Assembly Line Worker: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Explore the education and preparation necessary to become an assembly line worker. Read on to get an understanding of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, career outlook, and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.
An assembly line worker fabricates parts and joins them together to construct products like aircrafts, automobiles, electronics and household appliances. Some assemblers specialize in a particular part, such as electric motors, or a type of product, such as office machinery. Team assemblers rotate duties along an assembly line. For example, in motor vehicle manufacturing, team assemblers may take turns molding metal parts, mounting tires or adding fluids. Many assembly line positions require a high school diploma; however, specialized occupations may require the completion of an associate's degree.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED; associate's degree (for more technical fields)|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||4% for all assemblers and fabricators|
|Average Salary (2013)*||$31,400 for all assemblers and fabricators|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Duties of an Assembly Line Worker
Assembly line workers begin by reading technical schematics to become familiar with the construction process. They measure parts and use tools to shape and trim them down to appropriate size. They then connect parts together, typically by welding or using bolts and screws. They may use a variety of hand and power tools, such as hacksaws, drill presses and forklifts.
Tools and tasks vary by industry and specialty. Aircraft assemblers use rivet tools, guide jigs and welding equipment to align and join the fuselage, wings and tails of an aircraft body. An electromechanical assembler drills into structures to install devices like gyros and actuators into household appliances or vending machines. Due to the extensive use of automated technology on assembly lines, some assembly line professionals operate and monitor machines, such as welding robots used in automobile production or computer-controlled machines used to shape parts.
Requirements to Become an Assembly Line Worker
Many assembler jobs only require individuals to have a high school diploma or pass the GED test. Employers typically provide on-the-job training; however, employment in more technical fields, including electrical, aircraft and motor vehicle assembly, may require the completion of an associate's degree program in manufacturing technology, engineering technology, computer science or other specialized training.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment for assemblers and fabricators is expected to grow by 4% during the 2012-2022 decade, which is slower than average for all occupations.
Salary varies significantly as well. To give some perspective, as of May 2013, aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers earned the most with a median annual income of $47,330; electromechanical equipment assemblers brought in $31,810, timing device assemblers earned $27,130 per year, and team assemblers brought in $28,170 (www.bls.gov).
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