Samsung Austin Semiconductor

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Samsung Austin Semiconductor Reviews

Updated August 9, 2014
Updated August 9, 2014
217 Reviews

2.7
217 Reviews
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Youngwook ("YW") Park
5 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The insurance benefits are great, the people you work with are great (usually), pay is good but not great (in 21 reviews)

  • This company provides opportunities to learn and grow and it has great pay and benefits (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • expectation is very high and work-life balance is hard to find (in 28 reviews)

  • Groups can become short staffed which means you will be working long hours until positions are filled (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

69 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Reactive leadership, poor management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Engineer II  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Process Engineer II in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Samsung takes great care of the employees, benefit wise - both hard and soft. Health insurance is excellent, pay is decent, 401k is not awesome but above average, quarterly and annual bonuses (annual starts Jan 2015). Quarterly average 1 to 2 weeks pay. On site gym which is decent, and monthly allowance/$$ matching for cafeteria.
    Also the technology is pretty darn cool - I don't like semiconductors but really it is kinda cool dealing with nanometer and angstrom sizes. There are some really good & knowledgeable people working there - techs and engineers. I am an engineer and have been in 2 departments as both an equipment and process engineer.

    Cons

    Reactive style work. You will ALWAYS be putting out fires - and I mean ALWAYS. Everything is a crisis and needs to be completed yesterday, even though the information was just released. We are also the "troubled teenage daughter" to the parent FAB in Korea. We would be shut down if it were not for several customers demanding the chips are made in the USA. Virtually all improvement ideas will be vetted by Korea, and many will be turned down only to be introduced a year or two later branded as original Korean work. Seriously.
    After 3 years there, I cannot name a single engineer (outside of management) that has been there longer than 5 years. The attrition rate for engineers is around 40% for a given department every 1.5 years. New people come in, get worked hard, and then leave. Samsung doesn't care....hey they are Samsung, everyone wants to work for them, so there will 20 other people lined up to take the role. And the cycle continues....

    Honestly,, I could go on for quite some time. Bottom line, if you like semiconductors work here for a year to get your foot in the semicon door, then QUICKLY go elsewhere. If you are not sure you are passionate about semicons, avoid this place. Don't work here just because you feel "oh I need a job" . You will be sorry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing that they care about.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Over

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    You get to meet some other people that are like you, hard working, dedicated, and enjoyable to work with. These are the people that get you through the days, weeks, months, years.

    Cons

    Nobody wants the person above them’s job. That is sad and says it all. You go to work and hope to get through another day, counting the days that don’t royally suck, cause those are the best days.
    I watched as they fired some of the best management they had (which was not a lot) and watched other talent walk away. What upper management and HR does doesn’t make a lot of sense. They hope throwing one after another collaborative team at their problems will solve them, everyone’s team is the most important and of the highest priority. The annual meetings setting the direction of the company are pointless as they don’t provide any tools to the employees to accomplish these new goals and objectives. They should end those meetings with “Good luck, you’re gonna need it.”

    In the end, when all is said and done, and you finally leave this company, you will ask yourself what you have done and if it was all worth it. And the answer will be no.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck, you’re gonna need it

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Needs a fresh start.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    You will be paid. If you are an underperformer, you could do quite well at SAS. The ones who usually stick around are those that know how to get the minimum done and delegate the rest to somebody else. There are somewhat generous benefits from Samsung Electronics.

    The pay is good starting out, not great but the rise from E1 to Senior is way too long now. If you have nearly perfect yearly reviews with no hiccups it will take you about 8-9 years to be called "Senior Engineer". After 5 years you could be making much more somewhere else.

    Cons

    There is way too much overhead on systems. Way too many systems. Simplicity brings clarity and focus on things that matter. It's like the complete opposite here. I feel like I have a headache every day I'm at work because there is no way to improve everything without starting over.

    Real semiconductor training is lacking. It's all very basic or SAS specific. There is an abundance of training for LEAN, manufacturing, time management, etc. similar to military training. A lot of soft skills but none that really help you if you went to college. The gaps in between you have to fill in yourself.

