Assembly Technician: Career Information

Read about a career in assembly technology. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job description and employment and salary outlook for an assembly technician.

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Career Defined for an Assembly Technician

Assembly technicians, also called team assemblers or fabricators, are manufacturing workers who use tools, machines and their hands to put together components on products like cars, aircraft and computers. They often work in teams, rotating through different smaller tasks, and when demand is down and some are laid off, the remaining assembly technicians take over a larger variety of tasks. Assembly technicians may also spot defective parts, advise engineers and designers about the length of time needed to perform a certain assembly and decide how tasks should be distributed. Working conditions vary by industry; some workers deal with high levels of grease, harmful chemicals and noise, but some electro-mechanical assemblers work in factories that must be kept exceptionally clean and dust free.

Education High school diploma or GED required, vocational schools and community colleges also offer classes
Job Skills Manual dexterity, physical strength, great color vision, problem-solving ability
Median Salary (2015) $30,080 for assemblers and fabricators
Job Growth (2014-2024) -1% for assemblers and fabricators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Most assembly technician applicants need a high school diploma or a GED. Although minimum job requirements depend greatly on the products that will be assembled and the particular employer, almost all assembly jobs value experience and require on-the-job training. Specialized jobs in electrical, aircraft or auto assembly fields may require more experience. Formal training programs can be found through employee-sponsored classrooms, vocational schools or community colleges. Helpful post-secondary courses include English, computers and computer-aided design.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that assembly technicians must hold the following traits:

  • Basic reading, listening, speaking and problem-solving skills
  • Manual dexterity, physical strength and ability to perform repetitive tasks
  • Good color discernment and color vision

Employment and Salary Outlook

The BLS noted that employment of assemblers and fabricators was expected to shrink by 1% from 2014-2024. The market depends largely on the demand for the goods that assembly technicians produce. Specially-trained workers, such as assemblers of aircraft structures, surfaces, rigging and systems, should find more opportunities than others in the coming years. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary for all team assemblers was $30,080.

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