Microsystem engineering technicians collaborate with micro-system engineers in the development of microsystems or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, which can be integrated in mechanical, optical, acoustic, and electronic products. Microsystem engineering technicians are responsible for building, testing, and maintaining the microsystems.
Excludes microelectronics engineering technician.
Includes people using materials such as quartz, plastics and ceramics.
The following job titles also refer to microsystem engineering technician:
technician in microsystems
microelectromechanical systems technologist
micro-system engineering technician
microelectromechanical systems technician
technician in microsystem engineering
microsystem engineering assistant
An associate’s degree is generally the minimum required to work as a microsystem engineering technician.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Microsystem engineering technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Microsystem engineering technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to microsystem engineering technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of microsystem engineering technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of microsystem engineering technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of microsystem engineering technician.
- Design drawings: Understand design drawings detailing the design of products, tools, and engineering systems.
- Microsystem test procedures: The methods of testing the quality, accuracy, and performance of microsystems and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and their materials and components before, during, and after the building of the systems, such as parametric tests and burn-in tests.
- Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
- Microassembly: The assembly of nano, micro or mesoscale systems and components with dimensions between 1 µm to 1 mm. Because of the need for precision on a microscale, micro assemblies require reliable visual alignment equipment, such as ion beam imaging systems and stereo electronic microscopes, as well as precision tools and machines, such as microgrippers. The microsystems are assembled according to techniques of doping, thin films, etching, bonding, microlithography, and polishing.
- Microelectromechanical systems: Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are miniaturised electromechanical systems made using processes of microfabrication. MEMS consist of microsensors, microactuators, microstructures, and microelectronics. MEMS can be used in a range of appliances, such as ink jet printer heads, digital light processors, gyroscopes in smart phones, accelerometers for airbags, and miniature microphones.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of microsystem engineering technician.
- Wear cleanroom suit: Wear garments appropriate for environments that require a high level of cleanliness to control the level of contamination.
- Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
- Test microelectromechanical systems: Test microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using appropriate equipment and testing techniques, such as thermal shock tests, thermal cycling tests, and burn-in tests. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
- Assemble microelectromechanical systems: Build microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using microscopes, tweezers, or pick-and-place robots. Slice substrates from single wafers and bond components onto the wafer surface through soldering and bonding techniques, such as eutectic soldering and silicon fusion bonding (SFB). Bond the wires through special wire bonding techniques such as thermocompression bonding, and hermetically seal the system or device through mechanical sealing techniques or micro shells. Seal and encapsulate the MEMS in vacuum.
- Read assembly drawings: Read and interpret drawings listing all the parts and subassemblies of a certain product. The drawing identifies the different components and materials and provides instructions on how to assemble a product.
- Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
- Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
- Align components: Align and lay out components in order to put them together correctly according to blueprints and technical plans.
- Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
- Set tolerances: Align tolerances while inserting and placing different parts to avoid tolerance discrepancy and misfits in assembly.
- Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
- Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.
- Fasten components: Fasten components together according to blueprints and technical plans in order to create subassemblies or finished products.
- Assist scientific research: Assist engineers or scientists with conducting experiments, performing analysis, developing new products or processes, constructing theory, and quality control.
- Package microelectromechanical systems: Integrate the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) into microdevices through assembly, joining, fastening, and encapsulation techniques. Packaging allows for the support and protection of the integrated circuits, printed circuit boards, and associate wire bonds.
- Prepare production prototypes: Prepare early models or prototypes in order to test concepts and replicability possibilities. Create prototypes to assess for pre-production tests.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of microsystem engineering technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Precision mechanics: Precision or fine mechanics is a subdiscipline in engineering that focuses on the design and development of smaller precision machines.
- Firmware: Firmware is a software program with a read-only memory (ROM) and a set of instructions that is permanently inscribed on a hardware device. Firmware is commonly used in electronic systems such as computers, mobile phones, and digital cameras.
- Moem: Micro-opto-electro-mechanics (MOEM) combines microelectronics, microoptics and micromechanics in the development of MEM devices with optical features, such as optical switches, optical cross-connects, and microbolometers.
- Surface-mount technology: Surface-mount technology or SMT is a method where the electronic components are placed on the surface of the printed circuit board. SMT components attached in this way are usually sensitive, small components such as resistors, transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits.
- Cad software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
- Precision measuring instruments: Instruments used for precision measuring or manufacture, such as micrometers, calipers, gauges, scales, and microscopes.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of microsystem engineering technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Apply soldering techniques: Apply and work with a variety of techniques in the process of soldering, such as soft soldering, silver soldering, induction soldering, resistance soldering, pipe soldering, mechanical and aluminium soldering.
- Monitor machine operations: Observe machine operations and evaluate product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
- Resolve equipment malfunctions: Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.
- Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
- Use cam software: Use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programmes to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
- Integrate new products in manufacturing: Assist with the integration of new systems, products, methods, and components in the production line. Ensure that production workers are properly trained and follow the new requirements.
- Write technical reports: Compose technical customer reports understandable for people without technical background.
- Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
- Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
- Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
- Program firmware: Program permanent software with a read-only memory (ROM) on a hardware device, such as an integrated circuit.
- Operate precision machinery: Operate machinery used for the making of small systems or components with a high level of precision.
- Maintain microelectromechanical systems: Diagnose and detect malfunctions in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and remove, replace, or repair these components when necessary. Execute preventative equipment maintenance tasks, such as storing the components in clean, dust-free, and non-humid spaces.
ISCO group and title
3114 – Electronics engineering technicians