Recognized Skill Standards
May 13, 2008
The Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Technician skill standards were developed in 2000 as a national effort by the Maricopa Advanced Technology Center with major funding from the National Science Foundation. Companies whose personnel contributed to the development of the skill standards include AMD, Texas Instruments, IBM, Intel, and Applied Materials.
Importance to Texas
The Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Technician skill standards provide a foundation for advanced manufacturing educational programs and are critical to prepare a highly skilled, highly technical workforce in the Texas semiconductor manufacturing industry.
The Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing industry is one of six industries included in the Texas Industry Cluster Initiative, which is leading the state toward realizing a vision to build the future economy of the state by focusing on strengthening competitive advantage.
According to the website www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com, Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit and has been a global leader in the semiconductor industry since the 1950s. Texas currently accounts for approximately 11.5 percent of the world's silicon processing capacity, according to the University of Texas at Austin's IC2 Institute. In 2007, Texas nationally ranked second for semiconductor manufacturing employment and overall high-tech employment, and saw the largest high tech employment gain in the nation, according to TechAmerica's (formerly AeA) Cyberstates 2009. Texas is home to one of the world's top five chip makers (Texas Instruments) and one of the semiconductor industry's leading research consortiums (SEMATECH). Major Texas semiconductor employers include Samsung, Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Freescale Semiconductor, Advanced Micro Devices, and Applied Materials.
Semiconductor manufacturing equipment technicians ensure that the manufacturing system fulfills customer and business requirements. They install and repair equipment on the semiconductor manufacturing floor. According to Texas Workforce Commission labor market information data projections for the period between 2006 and 2016, industrial machinery mechanics earn an average hourly wage of $20.52. The occupation is expected to grow steadily but it is also expected to have a strong requirement to fill openings created each year to replace workers who leave the occupation either through new employment or through retirement.
Texas Instruments requested on behalf of the membership of the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) advisory committee of Richland College and Collin County Community College that the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Technician skill standards be recognized. The skill standards were recognized on November 12, 2003.
The skill standards’ recognition was extended on May 13, 2008 at the request of the Maricopa Advanced Technology Center, based on continual use and review by industry and training providers as assurances of the skill standards’ ongoing validity and accuracy.