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EE please give me advices

  1. Aug 17, 2013 #1
    Hello guys, I am majoring in EE and looking to work in semiconductor industry.
    Looks really fun

    0. What is the best career path to 6 figures and more, I like engineering but I want to make quite big sum of money right of college, because i am trying to start up a business?
    1. What is the name of job position that deals with semiconductors ?
    2. What would your advice be for a fresh EE student

    I will think of more questions based on the replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2013 #2
    I am an EE and I work in the Semiconductor industry.

    0. If you're wanting to make 6 figures right out of school with a BS it isn't going to happen. Salaries have been flat in the semiconductor industry in the United States for the last 10 or 15 years. A lot of the work is going overseas and lots of H1B workers are holding salaries down. If you're not in the United States I do know that salaries are going up fast in India and in the Far East, but they are still significantly below salaries in the United States. I don't know specifics about Europe but typically European engineers get a somewhat lower base salary than engineers in the US, but they have better vacation and benefits and the like.

    You'll need to be really good to get a six figure salary with a BS. If you're a good engineer with an MS or a Ph.D. you should get up there pretty quick if you're in California. It will take longer elsewhere (but cost of living is lower elsewhere...).

    The best career path for making a good salary is probably IC designer. Analog designers get a bit more than digital designers because they are somewhat harder to find. It's a tough job to get, though. For the most part the entry-level degree is an MS and a Ph.D. is preferred for a lot of the leading edge work. You'll also need an internship or a thesis in the area. The days where companies are prepared to train young engineers are long gone.

    1. All kinds of jobs deal with semiconductors. If you want to work for a manufacturer or a fabless design house the jobs are: IC Designer, Logic Designer, Verification Engineer, Product Engineer, Test Engineer, Application Engineer, Process Engineer, Sales Engineer, Software Engineer, CAD Engineer and so on.

    2. Best advice is to follow your technical passions, not money. IC Design (and most other jobs associated with semiconductors) is very challenging, and the industry is very fast-paced with a lot of pressure. If you're going after cash there are probably better ways to get it. The people in finance and marketing typically get more money than engineers after a few years away. If you aren't excited about the work, you probably won't be able to push yourself to be the best you can be, and then you may end up washing out of the industry (happens all the time).

    That said, IC Design is the most exciting, fascinating thing I have ever done. I love it. I jump out of bed every morning to solve interesting technical problems and I get so much satisfaction from building real, physical objects that have been used by millions of people. It's a great life if you enjoy that type of thing. My salary hasn't get pace with inflation over the past 10 years, but I don't care. The work is the juice. As Steve Jobs said, "The journey is the reward".
  4. Aug 18, 2013 #3
    Thank you for responding. I love working with my hands and think critically ,think over my problem and come up with solution. I am the handy man in my family, i fix anything and everything myself.

    I am passionate about working with hands and working outside. But I do want to make a lot of money right of college around 80k for starters would be great.

    What you think EE can do with their hands with BS and earning around 80k?
    Make working overseas as someone? I do not mind relocating and living in harsh condition I want to as much hand experience as I can .
  5. Aug 18, 2013 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I think you need to turn this around. You are asking for about twice what the average STEM student with a BS gets. Why are you worth twice as much to an employer? When you can answer that question, then we can navigate a path.
  6. Aug 18, 2013 #5
    Well my friend makes 80k out of college as EE graduated last month
  7. Aug 18, 2013 #6
    Sweet! You have an anecdote! That overturns years of survey data on average salaries for STEM graduates.

    Sarcasm aside, your friend did quite well. Certainly a sigma or two above the mean.

    Must engineers don't work with their hands, but you could look into equipment installation and maintenance.
  8. Aug 24, 2013 #7

    If all you really wanted was money, you should have avoided taking all those difficult EE classes and taken just about any other degree out there. Finance and accounting is one way to do it.

    As far as promotion opportunities go, Engineers have a tendency to not be found in board rooms or governance. It's not that you can't make a good living. You can live quite comfortably. The question is what are you going to have to do to get there.

    For engineers fresh out of college, typical salaries are around $55k +/- regional adjustments for cost of living. To do better than that, you need to have a lot of experience with something. After about two or three years of experience you can make a lot more. The key is making sure you pick up documented certification and obvious experience.

    After about 10 years, you may get to a six figure income, but the rate at which salaries rise after that tends to fall off if you remain in engineering.

    The problem is that engineers usually make really poor managers and managers make poor engineers. Somewhere along the way you'll have to make a decision on whether you want to get in to management. Only then will you stand a chance of making your salary head toward executive levels.

    All that said, to improve your chances at promotion (and greater salaries), I strongly recommend you take the EIT exam while that basic engineering stuff is still fresh in your head. With a few documented years of experience and several sign-offs from other PE certificate holders (look in to your local engineering societies or clubs), you too can join that club.

    You don't have to use the PE, if you don't want to. It is a very significant liability. However, for reasons I still don't quite understand myself, people nearly worship the certification. Believe me, it will help out your job prospects a lot.
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