Samsung Austin Semiconductor Reviews | Glassdoor

Samsung Austin Semiconductor Reviews

Updated September 8, 2017
416 reviews

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3.0
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Samsung Austin Semiconductor President Chan Hoon Park
Chan Hoon Park
30 Ratings

416 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pay is good and bonuses are consistent (in 34 reviews)

  • Samsung is a great company with good pay and benefits (in 24 reviews)

Cons
  • work-life balance is not very good (in 64 reviews)

  • long hours, high stress, not much else to say here (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Good money, but just walk away...you'll regret it, I promise you!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay - that's it. Perhaps rapid career advancement is another benefit since senior people resign so often.

    Cons

    Korean management oversees everything and makes all the decisions. American employees (even senior engineers) are just "gophers" to the point of being handed to-do lists for the day. Individual thought and technical debates are not valued at all. Managers can present completely false data and not be questioned due to "saving face" Korean culture. Lack of diversity, especially females. Females in leadership or management positions are less than 2%. Expectation to work long hours and weekend, just for "face time" even if no value-added work is required. Limited planning, activities are often in crisis mode. Communication from Koreans is horrible to the point of experts/trainers arriving unannounced from Korea and "drop everything, go learn" is the only directive. Management ethics are a joke - to the extent of falsifying audit documents and I'm not surprised the CEO was ousted for corruption and bribery. Even the Korean employees "deeply regret their jobs."

    Advice to Management

    Stop the charade...fire the American employees and import the Korean labor.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Work, work and more work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation package is competitive and the benefits are all right. Get to learn a lot about laying low and surviving. Work expectation are high.

    Cons

    It is a sweat shop. Long hours and no positive feedback is the norm. You receive little to no feedback unless you have screwed-up and then watch out. There is little consideration given for work/life balance. Better not ever have a serious illness or family problems because as soon as you FMLA runs out you are a gonner. The culture does not reward creativity or innovation. It rewards those that can survive by laying low and never calling attention to themselves. No opportunites to participate in outside activites or community events.

    Advice to Management

    Provide a forum for work/life balance. Give opportunites to really hear and follow employee feedback.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Run. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just run."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits were definitely a big plus, but even they were cut back and the bonus goals were adjusted to be completely unachievable by the current operating capacity of the fabs. The location was very good, Austin was a great city with a wide variety of attractions and entertainment.

    Cons

    Upper management is almost entirely Korean with no representation of women or other minorities. The Korean work ethic and culture is not entirely compatible with the American work ethic and culture. The company sought out ex-military personnel, but were intimidated by any kind of strong negativity, especially from women. The company manipulated reviews to prevent having to declare lay-offs (over a hundred people received 'bad' reviews and were fired) and many people were told not to seek unemployment and were told to sign a contract that they would not seek legal counsel or go to the media. All in all, the pay was very good, the hours were very long, middle level technicians frequently took credit for the work of younger technicians and portrayed those technicians in a negative light with management, and you could expect to not be appreciated or promoted for at least 5 years.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some diverse, American Senior Management. Remember where your workers are from, respect your workers culture and work ethic (the American work ethic is very strong, we get the work done and expect to go home, not get the work done then do 8 more hours of busy work). Listen to what your workers are saying, stop trying to get the work of 4 technicians from a single technician.


  4. "Don't bother"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Not much engineering is done - so on the upside not much intensive thinking required just incessant typing to format reports according to silent Korean traditions - dont use red ever.

    Cons

    Don't bother - the money is not worth the complete stop in professional progression.

    Advice to Management

    Get MBAs


  5. "Stay away unless your family is starving to death"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of responsibility and a huge workload give ample opportunity to get varying experiences.

    Cons

    The American management there is a complete joke, they will throw whoever they can under the bridge to keep their jobs safe. The Koreans truly run the place and are a little bitter about the legal US working hours and salaries so they like to hire young engineers and spit out higher paid engineers once they make over a certain amount which changes with the economy. If you do work there I wouldn't stay for more than 2 years(so many do this already), get the experience and get out! After 5 years you will be subject to termination even if you perform on a very high level.

    Advice to Management

    Wow, what can i say about this sorry lot... In summary collect a paycheck as long as you can..If you guys didn't make so much i'd recommend treating employees with respect and leading by example, but you all know that doesn't work there. An iron fist and micromanagement is the only way to last at this hellhole and it's not your fault.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Promotion and job stability based on who you know"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineering Technician in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineering Technician in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits and comprable pay to the industry in general.

    Cons

    Hard work and effort aren't rewarded. What is rewarded is who you know and how well you get along with the managers. You can be out of a job before you know it, without any sound reasoning. you can be removed to make room for someone else if the manager wants to keep them instead of you. I've seen it done several times. Don't ever feel secure working for this company!

