Many of my electronics manufacturing customers require certification of their employees who solder electronics. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before deciding if and where to do the certification.

  1. Why are you investing the training?
  2. Who needs training?
  3. What Standard should you use?
  4. When do you need to certify and re-certify?
  5. Where should you conduct your training?

First, consider why you are investing in the training. Are you required by your customers to have certified solder assemblers? Would you like to train new employees how to solder? Would you like to improve or maintain the level of quality of the soldering of your products to avoid returns, protect your brand and reduce the cost of rework and rejects?

Second, consider who you are training. The J-STD-001 certification is a hands on, “how to” soldering course teaching new and seasoned solder assemblers the proper amount of solder, materials, soldering techniques and how their soldering will be evaluated. This is best for those involved with the day to day solder assembly work. The IPC-610 certification provides training on the inspection standard, so is best for those inspecting the solder work, but can also be valuable for the assemblers.

Third, what standard? Again, first look at your customer’s contract requirements to insure you’re providing the certification they require. Then pick the standard that best matches the skill and output you require of your team. For instance, the J-STD-001 standard consists of five modules. Module 1-an overview of the standard (required for all who take the certification training). Module 2 wires & terminals. Module 3 through hole technology. Module 4 surface mount. Module 5 inspection methodology. So, depending on how your build your printed circuit boards, will depend on what modules you take. Module 1 is required and module 5 is highly recommended.

Four-when to certify? It is recommended that all new employees to be certified when hired to establish a common, internationally recognized standard for what is expected from your employees. Recertification is required every 2 years

Five-where to certify? There are various centers that you can send your employees to and occasional public classes held in various cities. Summit Business Solutions offers these solder certification courses at your facility, using your equipment. It avoids lost time from your workers traveling to remote locations to be trained and working with unfamiliar equipment.

If you’re interested in training your workers at your site, on your schedule and getting access to funding to offset the cost of training, contact Summit Business Solutions at 631-642-7239 or