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How Do I Get into Semiconductor Sales?

Breaking into semiconductor sales requires a blend of technical knowledge and sales acumen. Start by gaining a solid understanding of semiconductor technology, then hone your sales skills through training or experience. Networking within the industry can also open doors. What steps are you taking to prepare for this career?
L.K. Blackburn
L.K. Blackburn

You can begin a career in semiconductor sales by first earning an engineering or marketing degree, and then being hired by a semiconductor manufacturer or specialty marketing firm. Marketing semiconductors requires knowledge of the field and the processes used to make the technology, so many companies prefer sales employees to come from a technical background that includes the completion of a degree such as electrical engineering. It is also possible to enter semiconductor sales by earning a marketing degree and networking with distributors to find an entry level position within a company that distributes semiconductors.

Semiconductors are sold to companies that use them to build computer equipment and industrial machines. Most of the purchases of semiconductors are made in bulk orders by businesses that use them to create their own products, which are then sold to end consumers. Semiconductor sales marketing is the process of finding new companies to work with and convincing them why a certain chip is preferable to any other on the market based on cost and quality. The job requires extensive traveling to meet with new prospects and present company information. Another avenue pursued by those in semiconductor sales is government contracts, which requires the salesperson to draft and submit a formal bid to the government on behalf of the company.

Most of the purchases of semiconductors are made in bulk orders by businesses that use them to create their own products, which are then sold to end consumers.
Most of the purchases of semiconductors are made in bulk orders by businesses that use them to create their own products, which are then sold to end consumers.

One way to enter semiconductor sales is to pursue a dual degree in college in both an engineering sub-specialty and in marketing. This will allow you to gain the technical expertise to successfully explain and sell a product to clients, while also giving you the background in marketing needed to network and find new prospects. Even though marketing semiconductors in a business-to-business environment is different than other areas of sales, skills such as managing customers and keeping track of logistics is universal to the profession and can be learned while in college or university.

Manufacturers who build transistors may purchase large quantities of both N-type and P-type semiconductors.
Manufacturers who build transistors may purchase large quantities of both N-type and P-type semiconductors.

Experience within the field is one qualification requested by most companies hiring someone for semiconductor sales. This is where a degree in electrical engineering is helpful because it allows you to enter a company through a entry level engineering position. First and foremost, semiconductor companies make semiconductors, and once you have worked in that capacity you would be able to laterally move within a company when positions are available. In this scenario, you should let your employer know your intentions to go into semiconductor sales from the beginning because they can steer you towards open opportunities.

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    • Most of the purchases of semiconductors are made in bulk orders by businesses that use them to create their own products, which are then sold to end consumers.
      By: Albert Lozano-Nieto
      Most of the purchases of semiconductors are made in bulk orders by businesses that use them to create their own products, which are then sold to end consumers.
    • Manufacturers who build transistors may purchase large quantities of both N-type and P-type semiconductors.
      By: yurazaga
      Manufacturers who build transistors may purchase large quantities of both N-type and P-type semiconductors.