Work as semiconductor engineer in Taiwan

Hello. I would like to gather some insights on how is the working situation in semicon companies in Taiwan in terms of compensation, work-life balance, and working culture. I am currently looking for job as a fresher (recently graduated with MSc in Physics). Considering ASML, KLA, AMat, Micron, ASE, Lam Research, TEL…

Expect 1.4 to 2 mill from those except ASE and Micron which IIRC only dole out about 1.1 mill or so for fresh MSc. Work-life balance depends on your team. Probably not bad. Except ASE, don’t know much about work culture there.

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Also, I did not put TSMC in the options because it is well known that the work-life balance there is non-existent, despite the (arguably) highest pay among the other companies. Is that really the case even for freshers? I’m hearing normal offers range around 45-48k, which if true, is a bit unsatisfactory in my opinion. This is considering a full time buxiban English teacher can make 65k even without experience.

Thank you for your reply. Based from what I’ve read so far, this figure (1.4M-2M) is heavily dependent on the bonuses, right? Do you have any idea what is the usual and reasonable starting base salary offer for freshers?

First of all TSMC doesn’t pay the most. Mediatek, Synopsys, Google, RealTek, NovaTek and many others pay even more but they’re looking for very specific skills.

Bonus is a big part yes but less so for foreign companies. My friend at ASML got 14 months bonus and Micron pays 4-6 months IIRC. You can go back from there and calculate the base. Also TSMC bumped up base salaries and reduced bonuses slightly. Fresh MSc should be at 60-65k base now.


20 years later that buxiban is still going to be paying the same, they have a revolving door of fresh meat

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I was referring to their offer for freshers when I say TSMC is giving the highest package relative to other companies. Before I graduated, I was also under the impression that 60-65k is the base for MSc grads. However, when I talked with some friends who are now working, I realized it might not be the case these days. For example, my friend got an offer from Micron as shift engineer (48k+ shift allowance). Another one was offered 54k as process engineer (not shifting). I heard from a friend that her BF was offered a base salary of 50k in AMat. This is the reason why I posted here, hoping to gather more inputs. I appreciate your reply.

This is true. There is no career progression in buxiban. But it is still sad to think that an engineer who works at least 40hrs/week (assuming no OT) is being paid less than, let’s say, a buxiban teacher that works for only 22hrs per week.

Plus bonus. At entry-level

And that 22 hours is more than 22 (there’s always extra work that isn’t paid), and it isn’t time spent having coffee or going online. When you’re in the classroom, you’re on the whole time.

I just saw that ASML was looking for recent college grads to join them in Taiwan. I didn’t see what the salaries are, but it’s a good company that has a great future ahead of it and I imagine working for the Dutch would be a helluva lot better than working for the Taiwanese.

None of the people in Micron that I know get less than 60k per month. Are you perhaps mistaking take home amount for gross? Especially if they’re foreigners and get hit with 18% flat tax it could sound more sad than it is.

Also a lot of these so called “bonuses” are guaranteed as long as you don’t get laid off.

Or quit.

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I clarified this w/ my friends. The 48k+shift allowance, and 54k for non-shift post are indeed base salary “before” taxes. :frowning: And yes, the annual package included 14months which means a guaranteed annual bonus of 2 months salary *provided you started working for Micron before Dec.31. Idk how the computation will be if you are hired mid-year. Also,I believe you are also correct about the =>60 per month because my seniors in the lab who were hired 2 years ago started with that salary. I’m not sure when Micron started lowering the base salary.

Point taken. You are correct.

There are many jobs titles as “engineers” in Taiwan, but they don’t actually engineer anything. If you work in the fab or the BE as an equipment, process, or test engineer, you’re probably going to get lower salaries when compared to a global development role because you essentially process data and try to optimize, but you won’t be the team doing deep dives and development to solve complex problems. The development roles generally will pay higher.

Micron guaranteed “bonus” is 2 months salary at the end of the year, but it’s included in your overall salary package. I don’t consider it a bonus. It’s holding back of my yearly salary haha. There is a standard 18% performance bonus that is dependent on the company’s performance, so it’s not guaranteed each year.

Work-life-balance will depend on the role and the manager. My team culture is very western, but others are not. My entire org. above me are foreigners or located outside Taiwan. It’s really going to vary by group, so make sure you ask the right questions in the interviews to make sure the culture fits you.

The closer you get to the fab, the less possible it is for work-life-balance. You are basically like on-call if anything major happens, even if you are in a department processing yield data.

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