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Career and Education Opportunities for Solderers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for solderers in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. There are currently 9,920 working solderers in Tennessee; this should grow 18% to about 11,650 working solderers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for solderers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.6% over the next eight years. Solderers generally braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

Solderers earn about $15 per hour or $32,070 annually on average in Tennessee and about $16 hourly or $33,560 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as solderers in Tennessee earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree as a solderer. The most common level of education for solderers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a solderer if you already have a high school diploma.


In general, solderers braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

Every day, solderers are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for solderers to heat soldering irons or workpieces to specified temperatures for soldering, using gas flames or electric current. They are often called upon to clean workpieces to remove dirt and excess acid, using chemical solutions or grinders. They also examine seams for defects, and rework faulty joints or broken components. They are sometimes expected to melt and separate brazed or soldered joints to remove and straighten damaged or misaligned components, using hand torches, irons or furnaces. Somewhat less frequently, solderers are also expected to clean joints of workpieces with wire brushes or by dipping them into cleaning solutions.

Solderers sometimes are asked to decide on torch tips and brazing alloys from data charts or work orders. and turn dials to set intensity and duration of ultrasonic impulses, in line with work order specifications. And finally, they sometimes have to melt and apply solder to fill holes and seams of fabricated metal products, using soldering equipment.

Like many other jobs, solderers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chattanooga include:

  • Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Heat Treating Equipment Operator. Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.
  • Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
  • Welding Operator. Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.


Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated seventeen and five students respectively in 2008.

Dalton State College - Dalton, GA

Dalton State College, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720-3797. Dalton State College is a small college located in Dalton, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,892 students. Dalton State College has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated two students in 2008.


Radiographic Interpreter: The program, based upon requirements contained within AWS B5.

For more information, see the American Welding Society website.

Certified Robotic Arc Welding: The Certification Program for Robotic Arc Welding - Operators and Technicians (CRAW) allows many welding personnel employed in various welding sectors to measure themselves against standards for their occupation.

For more information, see the American Welding Society website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.