Summary Report for:
17-2199.06 - Microsystems Engineers
Research, design, develop, or test microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices.
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
- Communicate operating characteristics or performance experience to other engineers or designers for training or new product development purposes.
- Conduct acceptance tests, vendor-qualification protocols, surveys, audits, corrective-action reviews, or performance monitoring of incoming materials or components to ensure conformance to specifications.
- Conduct analyses addressing issues such as failure, reliability, or yield improvement.
- Conduct experimental or virtual studies to investigate characteristics and processing principles of potential microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.
- 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.
- Conduct or oversee the conduct of prototype development or microfabrication activities to ensure compliance to specifications and promote effective production processes.
- Consider environmental issues when proposing product designs involving microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.
- Create or maintain formal engineering documents, such as schematics, bills of materials, components or materials specifications, or packaging requirements.
- Create schematics and physical layouts of integrated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) components or packaged assemblies consistent with process, functional, or package constraints.
- Demonstrate miniaturized systems that contain components such as microsensors, microactuators, or integrated electronic circuits fabricated on silicon or silicon carbide wafers.
- Design or develop energy products using nanomaterials or nanoprocesses, such as micro-nano machining.
- Design or develop industrial air quality microsystems, such as carbon dioxide fixing devices.
- Design or develop sensors to reduce the energy or resource requirements to operate appliances, such as washing machines or dishwashing machines.
- Design sensors or switches that require little or no power to operate for environmental monitoring or industrial metering applications.
- Develop customer documentation, such as performance specifications, training manuals, or operating instructions.
- Develop formal documentation for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, including quality assurance guidance, quality control protocols, process control checklists, data collection, or reporting.
- Develop or file intellectual property and patent disclosure or application documents related to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, products, or systems.
- Develop or implement microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processing tools, fixtures, gages, dies, molds, or trays.
- Develop or validate product-specific test protocols, acceptance thresholds, or inspection tools for quality control testing or performance measurement.
- Develop or validate specialized materials characterization procedures, such as thermal withstand, fatigue, notch sensitivity, abrasion, or hardness tests.
- Devise microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) production methods, such as integrated circuit fabrication, lithographic electroform modeling, or micromachining.
- Evaluate materials, fabrication methods, joining methods, surface treatments, or packaging to ensure acceptable processing, performance, cost, sustainability, or availability.
- Identify, procure, or develop test equipment, instrumentation, or facilities for characterization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) applications.
- Investigate characteristics such as cost, performance, or process capability of potential microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device designs, using simulation or modeling software.
- Manage new product introduction projects to ensure effective deployment of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices or applications.
- Oversee operation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication or assembly equipment, such as handling, singulation, assembly, wire-bonding, soldering, or package sealing.
- 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.
- Refine final microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design to optimize design for target dimensions, physical tolerances, or processing constraints.
- Research or develop emerging microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems to convert nontraditional energy sources into power, such as ambient energy harvesters that convert environmental vibrations into usable energy.
- Validate fabrication processes for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), using statistical process control implementation, virtual process simulations, data mining, or life testing.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Ammeters — Picoammeters
- Analytical balances — Electronic balances
- Bench refractometers or polarimeters — Polarimeters
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Inspection microscopes; Optical compound microscopes
- Calibrated resistance measuring equipment — Resistivity measurement systems
- Capacitance meters — Inductance capacitance resistance LCR meters
- Chemical or gas sterilizers — Ultraviolet ozone cleaners
- Clock timers — Countdown timers
- Drying cabinets or ovens — Critical point dryers
- Electrogravimetry analyzers — Electrochemical analyzers
- Electronic measuring probes — Mechanical probe stations
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Laminar flow flume hoods
- Heated walk in environmental or growth chambers — Thermal chambers
- Hydraulic press frames — Hydraulic presses
- Impedance meters — Four point probes
- Infrared spectrometers — Extractive Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
- Isolation glove boxes
- Laboratory evaporators — Metal evaporators
- Laboratory hotplates — Hotplates
- Laboratory safety furnaces — Oxidation furnaces
- Level generators — Pulse generators
- Modulation meters — Time interval analyzers
- Multimeters — Digital multimeters
- Network analyzers
- Personal computers
- pH meters
- Scanning electron microscopes — Scanning electron microscopes SEM
- Scanning probe microscopes — Atomic force microscopes AFM
- Semiconductor process systems — Inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etchers ICP-RIE; Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition PECVD systems; Thin film deposition systems; Wet chemical etching systems (see all 20 examples)
- Semiconductor testers — Curve tracers; Parametric testers; Semiconductor parameter analyzers; Thin film measurement systems
- Signal generators
- Spectrometers — Raman scattering spectroscopes
- Spectrophotometers — Fluorescence spectrophotometers
- Surface tension measuring instruments — Contact angle measurement systems
- Surface testers — Profilometers
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Rapid thermal annealers RTA
- Thickness measuring devices — Ellipsometers; Spectroscopic ellipsometers
- Tube furnaces
- Tumblers or polishers — Chemical mechanical polishing CMP systems
- Ultra pure water systems — Deionized water systems
- Vibration testers — Vibration measurement systems
- X ray diffraction equipment — X ray diffractometers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Simulation software; The MathWorks MATLAB; Very high speed integrated circuit VHSIC hardware description language VHDL simulation software; WinSpice (see all 42 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Dassault Systemes SolidWorks software; MEMSCAP MEMS Pro; Xcircuit (see all 11 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Development environment software — C; Microsoft Visual Basic; National Instruments LabVIEW
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
- Industrial control software — Statistical process control SPC software
- Internet browser software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Apple Macintosh OS; Microsoft Windows; UNIX
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Detailed Work Activities
- Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
- Develop technical methods or processes.
- Document technical design details.
- Schedule operational activities.
- Direct design or development activities.
- Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
- Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
- Design alternative energy systems.
- Create graphical representations of mechanical equipment.
- Design industrial processing systems.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Design electromechanical equipment or systems.
- Prepare proposal documents.
- Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
- Operate precision equipment to control microscopic or nanoscopic processes.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Prepare procedural documents.
- Create models of engineering designs or methods.
- Devise research or testing protocols.
- Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
- Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
- Design systems to reduce harmful emissions.
- Research engineering applications of emerging technologies.
- Conduct validation tests of equipment or processes.
- Design energy production or management equipment or systems.
- Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
- Design micro- or nano-scale materials, devices, or systems.
- Inspect operational processes.
- Research industrial processes or operations.
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IRC
- 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.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Engineers, All Other.
Employment data collected from Engineers, All Other.
Industry data collected from Engineers, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$45.31 hourly, $94,240 annual|
|Employment (2014)||137,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||33,000|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.