If you want to break into the field of engineering but prefer hands-on work rather than sitting in an office, consider pursuing a career as a solderer. These in-demand professionals work on the front lines of the engineering field and perform a function that is critical in the majority of things that get built in the world. Learn exactly what this career path involves and what it takes to pursue it, and decide for yourself if a career as a solderer is right for you.
Solder is a soft type of metal that can be easily melted and manipulated. Thanks to those properties, it is used in all sorts of manufacturing processes to create seals and join other pieces of metal. The job appears deceptively simple, but professional solderers are experts at manipulating this material, creating tight joints, and ensuring that all work is done to exacting specifications. The specific duties of a solderer may include:
- Using gas flames and electrical currents to heat and manipulate the soldering material.
- Finishing soldered joints to create smooth surfaces.
- Following specifications and ensuring complete uniformity.
- Working on projects ranging from a massive to a microscopic scale.
- Using other tools and materials to complete projects.
- Soldering in unusual environments, cramped spaces, and hazardous conditions.
Some soldering jobs have no specific educational requirements, but most employers prefer that applicants have vocational or technical training. Entry-level employment may be possible after only a few weeks of training, but higher-level soldering jobs will require a combination of education and experience. Increasingly, robots and computers are becoming part of the soldering process, privileging candidates with higher-level technical education. Many solderers also pursue a certification from the Institute for Printed Circuits.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the fields of welding, cutting, soldering, and brazing will add 20,800 new jobs between 2012 and 2022 and grow by 6 percent. This is slower than the average growth of other professions, but only slightly. In 2012, the estimated median pay stood at $36,300 per year.
To find other opportunities to work as a solderer and in other positions throughout the field of engineering, contact the recruiters at Selectek.