Should I Become a Team Assembler?
Team assemblers work in groups to manufacture a variety of products on assembly lines. Assemblers might work with their hands, tools and machines to put together aircraft and automobiles, electronics, electrical appliances or computers. Generally, assemblers work with engineers to develop new products, read complex blueprints, assemble parts using hand tools and machines and perform quality control evaluations.
Team assemblers can work in a wide variety of industries, but most jobs are in manufacturing. Manufacturing facilities can be noisy places, and assemblers might have to stand or sit for long periods of time while performing their particular task. They might also be exposed to potentially harmful materials or chemicals, depending on the industry in which they work. Many of the more difficult tasks have become automated, relieving assemblers of these duties. This might explain why the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the number of jobs for assemblers and fabricators is expected to increase only 4% between 2012 and 2022.
|Degree Level||No degree required*; some employers may prefer 2-year degree or certificate***|
|Certification||Voluntary certification available*|
|Experience||Entry-level; some employers require 1-3 years of experience*|
|Key Skills||Color vision, manual dexterity, math skills, mechanical skills, technical skills, physical strength and stamina*|
|Computer Skills||Computer-aided drafting (CAD) software, data entry software, Microsoft Office suite software**|
|Technical Skills||Gauges or inspection fixtures, hammers, rivet tools, specialty wrenches, tube bending machinery**|
|Salary||$26,380 (Median annual salary for assemblers and fabricators as of May 2014)*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine, ***Employer job postings (January 2013).
Step 1: Complete Postsecondary Education
According to the BLS, employers looking for skilled assemblers in industries such as electronics, aircraft production or motor vehicle manufacturing might require candidates to have a 2-year degree or certificate. Aspiring team assemblers can find relevant associate degree and certificate programs at technical or community colleges. Relevant areas of study include welding gas and electric technologies, heavy equipment and transport technologies, and production technologies. Some employers looking to fill advanced assembler positions might require or prefer a candidate with additional training, such as the completion of a soldering certificate program.
Step 2: Develop Strong Verbal, Writing and Interpersonal Skills
Since team assemblers work with a variety of people and need to be able to carry out both verbal and written instructions, strong communication skills are highly desired by employers. An aspiring team assembler might enroll in courses designed to improve communications, such as business writing, public speaking or public relations.
Step 3: Work on Physical Strength
Employers looking for team assemblers usually require candidates to be able to physically lift around 20-75 pounds. Aspiring team assemblers can build physical strength by working out on a regular basis.
Step 4: Earn Voluntary Certification
Team assemblers can consider voluntary certification for career advancement possibilities. Voluntary certification can be found through organizations such as IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries or the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International. Certification often requires successfully passing an examination.