Integrated Circuit (IC) Designer Salary
Integrated Circuit Designers in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $94K annually. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Work is enjoyable for Integrated Circuit Designers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Job Description for Integrated Circuit (IC) Designer
Of all technological innovations in the last several decades, few have proven as vital as the integrated circuit. Computational electronics that once required bulky vacuum tubes and acres of space are now made so small that they fit in your pocket. Advances in integrated circuitry and semiconductors are the brain-children of integrated circuit designers; using their expertise in both electronics and computers, the integrated circuit designer builds the framework for the layout of circuitry to perform any manner of tasks, and designs the circuitry to maximize capabilities while minimizing waste heat, inefficiency and other safety issues.Read More...
In a typical environment, the integrated circuit designer will collaborate with other departments to envision their concepts and work to figure out how best to realize them. Using this information, the integrated circuit designer, with the use of computer-aided design software and other tools, maps out the design of the circuitry and tests its efficiency in a virtual environment. When a design works as intended in a virtual environment, it is sent to manufacturing to build physical models of the circuitry. The integrated circuit designer will test these models and make all necessary changes until a final, finished prototype is ready to be sent for active production.
The integrated circuit designer will often draft specification reports and other documentation for the circuitry they have designed. Integrated circuit design is an advanced field - though it is possible for applicants with an Associate's degree to find a position, employment prospects are greatly bolstered with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering or Computer Engineering. Training and experience with CAD and microprocessor architecture are commonly preferred. There are also certificate programs for non-specialized engineering students; applicants must obtain licensure through state examination, and a minimum of four years of work experience in the field is required for most positions.
Integrated Circuit (IC) Designer Tasks
- Design, simulate, synthesize, and verify of RTL code (Verilog/VHDL) for digital sub-systems of system-on-a-chip (SOC) ICs.
- Participate in specification discussion, architecture selection and translate specifications into electrical schematics.
- Use programming languages (C, Perl, TCL etc.) to improve the efficiency of the design and verification tasks.
- Work with Layout Team on place/route and timing closure.
- Design and verify microprocessor based digital systems.
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Popular Skills for Integrated Circuit (IC) Designer
Integrated Circuit Designers note just a narrow range of job skills. Those who have experience with Cadence, Cadence Electronic Design Software, and verilog can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include verilog and Cadence Electronic Design Software. Cadence Electronic Design Software and verilog are also commonly seen together.
Pay by Experience Level for Integrated Circuit (IC) Designer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Integrated Circuit Designers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Professionals with less than five years' experience earn a median of $86K annually, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts report a weighty six-figure median of $104K. For Integrated Circuit Designers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $120K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $151K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.