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Job Photographs

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench.  She is carefully working on a circuit board.  A desk lamp is lit to illuminate her.

    Putting resistors into an integrated circuit board.

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench.  She is testing some electrical equipment.

    Testing equipment at the workbench.

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench.  She is talking to a man, who is standing next to her.  They are both looking at a sheet of paper.

    Talking to one of the managers about a new order.

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench.  She is carefully working on a circuit board, soldering resistors into place.

    Soldering resistors into place. The blue band around the wrist is earthed so that static electricity does not build up. This could damage a circuit board.

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench.  She is carefully laying out circuit board parts on the bench.

    All the components (parts) for the circuit boards are laid out in the order that they will be used.

  • A woman is sitting at a workbench with a long circuit board on it.  She is holding a piece of paper and reading instructions on it.  A desk lamp is lit and illuminates the desk.

    Checking instructions and following a components list.

  • Solderer

Solderer

Introduction

As a Solderer, you will usually work on a production line, using small handheld tools to assemble circuit boards which are used in electronic equipment, such as a TV or washing machine.

Also known as

  • Assembler, Electronics/Electrical
  • Electronics Asembler
  • PCB Solderer
  • Electronics Assembler
  • PCB Assembler

Work Activities

As a Solderer, you will usually work on a production line, using small handheld tools to assemble circuit boards which are used in electronic equipment, such as a TV or washing machine.

Today, in electrical manufacturing, the most common type of circuit boards are called Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). These are special because they are made from glass reinforced plastic, and they have fixed copper tracks instead of wires. You will fix components in position by drilling holes through the board, locating the components and then soldering them in place.

Your other duties could include:

  • grinding, cutting and buffing components to be fitted to an assembly board
  • repairing damaged circuit boards
  • using a microscope to work on very small, tiny electronic components
  • carefully following technical drawings and plans
  • maintaining a computerised stock control, to make sure you have all the parts you need to assemble your circuit board.
  • using resins and glues to assemble parts
  • testing finished circuit boards

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Solderer, you'll need:

  • nimble fingers for handling small parts and hand tools
  • to work quickly, neatly and accurately
  • to be able to concentrate and have good hand to eye co-ordination skills
  • good communication skills
  • IT skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £17,000 - £19,000
  • With experience: £20,500 - £23,500
  • Senior Solderers earn £26,000 - £29,000

You might also get paid an hourly rate, usually between the national minimum wage and £10 per hour.

Hours of work

Solderers usually work up to 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Shift work and early morning starts may be required. Part-time work and overtime may be available.

Where could I work?

Employers include large manufacturers of finished products with an electrical or electronics content, and companies that supply electronics and electrical parts and assemblies to them.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus, on internet job boards and on the Universal Jobmatch website.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a Solderer.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great first step into this career. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

You will learn the skills and get the experience you need to become a skilled Solderer.

Training

If you would like some more training, then the Electronics Group offers a course. The course is 'introduction to through-hole hand soldering' where it is most useful for people new to soldering. By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • practical soldering skills
  • the introduction to frequently-used components
  • the use of tools and equipment in soldering
  • how to fit components to printed circuit boards (PCBs)
  • electrostatic discharge (ESD) procedures and ‘zaps’
  • health & Safety in the workshop

There are other, more techical courses available so check the Electronics Group website for more details.

Work Experience

Previous experience working with electronics would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

There are no formal entry requirements for this career. However, many employers or training providers might ask for at least 4 GCSEs, including English, maths, a science, technology or engineering subject at grade C/4 or above.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Statistics

  • 5% of Solderers work flexible hours.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

The Electronics Group

Tel: 0113 2744270

Email: info@electronicsgroup.co.uk

Website: www.electronicsgroup.co.uk

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