Jobs with a future

European semiconductor manufacturers and their suppliers are suffering from an increasing shortage of skilled workers. The EU project METIS analysed which profiles are particularly in demand. Skilled workers are sought for both production and development departments. We present the most frequently sought job profiles.

  • Process Engineer
  • Maintenance Engineer/Maintainer
  • Robotics Engineer
  • Design Engineer (Chip Design)
  • Process Engineer
  • Equipment Engineer
  • Software Engineer & Developer
  • Test Engineer
  • Test Technician
  • Head of department a (micro-)electronics company
  • Application engineer
  • Operator
  • Materials engineer
  • Computer Scientist
  • Quality Engineer

Do you know what the most sought-after soft skills are in the high-tech industry?

According to a survey in our European funding project METIS:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership quality

Process engineer

Process engineers take care of ongoing processes in companies. They develop concepts to document and optimise them. To do this, they develop specific process models and use them to check the efficiency and effectiveness of the company's internal processes.

What skills should you have?
You work independently and carefully, can think analytically and are consistent.

Educational background (training/studies)

Process engineers complete an engineering degree programme with a Bachelor of Engineering or a Master of Engineering.


Interview Process Engineer | GlobalFoundries

"What I really appreciate about my job is that you work with many different departments and people every day. It's fun to solve new challenges together. Our team is just great because we all pull together. We research and develop new technologies and materials here and I enjoy working on topics where the solution is not clear and we first have to research the causes. I find it fascinating how many things have to fit together before you can change a process. No two days are the same! Learning something new every day excites me and gives me a lot of pleasure."

Nadine Seifarth, Principal Engineer Integration Engineering at GlobalFoundries


Maintenance Technician/Maintainer

Maintenance technicians are responsible for the regular maintenance and inspection of technical equipment and systems, machines and plants. Their goal is to ensure that they work as reliably and efficiently as possible. In this way, they ensure that production and delivery deadlines are met.

What skills should you have?
You are a team player, have a very good mechanical understanding as well as interpersonal and communication skills. You are willing to work in shifts and have a good command of English.

Educational background (training/studies)
Dual training as an industrial maintenance mechanic, training as a maintenance and service technician in mechanical engineering or comparable vocational training in the technical field; state-certified technician or master craftsman in a technical field; skilled worker training and several years of professional experience in the maintenance of complex systems.

Interview Maintenance Technician | GlobalFoundries

"The job as a maintenance technician in the semiconductor industry can be described as a 'Who's Who' of mechatronics. It has pretty much everything to offer, from working with state-of-the-art robotics, networking and computer technology, to high vacuum, to laser technology. I particularly like the variety in my day-to-day work, which is characterised by close collaboration with engineers and suppliers, as well as a lot of independent work." 

Sven Mager, Principal Technician Equipment Engineering at GlobalFoundries

Robotics Engineer

Through robotic systems, many processes in industries and factories run fully automatically. The robotics engineer develops these control processes. They develop cognitive systems and thus create the basis for humans and machines to communicate with each other.

What skills should you bring with you?
You are interested in technology and computer science, you like interdisciplinary thinking and you are communicative.

Educational background (education/studies)
Bachelor's or diploma degree in robotics

Interview Robotics Engineer | Infineon

"Robots are now indispensable in our highly automated manufacturing. I love to do research. As a robotics engineer, I can pursue this passion, put new findings straight into practice and directly observe how the robots react." 

Feryel Zoghlami, Senior Engineer Sensor Fusion at Infineon's Development Center

Design Engineer (Chip Design)

Design engineers create integrated microelectronic circuits and systems for silicon chips. Such a design usually starts with a circuit diagram or a digital behavioural description and is led via synthesis, simulations and verification to the layout, for which special design software is used. The layout in data form (tape-out) finally serves as the basis for manufacturing the microchips in a wafer fab. The individual development steps consist of specification (from the application) to tape-out and, after chip production, to testing/characterisation, packaging and finally support for application integration. Depending on the company, the task also includes research, e.g. on novel component and circuit concepts or design methodologies.

What skills should you bring with you?
You are interested in global and technical topics of the future, have a high affinity for modern electronic devices and their hardware, are willing to contribute your own ideas, value accuracy in your work and are a team player.

Educational background (training/studies)
University degree, e.g. in electrical engineering, microelectronics, information (systems) technology, physics, e.g. at one of the Saxon colleges and universities.


Interview Design Engineer | Fraunhofer

"When I dive into the microcosm of a layout, it can be compared to a chess game: I have to think about every move, every single step I make, and weigh up what the consequences will be. The most exciting moment for me is when my layout is realised on a chip - when I see that what I have thought about before actually works. This magic of technology fascinates me."

Dirk Schlebusch, System Design Engineer for Microdisplays and Sensors at Fraunhofer FEP

Process technician

As a process technician, you take responsibility for safeguarding processes in ongoing production. This also includes the documentation and evaluation of defect density controls. You also support engineers in carrying out process investigations and production trials.

What skills should you bring with you?
You are good at organising, attach importance to quality, are careful and responsible.

Educational background (training/studies)
Completed technical vocational training, ideally in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics or mechatronics; experience in the use of statistical software/process control

Interview Process Engineer | GlobalFoundries

"What I like about my job is the responsibility that my team and I have to ensure that our customers receive their order in the desired quality, quantity and at the right time at the end of production. I especially like that as a woman at GlobalFoundries, I have a variety of opportunities to work under shift conditions while balancing my job with my family life. My active work within the GlobalWomen organisation is a matter close to my heart, with which I would like to encourage women in particular to choose a technical profession and show them that it offers a lot of fun in addition to a wide range of training opportunities."