    Much of your time will be "putting out fires". It's all EXECUTE with no time ever for PLANNING or DESIGN. It's basically missing all the key ingredients for success. EVERYTHING IS URGENT.

    The employee review system is stressful. The work is stressful. I work in a sub group of PIE. The workload is immense. Our team is very small for what we are being tasked with and we hardly ever get new hires. We also rarely get any of the freshers out of college. Even four HR staff have left in the first half of the year. At this rate, burn out is inevitable. I could go on but I really don't want to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Literally start over. The innovation team is a joke. That's where all the political people go to get away from real work. All the rest of us have to do so much grunt work. You could improve the work greatly by getting engineers away from LOT MOVEMENT. That's a tech's job. This has no real engineering value.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Benefits.....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer II  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer II in Austin, TX

    Pros

    The insurance benefits are great, the people you work with are great (usually), pay is good but not great.

    Cons

    Samsung is managed from a top down approach, and lower management is punished if they cannot implement what the top up envisions no matter how feasible it is. This also means there is little to no creativity/innovation granted to anyone not in management. Samsung HQ is in Korea and it very much feels like Samsung Austin is a little brother, they push their influence and don't take on any suggestions. This is a good place to start if you want to get into the Austin area, but otherwise it is not worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You really need to start shifting the company culture otherwise you are never going to be able to compete with the likes of Google, TI, Cirrus Logic, DropBox, Facebook, TSMI, etc.... which are all at your backdoor looking for creative and qualified engineers. To be blunt "get over yourself".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    ENG TECH

    Current Employee - Eng Technician  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Eng Technician in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Teamwork enviroment, GWP . . . . . . . . .

    Cons

    Management Teamwork enviroment, GWP . . . . . . . . .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick up for the entry-level people

  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Most Comprehensive & Honest Review of SAS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Experienced Engineer  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Experienced Engineer in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Overall compilation of what other reviewers are writing here are very accurate in regards to great health benefits and pay is average compared to other semiconductor standards. They actually started trying to increase and catch up most employees’ salaries after a consultant’s assessment that SAS is paying below similar industry salaries. Unfortunately, these are where the “Pros” stop for this company.

    Cons

    As most reviewers have pointed out, Samsung Austin is just one of many Fabs outside Korea; so therefore, it is imperative that standardization with other Fabs is a “must”. What this translates is frustration for most employees due to the lack of ability to innovate and have autonomy. Most managers are “home grown”, which means they started in the company with no prior experience and were promoted to management due to their skills. Unfortunately, most of them do not have the “People Skills” to be an effective leader, even though they may have the technical skills that got them to move up within the company. These types of managers that have no personalities and empathy are very hard to work for since communicating with them is almost synonymous to speaking with a robot.

    Most positive reviews found on this site were fabricated and I can confirm that the HR Group solicited several employees to write positive reviews in order to attract new employees (I was one of them and refuse to sell out and keep my integrity). I understand in today’s economy that it is very difficult to find jobs and if you happen to be one of the “lucky” employees that get a job here, follow most of the reviewers’ suggestions and use this company as a stepping-stone to get to where you want to take your career. Believe me, money is temporary happiness and working here will always have you worried about your job because they instill the “fear” in the company and they want you to feel “lucky” that you are able to work here.

    Unfortunately, one person (your direct management) in the company can make or break your future here. So if you are not very liked by your direct management, your future will be very limited even though you are a stellar employee and others notice it. In the flip side, if you are “buddies” with your direct management then he/she will take care of you and you can be assured that you will move up the rankings on a “timely” basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Utilize your employees wisely and allow them to have the ability to “showcase” their skills and actually listen to what they can offer. Provide a clear career development strategy for your employees and make them feel like they have a future and a career at SAS. It is unfortunate that you have created a counter-strategy for people leaving by continuously hiring and replacing the people that leave. Unfortunately, this type of strategy will costs abundance of money and time loss for the company. SAS is in an all-time low in regards to morale and at least 40% of your dedicated and experienced staff are now actively looking and planning on leaving, which will be very disruptive to the success of this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Past high performer - grass IS greener on the other side

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer III  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer III in Austin, TX

    Pros

    I worked at SAS for close to 7 years - I survived the layoffs, held multiple shift schedules, and held multiple roles. All these factors are a necessity that I do not hold against the company.

