Solderer Job Description
Solderers typically work on electrical or electronic circuit boards, such as computer chips. They precisely position small pieces, and use heat to join multiple metal items.
Responsibilities for solderer jobs often include:
- Using gas flames or electric currents to heat soldering irons to the temperature required for soldering.
- Using soldering irons, torches, and electric equipment to melt and solder joints.
- Smoothing soldered areas with torches and paddles.
- Using files, brushes, and chemical solutions to remove excess acid and dirt from soldered pieces.
Solderers are exposed to many hazards on the job. Minor burns are common, but can be minimized by wearing the proper safety gear and taking necessary safety precautions while working with hot materials.
Most solderers work full time, and working overtime is common. Most manufacturing firms are open every hour of every day, and they need to have solderers on hand to cover all shifts. Working evenings and weekends is frequently required.
How to Become a Solderer
Many solderers are trained on the job, but most employers prefer to hire candidates who have learned the basics of their trade by attending a vocational or technical school. These candidates are more desirable because they don’t need as much on the job training as inexperienced workers.
Entry level jobs normally only require a few weeks of training, but it can take years of experience to qualify for more highly skilled jobs.
Experienced solderers normally have a good understanding of electricity. Being able to use computers is becoming increasingly important in this occupation, as some solderers program robots and other machines that are controlled by computers.
Some solderers choose to become certified by the Institute for Printed Circuits. Though certifications aren’t always required for employment, earning one can help demonstrate competency and may increase future employment opportunities.
There are currently 337,300 solderers in the United States, with 14,070 new solderer job openings created each year.
Solderer jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Solderer salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most solderers make between $29,400 – $44,400 per year, or $14.12 – $21.35 per hour.