Djamila Steinich, Sr Technician Prodctn Planning & Control at GlobalFoundries

Equipment engineer

Equipment engineers develop solutions for non-standard problems on production lines. They create maintenance strategies and maintenance setups for production plants and their subsystems and plan the implementation of these, thereby achieving long-term plant stability. In addition, an equipment engineer is responsible for the coordination and implementation of plant installations or expansions in their area.

What skills should you have?
You have a quick grasp, an understanding of technical interrelationships and enjoy communicating and exchanging knowledge in (often intercultural) teams, and are sometimes willing to work in shifts.

Educational background (education/studies)

Studies in a technical field and preferably initial practical experience (e.g. through previous vocational training or student activities); state-certified technician or master craftsman with several years of relevant professional experience.


Interview Equipment Engineer | Bosch

"Due to the large number of technical systems that are supervised by an equipment engineer, there are always new exciting situations. It is particularly interesting that potential improvements and further measures are discussed at the desk and then actively implemented at the plant and in the team. Working as an equipment engineer holds new topics almost every day."

Patrick Mülverstedt, Equipment Engineer Robert Bosch Semiconductor Manufacturing Dresden GmbH

Interview Equipment Engineer | GlobalFoundries

"What I like about my job is that I can actively use my professional skills and showcase my strengths. I am part of something special, whereby I can make my own decisions and thus facilitate or improve my work area for me and all the staff. In the course of my work, I get to know many new people, also from other countries, and can thus broaden my own horizons."

Jens Förster, Principal Engineer Equipment Engineering at GlobalFoundries

Software Engineer & Developer

Software engineers design comprehensive software solutions; they can also be called architects of software systems. They are problem solvers, optimisers and create complex algorithms. They also examine new software requirements for their feasibility and complexity or develop new software for systems.

What skills should you have?
You should be able to think analytically and abstractly, communicate well, create, test and troubleshoot codes, and be proficient in various programming languages.

Educational background (education/studies)
Completed engineering studies with a focus on software design and software development (computer science, engineering computer science/technical computer science, technical cybernetics).


Test engineer

Test engineers examine the quality of a product during the entire production cycle. They ensure the reliability of the product. They also check the materials for functionality, durability, safety or speed. They also identify technical problems and fix them.

What skills should you have?
You can think and work analytically and conceptually, have a high level of problem-solving skills, work in a structured manner and are a team player.

Educational background (education/studies)
Successfully completed degree, preferably in computer science or electrical engineering or comparable training with at least five years of professional experience.

Test technician

Test technicians test products and devices for faults. They diagnose, interpret and document the data obtained in order to rectify equipment faults and improve testing processes. Updating and improving existing systems and repairing or replacing faulty equipment are also part of the job.

What skills should you have?

You can communicate well, have organisational skills, are attentive and have an eye for detail.

Educational background (training/studies)
Training as a state-certified technician or university studies in the fields of mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, mechatronics or electrical engineering


Head of department in a (micro-)electronics company

The head of department has a leadership function internally and externally. He is responsible for the strategic management of his department. As a department head, you are not only a team leader, but also act as an interface to your superior.

What skills should you have?
You are reliable, empathetic, have a structured way of working and are willing to take on responsibility.

Educational background (training/studies)
Completed training in a special field, coupled with several years of professional experience or studies in economics or engineering.


Application engineer

As an application engineer, you work on the design, development and distribution of software applications. In essence, you ensure that the product is adapted to customer and user requirements. You coordinate the entire process from the idea to the test.

What skills should you bring with you?
You are flexible, can communicate well and have technical understanding.

Educational background (training/studies)
Degree in IT (e.g. IT management, computer science or business informatics) or industrial engineering; completed vocational training with technical focus



Operators are specialists for hardware and software installations. They ensure that data connections can be established between the servers so that, for example, the control of production machines in an industrial company runs without problems.

What skills should you have?
You have good judgement and can think, assess and evaluate analytically.

Educational background (training/studies)

Training as an operations technician; vocational training/retraining as a microtechnologist, precision mechanic or comparable professional experience in the field of microsystems technology and precision engineering; completed training as a production specialist; professional experience as a machine and plant operator.


Materials engineer

Materials engineers develop, test and characterise construction materials. They see themselves as half scientist, half engineer. It is also their job to find new materials with specific properties.

What skills should you have?
You can negotiate well, are independent and a team player, and have an interest in and understanding of science.

Educational background (training/studies)
Engineering or materials science studies; engineering studies with links to mechanics, design engineering, production engineering or process engineering.


Computer scientist

A computer scientist processes large amounts of data from various sources and extracts useful information for business management. Using special algorithms, they can convert raw data into usable data and use it to describe insights and predictions for the company.

What skills should you bring with you?

You like working with data, are open to new technologies, committed and reliable.

Educational background (education/studies)

Bachelor's degree in business informatics, mathematical-technical software development, computer science or mathematics with a minor in computer science; Master's degree in data science or completed specialist training in the IT field


Quality engineer

The quality engineer monitors and ensures product quality and accompanies quality assurance processes, taking into account the factors of time and cost. His or her daily tasks include the evaluation of service reports and the definition of focal points so that measures can be initiated to improve product quality.

What skills should you bring with you?
You are cooperative and communicative, a team player, flexible, solution-oriented and able to deal with conflicts.

Educational background (training/studies)

Studies or training as a technician with a focus on information technology or business administration; comparable qualification with specialisation or further training in the area of quality management.