How to Choose Soldering Courses and Schools
Soldering is an industrial metalworking technique by which hot metal is used to fuse materials together. Soldering courses are available in conjunction with programs in electronics, construction and other vocational technologies. Individuals can also take a professional soldering certification course to prepare for employment in the electronics industry.
How to Select a Soldering School
Soldering courses are offered by vocational and technical colleges throughout the U.S. through programs in construction, electronics and welding technology.
Summary of Considerations
- Award level
- Career goals
- Specific courses
A certificate or certification program is most applicable for those specifically interested in learning soldering skills. Relevant 2-year programs in welding technology, which teach soldering, are available for those with an interest in metalwork in general.
Because soldering techniques are applicable to a variety of fields, prospective students should base their selection on what overall program is most applicable to their career goals. For example, those interested in learning soldering for the construction industry can enroll in a construction skills program, which introduces additional skills, such as reading blueprints or maintaining equipment. Alternatively, those interested in a position soldering electronic circuit boards can enroll in a course held in conjunction with the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC), which leads to certification (www.ipc.org).
Before enrolling in a program, students might research whether hand-soldering and robot operation techniques are offered. Other considerations include the availability of courses in industry-specific safety procedures and techniques.
Soldering Program Overviews
Soldering Certification Course
Professional certification in soldering for the electronics industry can be obtained from IPC after the completion of an intensive 3- to 5-day skills course. The IPC credential may be required for some entry-level soldering positions for government, military or aerospace employers. Training modules in this program cover:
- Safety and tools
- Electrostatic discharge
- Through-hole technology
- Surface mount technology
- Test methods
Vocational Technology Certificates
Soldering courses are included in construction, welding and electronics technology certificate programs offered at community and technical colleges. Certificate programs can be completed in 6-12 months. Courses might include:
- Metal cutting
Associate's Degree in Welding Technology
Undergraduate programs in welding technology often provide soldering courses as a part of the curriculum. Other courses in these 2-year programs can include:
- Gas welding
- Occupational safety
- Applied math
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