WHAT DO ASSEMBLERS DO?
Can you put together a model plane without looking at the instructions? How would you like to try it on a real plane, and make money doing it? Assemblers are the people that take all of the parts of products and put them together. From toy cars to refrigerators to computers to commercial airplanes, assemblers help put it all together.
Assemblers might work on putting together one set of components or work on the finished product. Sometimes this is done by hand, but often this is done with robots and computers and other devices that make the assembly process faster and more precise. Assembler jobs can be easy or incredibly complicated, and require skills such as reading schematics, quality control and technical/mechanical knowhow.
Types of assemblers include aircraft, coil winders, electrical equipment, electromechanical, engine/machine and timing device.
HOW MUCH DO ASSEMBLERS MAKE?
This depends on your specialty, your company and what you assemble. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for assemblers and fabricators in 2010 was $13.63 per hour, or $28,360 a year.
However, median income for aircraft assemblers was $44,820 annually. Coil winders earned a median income of $28,650 a year, and most other assemblers earned something between the two.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Education depends on the industry you want to join. A high school diploma is required for most starting assembler jobs, but more training and experience will be needed for advanced work. Getting an associate's degree through a technical school will greatly improve your chances at getting an advanced assembler job.
Certification is available, and if going into the aerospace or defense industry field, required.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Color Vision: Assemblers will need to be able to identify different color wires, tabs and electronic components in order to put them together correctly.
- Dexterity: Assemblers work with their hands, whether directly manipulating components or using controls on an assembly machine.
- Math: Basic math is needed due to the technological needs of many assembly plants.
- Mechanical/Technical Skills: Assemblers need to be able to read and understand blueprints, manuals, and work with computers, machines and motion-control assembly robots to do their job.
- Strength: Some assembly jobs will require strength to lift heavy objects during the assembly process.
- Stamina: Assemblers are on their feet for long periods of time often doing repetitious motions.
THE FUTURE OF ASSEMBLERS
With much assembly going on overseas, improved automation and new team production methods, assembler jobs will grow slower than average between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. However, some jobs, like airplane assembly, are expected to grow.