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Microsystems Engineers Career

Career Description

Research, design, develop, or test microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices.

What Job Titles Microsystems Engineers Might Have

  • Process Engineer
  • Product Design Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Radio Frequency Design Engineer (RF Design Engineer)

What Microsystems Engineers Do

  • Create schematics and physical layouts of integrated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) components or packaged assemblies consistent with process, functional, or package constraints.
  • Investigate characteristics such as cost, performance, or process capability of potential microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device designs, using simulation or modeling software.
  • Create or maintain formal engineering documents, such as schematics, bills of materials, components or materials specifications, or packaging requirements.
  • Conduct analyses addressing issues such as failure, reliability, or yield improvement.
  • Plan or schedule engineering research or development projects involving microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.
  • Propose product designs involving microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, considering market data or customer requirements.
  • Develop formal documentation for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, including quality assurance guidance, quality control protocols, process control checklists, data collection, or reporting.
  • Communicate operating characteristics or performance experience to other engineers or designers for training or new product development purposes.
  • Evaluate materials, fabrication methods, joining methods, surface treatments, or packaging to ensure acceptable processing, performance, cost, sustainability, or availability.
  • Refine final microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design to optimize design for target dimensions, physical tolerances, or processing constraints.
  • Conduct harsh environmental testing, accelerated aging, device characterization, or field trials to validate devices, using inspection tools, testing protocols, peripheral instrumentation, or modeling and simulation software.
  • Develop or file intellectual property and patent disclosure or application documents related to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, products, or systems.
  • Conduct or oversee the conduct of prototype development or microfabrication activities to ensure compliance to specifications and promote effective production processes.
  • Conduct experimental or virtual studies to investigate characteristics and processing principles of potential microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.
  • Devise microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) production methods, such as integrated circuit fabrication, lithographic electroform modeling, or micromachining.
  • Develop or validate specialized materials characterization procedures, such as thermal withstand, fatigue, notch sensitivity, abrasion, or hardness tests.
  • Validate fabrication processes for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), using statistical process control implementation, virtual process simulations, data mining, or life testing.
  • Demonstrate miniaturized systems that contain components such as microsensors, microactuators, or integrated electronic circuits fabricated on silicon or silicon carbide wafers.
  • Manage new product introduction projects to ensure effective deployment of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices or applications.
  • Conduct acceptance tests, vendor-qualification protocols, surveys, audits, corrective-action reviews, or performance monitoring of incoming materials or components to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Develop or implement microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processing tools, fixtures, gages, dies, molds, or trays.
  • Develop customer documentation, such as performance specifications, training manuals, or operating instructions.
  • Identify, procure, or develop test equipment, instrumentation, or facilities for characterization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) applications.
  • Develop or validate product-specific test protocols, acceptance thresholds, or inspection tools for quality control testing or performance measurement.
  • Oversee operation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication or assembly equipment, such as handling, singulation, assembly, wire-bonding, soldering, or package sealing.

What Microsystems Engineers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Microsystems Engineers Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Microsystems Engineers Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $97,300

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.