    Advice to Management

    Realise that your perception of how well the floor runs isn't always true. You have good people who contribute grestly to your goals while you give credit to others....


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Run for your life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to work for a global company and travel internationally. Very competitive salary and benefits.

    Cons

    Very frustrating place to work. Korean management dominates all activities. Little opportunity for local hires to make an impact. Little if any feedback given to employees until the termination process has started. Performance plays in the decision on who stays and who goes.

    Advice to Management

    Realize that this is not Korea

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A semiconductor copying machine, technically creative individuals need not apply"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Located in beautiful Austin, TX. The salary and benefits are reasonable. Possibly a good learning experience for semiconductor manufacturing newbies.

    Cons

    SAS operates under the philosophy, "Copy exactly, do not copy intelligently." This refers to the fact that semiconductor products manufactured at SAS are intended to be exact copies of those being churned out at the Samsung fabs in Korea. This might at first sound like a good idea for making NAND flash and DRAM devices. However, this philosophy has been pushed by senior management to the point of suppressing all original thought from employees. Creative drive is systematically crushed by the SAS environment.

    Trust of employees by management is practically nonexistent. "Dispatchers" on assignment from Korea typically end up treating local employees as wayward children to whom the "Samsung way" must be explained. Feedback on performance is almost exclusively negative.

    Dispatchers and management also intentionally promote a "crisis mentality" in the workplace. This mentality is part of the company culture, as is made clear in the two-day orientation for new employees. Manufacture of semiconductor memory is a very competitive field, but to treat practically every problem as an emergency leads to wasted time and energy, and pointless stress. If you've ever disturbed an ant hill and watched the panicked ants, you'll have a good idea of how SAS management responds to problems.

    Advice to Management

    Start by recognizing that Austin is not Korea, and that local talent hired by SAS might occasionally have a better way to get things done.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Terrible place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Very good Benefits and Vacation
    Potential for good bonus income

    Cons

    Backwards corporate culture that stifles innovation
    Long hours are expected even if not needed
    Management often repeats errors and does not give guidance on how to prioritize work
    Engineers are expected to do technician work for a period of a few years
    Only company specific software (i.e. instead of MS Outlook a homegrown program is used) and techniques are taught, almost all skills are non-transferable
    Shift work is regular for engineers including nights and weekends
    Engineers not on shift can be expected to put in over 60+Hrs regularly, including weekends
    Alternative schedules are normal including 6 day work weeks or shifted work weeks (Sun-Thu or Sat-Tues, etc.) as well as shifted times (Noon-8PM, etc.)
    Promotions are primarily based on tenure and not on merit
    Long hours must be spent in the fabrication area for process engineers
    Engineers are often promoted to management with only token management training

    Advice to Management

    Corporate culture should be changed to foster more innovation
    Treat Engineers like engineers instead of like technicians
    Focus more on quality of work instead of quantity of hours spent onsite
    Train engineering managers better


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Samsung is a very bad place to work unless money is all you care about."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Austin is a great town, health benefits are decreasing like everywhere but still higher than average, time off is great and since you can't use it they do pay 100%, pay is way above average but read below to understand why.

    Cons

    Work life balance is the worst outside of a chinese sweat shop. Upper management is full of under qualified backstabbing yes men catering to whatever the Koreans ask for no matter how ridiculous. Korean Management is raised in an environment of corruption back home due to their low salaries, long hours and they are generally bitter at Americans for having working rights here and have contempt against them no matter how competent they may be. If you want to make it here expect to be seen on Saturday and Sunday(no you don't have to be working, just be seen and you'll move up to director in no time). To any lower level engineer with a low GPA being offered much more than any other place in would pay you beware, you long term career growth will be stunted, you'll find you have a skillset that is substandard and worthless compared to your peers that started for lower salaries at real engineering firms after Samsung lays you off. Which they will once you get too expensive due to say having a family and no longer being able to come in on your off days as often. Their ridiculous promotional system is based on pure time, how well you suck up and/or how cute you are, not education or ability so you'll be clueless to your real skills as an engineer. This has nightmare scenario of locking you in at this awful place as otherwise you'll take a huge lifestyle downgrade for your family once you realize having a life is a better choice than working here. Don't waste even a year here it's not worth the money.

    Advice to Management

    Stop using this US factory to push your propaganda that you are a progressive company on the level of intel/sony on the backs of low wages of millions over seas. Spend all that money on consultants and non Korean CEOs to run your company with morals and employee respect. Yes you won't be as profitable, but you'll make the world a better place in the long run and attract people who can innovate and take your company to the next level.


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