14 Pros and Cons of Working for Applied Materials

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Applied Materials came to life in the late 60s.

The focus of the company revolves around all the tools and equipment needed to build semiconductor chips.

These are smart chips for a wide assortment of electronics. 

Today, while headquartered in California, there are 33,000 people working around the world for Applied Materials.

Valued at just under $40 billion, Applied Materials continues to see an increase in revenue annually.

With that kind of profit margin, it sounds like this could be a great place for job security.

Is it worth it, though?

Come along with us as we explore the pros and cons of working for Applied Materials.

Pros of Working for Applied Materials

1. Competitive Pay

Nothing says appreciation for staff like a decent amount of money.

Workers for Applied Materials, across all departments, overwhelmingly see their pay as a pro. 

Some have even remarked that their salary is the highest in the semiconductor industry.

Perhaps the employers could have stopped there, but they didn’t.

In addition to a higher than average pay, Applied Materials also gives out bonuses to staff.

These aren’t just bonuses attached to regular paydays, either.

Cash bonuses are king here.

2. Benefits

Aside from the normal things like health insurance, Applied Materials put together a pretty legit benefits package.

For starters, any employees looking to start a family can look forward to having two months with their new addition.

That’s for both male and female employees.

Thinking about the future?

 Applied Materials offers a 401k match.

The amount goes up based on salary.

On campus, there is also a gym, fitness classes, a clinic, and a company shuttle.

3. Positive Environment 

One frequent comment of praise employees have about Applied Materials is the welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

In fact, friendly is how many describe coworkers all across the company.

This kind of treatment makes for a warmer, more productive, and more understanding environment.

Of course, this type of encouragement makes for people who are free to speak their minds and collaborate openly.

It’s also a sweet boost to morale for everyone to feel positive about the people and management in their workspace. 

4. Diversity

Applied Materials has made a commitment to embrace cultures.

They aren’t just set up in other countries, the workforce is a wonderful mix of cultures and backgrounds.

A great aspect of internal diversity is that workers get the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of people daily.

This enriches both the employee experience as well as the company as a whole.

Diversity doesn’t stop with culture, it also extends to other areas like to the LGBTQ community.

Everyone in their uniqueness is celebrated and supported here.

5. Compassionate Leadership

Management may have their faults, but it seems like they try to make up for it by being extremely flexible.

Once you’re in, managers will do whatever it takes to keep you on the team and, ideally, happy to be there.

This means they realize people are humans and not just worker bees.

Unfortunately, sometimes things happen and it throws off your productivity or it’s just obvious you’re having a hard time.

Many employees have expressed appreciation for how difficult it is to get fired from here.

They really try to work with you to get you back to a good work experience.

6. Educational Courses

Getting hired at Applied Materials doesn’t mean it’s all business from here on out.

Because the company is always expanding what it does, there’s always room to learn something new.

That applies to everyone in the company, no matter the position.

At any time, employees have direct access to educational courses online.

These courses typically pertain to subject matters at Applied Materials but they give you a chance to gain a new interest.

7. Flexible Schedules

Depending on which department you’re in, there’s a high chance you’ll get to enjoy a schedule of your own making.

Some employees work remotely, while others are able to pick their shifts to work with their needs.

Wrap that up with unlimited paid time off and it seems like a large percentage of the workforce has a position that their life doesn’t have to center around.

Cons of Working for Applied Materials

1. No Growth

A major complaint at Applied Materials is stagnation.

It seems like, for a lot of workers, whatever position they get hired for is what they stay in indefinitely.

No chance for upward mobility is not the reason qualified individuals apply at a place like Applied Materials.

Most people with scientifically talented minds want to build their careers upon advancing ideas.

To be stuck in one position or on one team feels like treading water.

2. Unbalanced Schedules

Earlier we mentioned the benefit of flexible schedules.

Unfortunately, that perk does not extend to the entire workforce.

Another top complaint is about six-day work weeks.

Not every now and then, but regularly.

If it’s not long weeks, it’s absurdly long hours.

With every schedule, there has to be a balance, at least if you want to keep employees.

Applied Materials either doesn’t care or hasn’t figured out how to make it right. 

3. Little Creativity 

Some might say there is a bit too much structure at Applied Materials.

So much, in fact, that employees have little wiggle room when it comes to introducing new concepts or trying new things.

Feeling stifled is never a great way to go about a project.

While the company clearly has a successful thing going, an ounce of new perspective can go a long way. 

4. Lack of Training

Upon hiring, it’s easy to assume that there will be quite a bit of formal training before beginning in a new position.

This is, after all, a pretty intense place to work.

Being responsible for what keeps technology going has to come with a lot of preparation, right?

Well, not exactly.

Despite the multitude of educational courses, training is almost non-existent.

Applied Materials relies on a buddy system to train new employees.

5. Need More Streamlining

You know what might make training and innovation easier?

Streamlining.

Too much of what goes on at the company has to pass through too many channels before it is accessible to the employees.

Having more direct ways to communicate with employees and vice versa would make these processes go much smoother.

Everything would be less time-consuming overall and open the door to new ideas in an easier way to express ideas.

6. Too Many Outside Hires

A possible reason why people get stuck in one position is the mistake higher-ups are making with the hiring process.

Instead of promoting from within, executives are looking outside the company to fill roles with more responsibility.

That means the promotion that could lift someone out of one department is being given to a new hire instead.

The same concept goes with an increase in salary.

New hires, even in the same department, are brought on at a higher rate with no experience.

Employees feel slighted by making less than the newbie.

7. Slow Progress

In a smaller company where everyone is under the same roof, it’s easier to get things done in a timely fashion.

Even if there’s only an hour or two time difference, everyone is still pretty much in sync. 

When someone in Texas is communicating with a worker in India, it takes a bit longer to get a response.

Having to wait until tomorrow to hear back may not sound like that big of a deal, but it can be frustrating at times.

Luckily, it’s unlikely the world will come crashing down during that waiting period.

However, for an ongoing project, stretching out communication will inevitably elongate timetables for completion.

Before you know it, everything is getting pushed back to accommodate the overseas team.

This isn’t a frequent problem for workers at Applied Materials, it’s smart to be aware of unforeseen consequences.  

14 Pros and Cons of Working for Applied Materials – Summary Table

Pros of Working for Applied MaterialsCons of Working for Applied Materials
1. Competitive Pay1. No Growth
2. Benefits2. Unbalanced Schedules
3. Positive Environment3. Little Creativity
4. Diversity4. Lack of Training
5. Compassionate Leadership5. Need More Streamlining
6. Educational Courses6. Too Many Outside Hires
7. Flexible Schedules7. Slow Progress

Should You Work for Applied Materials?

When it comes to being on the cutting edge of making the digital world go around, Applied Materials is an exciting place to be.

Semiconductors are important and the software, as well as other tools, it takes to make them equally necessary.

So, job security and pay are both high here. 

That’s something that outweighs many negative aspects of other career positions.

If stability is a goal for you, Applied Materials is an excellent place to get into and be at for a while.

However, if being able to build something unique or getting creative drives you in the workplace, this may not be a great fit.

Although Applied Material rates highly amongst workers, positions are more practical and straightforward.

If being part of technology is exciting, this is a great company to get started and learn from. 

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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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