Information Technology Careers | Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Engineer

Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Electrical, Electronic, and Related Engineering

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $101,619

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $113,906

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Designs and develops integrated circuits used in electronic devices and communications systems. Designs circuitry and builds circuitry frameworks for products and systems.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina36+10.5%
Nationwide1743+5.4%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Verilog: Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language (HDL) used to model electronic systems.
  • VHSIC hardware description language (VHDL): VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language) is a hardware description language used in electronic design automation to describe digital and mixed-signal systems such as field-programmable gate arrays and integrated circuits.
  • Simulation: Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.
  • Computer Engineering: Computer engineering is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer hardware and software.
  • Python: Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Low Power Design: Low-power electronics are electronics that have been designed to use less electric power.
  • Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS): Complementary metaloxidesemiconductor, abbreviated as CMOS /?si?m?s/, is a technology for constructing integrated circuits.
  • Microprocessors: A microprocessor is a computer processor which incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits.
  • Microcontrollers: A microcontroller (or MCU for microcontroller unit) is a small computer on a single integrated circuit.
  • Radio Frequencies: Working experience of Radio Frequencies. Radio frequency (RF) is any of the electromagnetic wave frequencies that lie in the range extending from around 20 kHz to 300 GHz, roughly the frequencies used in radio communication. The term does not have an official definition, and different sources specify slightly different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Signal Integrity Analysis: Working experience of Signal Integrity Analysis, which allows visibility of how signals are going to behave as they traverse PCB traces, vias, connectors, passive components, etc.
  • Computer Vision: Working experience of Computer Vision, which is an interdisciplinary field that deals with how computers can be made for gaining high-level understanding from digital images or videos. From the perspective of engineering, it seeks to automate tasks that the human visual system can do. Computer vision tasks include methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding digital images, and extraction of high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information, e.g., in the forms of decisions.
  • Cadence Virtuoso: Working experience of Cadence Virtuoso. Designed to help users create manufacturing-robust designs, the Cadence Virtuoso Analog Design Environment is the advanced design and simulation environment for the Virtuoso platform. It gives designers access to a new parasitic estimation and comparison flow and optimization algorithms that help to center designs better for yield improvement and advanced matching and sensitivity analyses.
  • Hardware Design: Experience working in hardware architecture environments and using hardware design models to document how components fit into a system.
  • Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS): Complementary metaloxidesemiconductor, abbreviated as CMOS /?si?m?s/, is a technology for constructing integrated circuits.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years13%
3 to 5 years41%
6 to 8 years26%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Asic Design Engineer
  • Senior Asic Design Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Asic Design Verification Engineer
  • Principal Asic Design Engineer

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