacturing industry offers dependable careers with great salaries. Entry level positions start at minimum wage, usually $12 to $15 per hour, up to $40 to $50 per hour with experience or a high skill level or complex specialization. This makes for a yearly salary starting at $35,000 up to around $65,000. Most factory positions will offer regular hours arranged on shifts, though while usually shifts will be during regular daytime hours, there may be jobs that require evening, overnight, or weekend shifts, as well as overtime hours.