Electronic-component processors are responsible for preparing materials for electronic component manufacturing, and for operating the equipment that manufactures those components. They also complete any necessary finish work after the equipment has produced the components. The equipment may bake ceramic materials at extremely high temperatures, shape epoxy or aluminum to form component housings, or coat the component surfaces with silicon or epoxy. Electronic-component processors measure and mix together materials, clean internal parts, and imprint the company’s logo using stamping or etching equipment.
Some processors are responsible for the adjusting the machinery. Others inspect and test components after they are produced to check for defects. Processors usually count and sort the components when they are finished and maintain detailed production records. Some workers specialize in one operation, while others perform many different tasks. They often are directed by supervisors to switch between separate duties. Processors work in modern, well-lighted, air-conditioned environments. The work is highly repetitive and fast-paced, and they are often required to sit or stand for long periods of time.
Electronic-component processors need to have excellent eyesight, manual dexterity, and color vision. They need to be detail-oriented and able to follow complicated directions from supervisors. They should be able to sit or stand for extensive periods of time (sometimes the entire day). They must be able to perform the same task over and over.
Electronic-component processors earn a median hourly wage of $13.50. They typically work Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week. Some may work night and swing shifts, depending on the employer. They usually earn time and a half for overtime. Benefits may include holidays, paid vacation and sick leave, and health and life insurance. Some companies also offer profit sharing, stock-option plans, and bonus programs.
Training and Education
Most electronic-component processor positions require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers look for individuals who can follow detailed written and oral instructions. Experience working as an electronics assembler can be advantageous. Programs that offer training in this occupation can be found at technical colleges, private vocational-technical institutes, and community and junior colleges. Those who show ability and skill can advance to positions such as electronics tester or quality control inspector. Those with formal education can advance further to positions such as electronics technician. Those who show outstanding promise may be promoted to lead-level and supervisory-level positions. Some employers sponsor formal training programs to enable production workers to advance to the technician level.
Employment of electronic-component processors is expected to grow more slowly than the average. This is because the number of jobs is quite small compared to the number of jobs in other sectors of the electronics industry. Due to employee turnover, those with training and experience should be able to find positions. Those who have little in the way of training and experience may find it difficult to secure positions.