Contamination Control Career Paths

Contamination Control Career Paths

The future is bright if you`re searching for a job in the contamination control industry. In this article, contamination control careers have been divided into 10 categories with job requirements listed to for each.

By John “Mr. Clean” Dennis

If you`re just out of school or even have several years of job experience and are looking for a new direction in your career, the contamination control industry offers many opportunities. The field is not only ripe for chemical and manufacturing engineers, but physicists, geologists and other scientists as well.

Besides having the right technical pedigree, experience and interpersonal skills, sometimes it is necessary to be equipped with the knowledge of what an industry`s personnel needs are. Hands-on manufacturing experience is a big plus for the con- tamination control industry. Contamination control is another way of saying, “yield improvement”–every chip not thrown away or product not reworked is revenue. Therefore, contamination control careers are expected to be more popular within the next 10 years.

In this article, contamination control careers are divided into 10 categories with requirements, duties and future growth discussed. Of course, many of these categories may be combined, depending on the company.

The Big Ten

1. Cleanroom Engineer (Facility Engineer)

Education/Experience: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with product experience in manufacturing and/or engineering.

Duties: Define new cleanroom requirements with an architectural and engineering (A&E) firm and building contractor/subcontractors. Monitor their progress. Work with manufacturing department to implement production line into new cleanroom. Maintain cleanroom with minimum impact on the production schedule.

Future: A growth field. As products get more smaller and complex, they need to be made more efficient and cleaner.

2. Contamination Control Engineer

Education/Experience: B.S. in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry. An advanced degree is a plus.

Duties: Perform lab tests on production test coupons or products to determine cleanliness or type/ source of contamination during investigations.

Future: A growth field. Many companies have outsourced this service to independent labs. The advent of “overnight mail” has made this a practical alternative to an in-house lab.

3. Cleaning Engineer

Education/Experience: B.S. in Chemical Engineering or Manufacturing. Mechanical engineering or contamination lab experience is a plus.

Duties: Choose new cleaning equipment or new cleaning methods. Monitor daily operations of all cleaning processes. Troubleshoot contamination problems.

Future: A growth field! This is where the “rubber hits the road” for yield improvement.

4. Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S)

Education/Experience: B.S. in Engineering, with many years of “hands-on” experience in manufacturing.

Duties: Submit all the federal, state, county and city environmental reports. Understand new environmental and safety laws, etc. Interface with EPA, OSHA, etc.

Future: A possible growth area. EH&S personnel must be important team players in all future organizations and can be, if staffed appropriately. In the past, these positions have been filled with MBAs, who often have little or no manufacturing experience. This is a key position because any federal, state or county regulations reports which are not followed may delay construction and development.

5. Training

Education/Experience: B.S. in Engineering, with several years of manufacturing experience.

Duties: Develop and deliver training courses/programs for all levels of the organization.

Future: This is a growth area which has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past, most industrial training instructors had teaching degrees. As products and processes have become more technically complex, the trend has been to use an instructor from outside the company to teach the course. Usually, this instructor is a specialist with many years of experience in the particular field and offers consulting services.

There will always be some technical courses taught by an in-house training department, however, the instructor/consultant brought in from the outside is here to stay.

Another trend is self-paced specialized training on your home or office PC. As downsizing and competitiveness puts more of a workload on the remaining employees, this will become an important factor in training.

6. Manufacturing

Education/Experience: B.S. in Engineering with many years of “hands-on” manufacturing experience.

Duties: Produce good products on schedule at acceptable prices.

Future: This area has also changed dramatically. These employees can no longer be “whips” or “cheerleaders.” They must understand people and “motivational buttons,” but also have a thorough technical understanding of the products and processes.

A good background in contamination control, coupled with other necessary attributes could lead to a career advancement.

7. Sales/Application Engineer

Education/Experience: B.S. in Engineering, with several years of “hands-on” manufacturing or engineering experience.

Duties: Sell cleanrooms, cleaning equipment, support supplies, and other contamination control equipment, etc.

Future: Very high growth! The professional salesperson who can sell anything is being phased out. The traditional interface between a customer`s company and a vendor was only between the purchasing agent and the vendor`s salesperson. This has recently changed significantly because products are more complex and harder to define and just-in-time delivery requires instant communication between the technical managers via e-mail, telephone, etc.

8. Research and Development

Education/Experience: Ph.D. in Physics or related field.

Duties: Research and/or develop products.

Future: Excellent growth area. Although we don`t fully understand how to clean products, we are still learning. As universities and industry work closer together, their partnership will make products better and less expensive.

9. Remediation and Restoration Engineer

Education/Experience: An advanced degree in Geology.

Duties: Managing an environmental clean-up outside of the manufacturing plant.

Future: Currently, jobs in manufacturing-related environmental clean-ups are a big employment area. However, in about five years, this area of employment will be reduced dramatically because there may be less hazardous waste clean-ups due to tighter government regulations.

10. Consultant

Education/Experience: B.S. in Engineering and at least 20 years “hands-on” experience in the particular area of consulting.

Duties: Work with companies to assist with specialized solutions to contamination control problems.

Future: Industry has learned to hire only full-time employees. If they have a problem that can be resolved in a week or a month, they bring in a consultant. The consultant brings years of experience from many companies, thus the consultant`s “tool box” contains many solutions.

Consulting is not for everyone due to extensive travel, not receiving a regular paycheck, etc. It requires excellent interpersonal skills since there is interaction with hundreds of different people. n

John Dennis is president of “Mr. Clean” Conferences, Inc., “Mr. Clean” Consulting, Inc., and “Mr. Clean” the Headhunter, all located in Black Forest, CO.

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Management and Circulation (This statement is published in compliance with the Act of October 23, 1962.) October 1, 1995 CLEANROOMS, published monthly, 12 issues annually, for an annual subscription price of $49.00. Office of publication is located at 1421 South Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK 74112;&#165O Box 1260 Tulsa, OK.

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The average number of copies of each issue during the twelve months preceding the date shown above is: (A)Total no. of copies 42,777. (B) Paid and/or requested circulation (1. sales throgh dealers and carriers, street vendors or counter sales)–0. Paid and/or requested circulation (2. mail subscriptions)-34,624. (C) Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation–34,627. (D) Free distribution by mail–6,468. (E) Free distribution outside the mail–0. (F) Total free distribution–6,468. (G) Total distribution–41,092. (H) Copies not distributed (1) Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled–1,685. (2) Return from News Agents–0. (I) Total–42,777. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation–84%. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: (A) Total no. copies–42,550. (B) Paid and/or requested circulation (1) 0 (2) 35,735. (C) Total Paid and/or request circulation–35,735. (D) Free distribution by mail–4,757. (E) Free distribution outside the mail–0. (F) Total Free Distribution–4,757. (G) Total Distribution–40,492. (H) Copies not distributed–(1)2,058 (2) 0. (I) Total–42,550. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation–88%.

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