PCBs or print Circuit boards are crucial tech components. Almost every high-tech component ranging from smartwatches to phones requires a PCB to function. They have proven that you can rely on them regarding quality delivery and efficiency. However, you know that PCBs go through a manufacturing process to create the final product you use? For this process to become successful, human resources and intelligence become essential. However, you cannot just wake up one day and decide that you are a PCB assembler. You have to follow some steps to reach the top, and that is what this article is all about. We shall review PCB assembly jobs, what it takes to become a PCB assembler and why you should consider becoming a PCB assembler.
What do PCB assembly Jobs entail?
Well, a circuit board assembly job entails using electronic components to build PCBs and prepare them for use by consumers. In this particular profession, your responsibilities are to:
- Read wiring diagrams
- Follow the sample boards
- Select some electrical components
- Finalizing the PCB using special hand tools
Other responsibilities that come with the first responsibilities include:
- Inserting wires
- Utilizing heat guns
- Applying sealers
- Heat sink installation
- Dealing with faceplates and sockets
- Press-fitting component leads to the PCBs
PCB assemblers work with:
PCB assembly jobs salary and Job growth
PCBs bear extensive use in the tech industries, and with the growing tech popularity, we can only expect more uses to arise. Therefore, we can predict that job opportunities in the PCB assembly sector are looking to grow as the days go by.
Since 2012, job opportunities in this particular field have grown by about four percent.
Can you guess the annual salary of a PCB assembler? If so try it out and then compare your answer with the salaries that we shall go through in a bit.
PCB assemblers earn different salaries. We can attribute this to:
- Experience differences
- Category differences, etc.
Here is a basic breakdown of how PCB assemblers earn. I hope you got one of them right:
- 25th percentile – They earn 30,000 USD annually, which translates to 2,500 USD monthly
- Average percentile – They earn 33,382 USD annually which translates to2,781 USD monthly
- 75thpercentile – They earn 36,500 USD annually, which translate to 3,041 USD monthly
- Top Earners – They earn 41,500 USD which translate to 3,458 USD monthly
It takes some time to become a top earner, but with a lot of determination and resilience, you can get there.
So now you know what a PCB assembly job entails; it’s now time to help you become one.
How can you become a PCB Assembler?
If you wish to become a PCB assembler, then you will need these academic qualifications:
- A high school diploma – You can also use a GED certificate in this case. These certificates prove that you have gone through and understood everything taught in high school. High school education helps you understand the basics of PCB assembly. You, however, still need to undergo further studies to become a PCB assembler.
- Studies in manufacturing high-tech gadgets – It helps prepare you to work with complex PCBs. What’s more, you gain an associate degree or a certificate.
- In the process of further studies in the manufacturing of high-tech gadgets, you get to learn about:
- Component identification
- Inspection techniques
- Soldering skill
- PCB assembly
- All these skills help you become a great PCB assembler. They also boost your confidence, which motivates you to do your job perfectly.
However, besides just educational qualifications, you also need to have:
- Excellent eye-to-hand coordination
- Manual dexterity, and
- Blueprint reading skills.
It is also good to note that you will be working with color-coded wires; this means that color deficiency might lower your performance.
PCB Assembly Jobs
We have gone through what PCB assembly jobs entail, how to become a PCB assembler, and the salary to expect. Now let us look at some PCB assembly jobs that can come your way:
- Shipment specialist
Some employees construct PCBs while others work with robotics to create more sophisticated board configurations. Remember that different clients require varying designs. Hence the configurations keep on changing to deliver the required end products.
If you are looking to work as a technician, then here is what to expect.
Technicians place specific electronic components onto a new circuit board. They then solder these components to keep the print circuit board together permanently.
From cellphones to kitchen ovens, a lot of consumer devices use PCBs. It is the job of a technician to:
- Interpret circuit schematics
- Construct PCBs that provide user-defined functions
The end product is what you use in your day-to-day devices.
However, consumers cannot get their PCB directly from the technician. And that is where a shipment specialist comes in.
A Shipment Specialist Gig
Shipment specialist package PCB for, you guessed it, shipment. They wrap PCBs in packaging that’s static resistant, which protects the PCB from both electrical and physical damage.
The shipment specialist’s job is crucial as any PCBs that incur damage during shipment must be recycled or discarded. Unfortunately, these two processes, recycling and discarding, incur extra costs to the manufacturer. Thus the manufacturer tries as much as possible to minimize shipment damages.
Moreover, goods that incur damage during transportation are of no use to the consumer. Therefore, they cannot pay for them; this adds to the net loss due to bad shipment.
However, some customers fake good damages to avoid paying for PCBs. So, how can we deal with this case? That is where the inspector comes in.
The inspector’s gig
Before initializing the shipment process, the inspector must visually inspect the PCB to ensure that they are in good condition. They then have to test the PCBs to ensure they function properly. The inspector inserts the PCB inside a “test fixture” and then powers it to test each function. However, because PCB production happens in bulk, testing each PCB becomes pretty much impossible. They hence select some PCB samples, test them, and then make their conclusion.
And those are some of the jobs you can score having PCB assembly knowledge.
PCBs are a great part of technology; therefore, if you love tech, you will probably love PCB assembly jobs. The jobs come in many different variations; all meant to assemble a PCB to completion and deliver it to the consumer. Each job is unique in its own way; you can hence look for one specific area, major in it, and become a pro to start earning big.