IPC Adds Apprenticeship Program Focused on PCB Design Engineers

By Dave Hernandez, IPC Vice President, Education 

I am proud to share that IPC’s Apprenticeship Program is growing! We have just added our third occupation to our National Standards of Apprenticeship – Printed Circuit Board Design Engineer.  

Last November, IPC was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as the first Registered Apprenticeship Program for the U.S. electronics manufacturing industry – a move designed to expand the skilled workforce for this strategically vital industry. The DOL’s recognition ensures that IPC’s Registered Apprentice programs align with the industry’s highest standards of proficiency in electronics manufacturing.   

PCB Design Engineers play a crucial role in overseeing the creation of printed circuit boards used in various electronic devices such as phones, computers, and more. Their responsibilities include library component creation, schematic capture, PCB layout, and documentation of fabrication and assembly drawings. They ensure that the manufactured products meet industry and company standards, serving as the backbone of modern electronic products. 

This third occupation joins the previously available registered occupations: Electronics Assembler and PCB Fabricator. All three occupation apprenticeship programs are integral parts of IPC's commitment to train a skilled workforce that participates in the entire value stream of electronics manufacturing. IPC’s apprenticeship standards provide valuable, hands-on experience with a defined pathway to secure, well-paying careers in electronics manufacturing.  

One of the most difficult challenges facing today’s electronics industry is a chronic shortage of adequately skilled workers. More than two-thirds of IPC’s U.S. members report that an inability to find and retain skilled workers is limiting their growth and competitiveness. Part of this challenge is due to the rapid rate at which technology evolves.  IPC’s National Program Standards and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) are designed to support electronics manufacturers as they develop and retain their talent.  

Stay tuned as we continue to grow our apprenticeship offerings!  

For more information, visit: https://www.ipc.org/ipc-apprenticeships.