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Career and Education Opportunities for Solderers in Charleston, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for solderers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. There are currently 3,240 working solderers in West Virginia; this should grow 8% to about 3,490 working solderers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for solderers are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. Solderers generally braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

Income for solderers is about $15 hourly or $31,460 per year on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,560 annually. Incomes for solderers are better than in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in West Virginia, and better than the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including four within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a solderer. Solderers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a solderer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Solderer

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 Charleston include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.
  • 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.
  • Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Solderer Training

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder.

Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated nine students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.