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The Four Levels of IPC Certification: Which One To Choose For Your Career

Posted on 2st June, 2023 by EPTAC Staff

Within the soldering and electronics manufacturing industry, consistency and quality are key. As electronics become more advanced and the product and assemblies become more intricate, it has become apparent that within the industry, following IPC standards has become necessary in order to produce products that meet and exceed consumer standards. This is where IPC training comes in.

The IPC is a trade association with the goal of bringing together designers, manufacturers of printed circuit boards, assembly companies, suppliers and original equipment manufacturers in order to further their competitive excellence and financial success.

They have achieved this by standardizing the assembly and production requirements of electronic equipment and assemblies within the electronics manufacturing industry.

Currently, there are four levels of IPC certification, each level with its own benefits depending on your current experience and role within your company. They are listed below in order of increasing level of expertise.


Certified IPC Specialist (CIS)

The CIS certification provides candidates with a consistent understanding of the design or production criteria within a particular standard. For example, this level of training and certification would greatly benefit assemblers, line operators, supervisors, engineers, and quality personnel who are looking to expand their knowledge and ability within a specific standard used in the electronics manufacturing industry.

Certified IPC Specialists (CIS) have the choice of being certified in one of these IPC Standards:

  • IPC-A-610, “The Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies”
  • IPC/WHMA-A-620, “Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies”
  • J-STD-001, “Requirements for Soldered Electrical & Electronic Assemblies”
  • IPC-7711/7721 “Rework, Modification and Repair of Electronic Assemblies”


Certified Standards Expert (CSE)

A CSE is a subject matter professional who possesses a high level of knowledge and understanding of a specific IPC standard or group of IPC standards. This certification focuses on detailed knowledge of a particular standard rather than skill development and is validated by rigorous timed testing to demonstrate a fluid knowledge of the materials. There are several different IPC standards that one can become certified in, such as IPC-A-610, J-STD-001, and IPC-6012. 

Candidates that receive CSE status possess the ability to navigate the IPC standards quickly and efficiently, act as a subject matter expert on all matters related to the standard and apply the standard and their knowledge to specific company needs.


Certified IPC Trainer (CIT)

The CIT level certification is aimed at those who are interested in or have the need to train others as a CIS at their company. This can also include faculty members of education and training institutions with a need to certify students as CIS’s as part of a curriculum or Licensed Training Center employees who have not met the criteria for being Master IPC Trainers (MIT’s). CIT’s are authorized to deliver and administer CIS level training and certification exams to those who are attempting to gain IPC certification.


Master IPC Trainer (MIT)

Of the four levels of IPC certification, an MIT is considered the highest. Once this advanced IPC training has been completed, an MIT can train CIT’s and CIS’s and provide the first level of technical and administrative support to their trainees. Only employees of Licensed Training Centers may become MIT’s. A separate MIT credential is required for each IPC program, and the MIT certification is directly tied to a single employing Training Center unless otherwise approved by IPC.

There is a simple difference between the four levels of IPC certification. The first two levels of IPC certification, CIS and CSE, are designed to increase an individual’s knowledge within a certain standard and help make them a subject matter expert. This is excellent for soldering technicians and operators who are looking to find careers within the electronics manufacturing industry. The latter two levels of IPC certification, CIT and MIT, are required to be certified to teach an IPC standard to others looking to become IPC certified.

Your certification needs largely depend on your role within your company and where you would like your career in the soldering and electronics manufacturing industry to go in the future. If you are looking to expand your knowledge within a certain standard or would like to teach a standard within your company, EPTAC is an industry leader in IPC certifications. With 24 locations across North America, EPTAC has classes at dates and locations that are convenient for students looking to take the next step in their career. By enrolling in one of EPTAC’s solder training or IPC certification courses, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills that you need to succeed in an expanding electronics manufacturing industry.

IPC Certification


Whether you are just beginning your career in soldering or if you’re a seasoned veteran looking for rectification, the folks at EPTAC are here to help you with your solder training and IPC certification needs. For over 35 years, EPTAC has provided professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 24 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information, call 800.643.7822 or contact us.


Have a question about training or IPC certification?

EPTAC has the knowledge and expertise to help you train your staff, understand your process, and increase production. We are committed to answering your questions promptly, and we look forward to hearing from you.