IPC’s U.S. Skills Gap Study Reveals Qualifications in Short Supply


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In response to mounting concern about the shortage of U.S. workers with skills needed by electronics manufacturers, IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries conducted a “fast-facts” study to learn more about the skills gap as it affects U.S. electronics assembly manufacturers. The results, published last week in Findings on the Skills Gap in U.S. Electronics Manufacturing, indicate that most companies are having a hard time recruiting qualified production workers, and an even harder time finding qualified engineers and other technical professionals. 

Among production jobs, general assembler and hand solderer are the most difficult to fill. On the professional side, quality control, process and entry-level electrical engineers have been hardest to find. Insufficient experience is the most common reason that applicants do not qualify for most positions. For many engineering and other technical professional positions, however, the leading reason jobs went unfilled was that there were no applicants at all. 

Respondents cited many essential skills that are in short supply, but the most commonly cited are soldering for production jobs, and engineers with industry experience, especially in process, test and quality control. 

The purpose of the study is to reveal specifics about the skills gap that can help IPC and other organizations determine what actions they can take to help build the skill base of the U.S. labor force. A representative sample of 45 U.S. contract electronics manufacturers and OEMs contributed data.

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