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Solder is a metal alloy that has a low melting point. Once melted, it is used like a glue to join metal parts together. The electrical and electronics industries rely on soldering processes to establish strong connections across wires and in printed circuit boards. If utilized poorly, connections can break, causing computers and other products to fail. Soldering certification is a good way to show hiring companies that you have the skills to perform this process effectively.
IPC is a professional association in the electronics industry that defines standards for the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Look for certification training programs that are recognized by the IPC to gain the attention of hiring companies. Focus on certification to the Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, identified by the code J-STD-001E. This standard covers soldering processes, materials and quality criteria.
Anyone new to soldering should acquire hands-on training under supervision. Circuit Technology, for example offers hands-on training classes on IPC standards covering soldering, rework and repair, inspection and wire harness assembly inspection. Its training and certification program is recognized by the IPC. Post-training certification tests consist of written exams and labs. Students earn certified IPC specialist, or CIS, certification.
Programs are also available to become certified as a trainer in IPC standards. This certification is ideal for experienced soldering technicians who are ready to train industry colleagues. Explore Omni Training, for example, offers a four-day training class for IPC trainers. Written exams throughout the course include both open book and closed book sessions. Certified IPC trainer certification authorizes recipients to perform CIS certification training.
For refresher training or to explore revisions to IPC standards when hands-on training is not required, explore multimedia options or DVDs. IPC offers DVD and online training programs on a variety of topics, including hand soldering, safety practices, standards and repair techniques. Multimedia training is an option for individuals as well as groups.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.