An IPC training center can help you start your career in the electronics manufacturing industry of Colorado in various ways. Whether you’re a student, someone who’s completely changing careers, or someone who’s new in the workforce, the electronics manufacturing industry is a great option to be in.
Electronics Industry in Colorado
For more than 10 years, the design, research, and production of electronics have been major factors in the economic growth of Colorado. In fact, Colorado’s electronics industry has ushered the growth of bioscience, renewable energy, aerospace and other high-tech industries within the state.
More importantly, the electronics industry in Colorado is said to be 1.2 times denser than the entire country. Specifically, nine out of 10 sub-sectors in this industry are more concentrated in Colorado than in the entire USA. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the job opportunities in Colorado’s electronics industry are lucrative.
In 2019 data, nine out of 10 sub-sectors of the electronics industry in the Centennial State employ more than 1,000 workers, including:
- Search, detection, and navigation instrument manufacturing: 3,549 workers
- Semiconductor and related manufacturing: 2,227
- Electronic computer manufacturing: 1,646
- Printed circuit assembly (electronic assembly) manufacturing: 1,401
Despite the density of the industry in Colorado compared to the rest of the country, Blackfox Training Institute is currently the only IPC training center within the state that’s recognized by the IPC organization. The IPC standards are globally acknowledged by companies both manufacturers and clients in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Electronics Companies in Colorado
Colorado’s electronics industry consists of many companies both local small businesses and multinational corporations, which creates a diverse industry with a unifying goal for innovation and excellence. Among these companies are:
- Microchip Technology
- Arrow Electronics
- Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions
- Circuits West Inc.
Some of the top global companies operating in Colorado include:
- Limtronik (Germany)
- Panasonic (Japan)
- Indect Electronics (Austria)
- Creation Tech (Canada)
Perhaps the most exciting opportunities in Colorado are in the space industry, which is by far the largest segment of electronics manufacturing in the state. In fact, the Centennial State has the country’s third-largest aerospace economy. It also has more private aerospace jobs per capita compared to any state in the US.
Some prospective employers in the space manufacturing sector are:
- Lockheed Martin Space Systems
- Ball Aerospace
- Sierra Space
- SEAKR Engineering
- Honeybee Robotics
- Blue Canyon Technologies
Improving Your Soldering Skills to Join the Industry
When you want to start your career in Colorado’s electronics manufacturing industry with an entry-level position, learning to solder and improving your soldering skills can help you get your foot in the door. There’s always a strong demand for soldering technicians in the industry considering that almost all consumer electronics and personal devices require soldering to assemble transistors, LEDs, resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, and other electronic components together.
It’s easy to acquire the basic skills of soldering. At the very least, if you have family members, relatives, or neighbors who’re into electronics, you can ask them to teach you or to allow you to assist them in their workshop so you can gain knowledge and experience.
If you want formal training, however, you can search for IPC training near me to discover learning institutions that provide not just standard IPC courses but also remedial courses for a variety of soldering techniques. Through formal training, you can learn the industry’s best practices when soldering and related procedures.
Obtaining IPC Certification
Having an IPC certification can greatly boost your career in the electronics manufacturing industry. For example, if you’re certified for IPC J-STD-001, manufacturers and other organizations in the industry will immediately know that you’re well-versed in soldered electrical and electronic assemblies in terms of terminologies, standards, and applications.
Many companies support or sponsor the IPC certification process of their employees. However, there are also many companies that will only hire you or promote your position if you are IPC certified. So if you have the means and resources, consider searching for IPC training near me to enroll in an IPC J-STD-001 Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) course and obtain your certification in advance of your job hunting.
Take note though that the IPC J-STD-001 CIS course assumes that the students already know the basic concepts and materials related to hand soldering. Good thing that Blackfox, an IPC-recognized training center in Colorado, doesn’t just offer IPC courses but remedial soldering courses as well.
Aside from the CIS training and certification, the IPC J-STD-001 course also has two other programs:
- The Certified Standards Expert (CSE) program that trains you to become a professional with high-level knowledge and understanding of soldering techniques and standards. If you’re a CSE, you can work as an independent consultant or a company’s in-house standards and quality assurance specialist.
- The Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) program that trains you to become a trainer and enables you to certify CIS aspirants. This is perfect if you have the passion for teaching and training other individuals. You also have the option to be an independent trainer handling various organizations or an in-house trainer of a company.
Nowhere in the IPC’s documents state that you have to be a CIS before becoming a CSE or CIT. So you might want to obtain certification for CSE or CIT immediately.
Here are some estimates on the annual salary based on the data provided by the online recruiter marketplace ZipRecruiter as of October 2022:
- Solderer: The NATIONAL AVERAGE salary is $30,900 per year, and ranges from as low as $17,500 and as high as $45,000;
- IPC Specialist: The NATIONAL AVERAGE salary is $49,400 per year, and has a wide range from as low $23,500 to as high as $84,000; and
- IPC Trainer: The NATIONAL AVERAGE is $49,600 per year, and has an even wider range from as low as $20,500 to as high as $97,500. On the other hand, the AVERAGE annual salary for an IPC Trainer in Colorado is around $50,940.
As you can see, being a trainer earns you quite a bit higher income compared to simply being a solderer.
Jumpstart Your Career Right the First Time
Give your career in the electronics manufacturing industry a good start by obtaining quality training and industry-recognized certification from a well-established institution. Blackfox is a Colorado-based IPC-authorized training center offering a variety of IPC certification courses as well as technical skills courses. Get in touch with us today to discover your many learning options.