Career Definition for an Electrical Assembler
Electrical assemblers, also known as electronic assemblers, connect large devices to electronic components to make them work. Routing, cutting, and soldering wires are just some of the expected tasks; expertise in handling various tools is something that every electrical assembler will learn. Many jobs provide electrical assemblers with on-site training; however, trade schools also offer certificate programs for those looking to find work in the profession.
|Education||On the job training available, trade schools also offer certificate programs|
|Job Skills||Hand-eye coordination, tool skills, teamwork, attention to detail|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$32,530 for electrical assemblers|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-21% for electrical assemblers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Many places of employment will offer training for prospective electrical assemblers; however, those looking to get a foot in the door may want to consider enrolling in a trade school to earn a certificate. Students in electrical assembly programs can expect to take classes that explain the basics of electricity; many schools offer students a chance to use a workshop as part of the coursework. Most certificate programs for electrical assemblers take a little over one year to complete.
Good hand-eye coordination is the main skill all electrical assemblers must have; putting together the small, intricate parts needed to empower devices of varying sizes requires impeccable attention to detail. Electrical assemblers must also be handy with various tools and be versatile. The ability to fit into a team setting is another good attribute for electrical assemblers.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 218,900 electrical assembly jobs existed in 2016. The BLS also estimates that electrical assembly jobs will decline by 21% from 2016-2026 due to the move of manufacturing jobs overseas and the advent of machines that are increasingly capable of doing the work. Smaller companies still have a need for electrical assemblers. As of 2017, the median yearly salary for electrical assemblers was $32,530.
Alternate Career Options
Consider these alternatives for career choices in machine maintenance:
Industrial Machinery Mechanic
In this job, workers inspect machinery that isn't working properly; using their knowledge of technical manuals, they identify problems, make repairs or replace parts. They also test newly repaired machinery and calibrate it to the appropriate settings. Industrial machinery mechanics perform regular maintenance tasks on the electronic, hydraulic, computer programming, and other systems on these machines.
Employers often prefer candidates who have completed some postsecondary education and training in industrial maintenance. The BLS projects that jobs for industrial machinery mechanics will increase 7% from 2016-2026. This job paid a median salary of $51,360 in 2017, also per the BLS.
Machine Operator and Tender
A machine operator loads, runs, and monitors machines that have been set up by machine setters to make a specific part. They also perform limited quality control and machinery repair tasks as needed. A high school diploma is generally required for employment, and on-the-job training is common. Industry certifications are available and may improve applicants' job prospects.
Jobs for metal and plastic machine workers are expected to decrease 9% from 2016-2026, per the BLS, although employment increases and decreases can vary widely by the kind of machinery operated. For example, those who operate drilling and boring machines can expect a decline of 19% in employment, while those who operate computer-controlled machines can expect a 1% increase in employment. The median annual pay rate for jobs in this field was $35,400 in 2017, per the BLS.