    The company is transparent in it's expectations - you will work a lot, and they take great measure to make sure this is known before you start. Pay is decent, and PTO is flexible and abundant. Healthcare is also great.

    Cons

    I will not highlight the long working hours, the challenging management structure, or even the tense relationship with Korean counterparts - those are a given part of the job, and something you sign up for. Please read ahead for what I believe to be a definite and unique "con", though.

    The problems that face employees at SAS are sometimes non-issues elsewhere due to the way the company conducts it's business. Homegrown applications and business processes that do not observe any kind of industry standard practice are incredibly inefficient. The company's backend (IT Infrastructure, support roles) is terrible and makes accomplishing even the most mundane tasks a challenge.

    Furthermore, training in these homegrown practices and applications will NOT provide skills you need for other company's that observe industry standard practices and enterprise applications.

    Aged desktops and security programs decrease employee mobility and flexibility. This is 2014, time for an overhaul! Get laptops, introduce newer security software, and start using online collaboration tools.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do things that will make work FUN. Laptops, online collaboration tools, and high quality software make it much more enjoyable to work. Provide mobility and a high-class product / interface that makes the engineer proud to work for the high technology company that Samsung is supposed to be. Stop using old technology! Adopt industry standards that will make engineers worry less about growing their skillset.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    No work life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Engineer II  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Process Engineer II in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Bonuses were great. It is a younger work force that is fun to work with.

    Cons

    Very long work hours. Required engineers to work shifts. Hired me at the top of the pay scale (wasn't told) and then not available for any pay increase for a minimum of 3 years and that was only possible if I got exceptional reviews and was promoted.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Samsung

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineer II  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineer II in Austin, TX

    Pros

    The health insurance, free money on your badge for food, vendor dinners and lunches, although management suck i still really love the people that i work with. I guess you get close to people when they are all put through the same hardships of matching S1

    Cons

    Poor planning by the upper management, all management are puppets to the koreans in S1, they have very little pull to do what they know is the right thing to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Poor planning by the upper management, all management are puppets to the koreans in S1, they have very little pull to do what they know is the right thing to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Review from a white-collar worker

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous White Collar Worker  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous White Collar Worker in Austin, TX

    Pros

    * Benefits (especially health care) are good
    * Working for Samsung sounds cool, because everyone knows the phones.
    * Lots of employee social activities to promote relationships between employees
    * Very strong safety record; however, accidents still happen (one guy recently burned 10% of his body with acid)

    Cons

    * I worked there for five years. The complaints in other reviews are true
    * Don't be deceived by the high profits in Samsung's mobile handset division. This is Samsung Semiconductor, where profits are low (unlike the mobile division of Samsung).
    * Some managers are routinely verbally abusive to employees. Samsung is an Asian company, so they turn a blind eye to tenured managers who scream and are openly hostile to their direct reports.
    * Micromanagement and empire building are everywhere.
    * If you have a good idea, that is not your idea, it came from your manager. If your manager pours water on the floor, it's your fault that the carpet is wet.
    * New ideas are not welcome; Korea dictates the design for every component of the process. People deny this to new recruits, but you quickly find out that your ideas are meaningless until they are spoken in Korean. This is not an equal opportunity workplace.
    * I went through other reviews and noticed that Samsung HR employees are posting nothing-but-positive reviews. This speaks for itself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. You need to fire tenured employees who abuse their reports; that means firing people who have been there many years.
    * You can't come to America and use Asian management techniques. This is the premier employer in Korea, so the dysfunction is tolerated. In America, you're just another bad company. Good people will continue leaving until you remove the cancer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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