AssemblerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Assemblers use their skills to put together the various parts of a particular product. They might only assemble one set of components or the finished product. They have to read and interpret blueprints, assemble parts correctly, and ensure they fit as directed. They also perform repairs when necessary and report errors in the assembly line. Assemblers use a variety of tools, including machinery and basic hand tools, depending on the job and the industry. They perform routine inspections to check for accuracy and quality in their products. Assemblers need to have a thorough understanding of manufacturing to make sure everything is built to the proper specifications.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking for hardworking, honest, and dedicated individuals who want to be part of the best team in the industry. The ideal candidate would be able to work independently when given a job assignment, be responsible and dependable, able to work well with schedulers, be flexible with changes that may occur during the workday, able to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, and have excellent communication skills.

As an assembler technician, you will be trained to assemble products and provide services of superior quality to our customers. This is a labor-intensive, sometimes repetitive job.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Read and understand complex diagrams, schematics, and blueprints 
  • Work with team members to ensure production roles are clear
  • Assemble parts and products based on physical and digital designs
  • Operate and maintain design machinery and modify machinery settings when necessary to adhere to design specifications
  • Operate power tools and other heavy machinery
  • Follow strict safety guidelines
  • Regularly communicate with engineers and design staff to ensure designs are being implemented correctly 
  • Troubleshoot issues with designs or production
  • Use tools to make or repair parts and products
  • Work with a team to assemble products on the production floor
  • Maintain a clean workspace
  • Read parts list and make sure all are present
  • Undergo routine preventive maintenance
  • Maintain inventory and place orders for more supplies as needed
  • Complete quality control forms.

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Employers in certain industries generally require extra training for more advanced assembly work, usually through technical schools
  • 1+ years of assembly experience preferred

Required skills and qualifications

  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Significant mechanical skills
  • Ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Able to perform repetitive tasks for extended periods 
  • Ability to differentiate between colors to identify colored electrical wires
  • Skilled using an array of manual and power tools
  • Ability to read and interpret drawings and designs
  • Good communication skills
  • Physical fitness and strength to lift and operate heavy electrical machinery
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Basic computer skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience using drafting tools and machinery
  • Willingness to learn new production tools and methods
  • Willingness to work flexible shifts

Average salary and compensation

Though salary will vary depending on experience and location, the average salary for an assembler is $35,760 per year in the United States.

LocationSalary for 1 Year of ExperienceSalary for 5 Years of Experience
Phoenix, Arizona$35,400$36,636
Los Angeles, California$40,500$41,915
Denver, Colorado$36,200$37,472
Washington, DC$39,900$41,279
Miami, Florida$34,900$36,118
Orlando, Florida$34,102$35,282
Tampa, Florida$34,100$35,282
Atlanta, Georgia$35,400$36,636
Chicago, Illinois$38,000$39,325
Boston, Massachusetts$40,400$41,797
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$38,200$39,525
New York City, New York$43,100$44,604
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$38,400$39,725
Dallas, Texas$35,600$36,838
Houston, Texas$36,700$37,990
Seattle, Washington$39,200$40,561

Typical work environment

Assemblers generally work in factories and manufacturing plants. Modern plants and factories are usually clean, well ventilated, and safe. They might be required to stand or sit for long periods. The work is almost always indoors, although some work outdoors. Assemblers often wear protective gear like safety goggles, masks, and earplugs.

Depending on the job, they might be exposed to harmful chemicals, slippery grease, and loud machinery. The job can also expose assemblers to other hazards, such as large metal parts, cutting tools, and electrical wiring. These individuals must always be safety-conscious.

Typical hours

Typical hours for this position are from 9 AM to 5 PM. Assemblers typically work a normal 40 hour week, although shift work, weekends, and overtime are not uncommon. Workers at factories with multiple shifts might have schedules that change often.

Available certifications

As assemblers work in a variety of industries, various institutions offer certifications, including:

  • SAE Fabricator (SFF). The SFF is offered by ETA International and is for individuals who manufacture, install, support, integrate, and test fiber optics systems. The SFF demonstrates competency, ability, and knowledge as an aerospace fiber optics fabricator. Candidates must pass the technical examinations and meet the requirements, which include 2+ years of education or training after high school to earn certification. 
  • CertTEC Aviation Mechanical Assembly certification. The CertTEC Aviation Mechanical Assembly certification focuses on Introduction to Aviation, Blueprint Reading, Precision Instruments, Power Island & Hand Tools, Fasteners & Fastener Installation Inspection, Drilling & Riveting, Sealing Application & Sealing Safety, and Electrical Bonding & Grounding. The comprehensive assessment is accredited by the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC). The exam has three parts consisting of an 80 question computer-based written exam, an oral evaluation, and a practical evaluation designed to test your technical knowledge and skills.
  • IPC-A-610 Acceptability of Electronics Assemblies. For those who work in the electronic assembly field, the IPC-A-610 certification is an excellent way to advance your career. Offered by IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries, this certification demonstrates your advanced skill in hardware installation, soldering, surface mounting for chip components, component mounting for DIPS, socket pins, and card edge connectors, jumper wire assembly, and others.

Career path

Most employers require a high school diploma or GED for assembler positions, although an advanced degree is preferred and required in some industries. Assemblers normally learn from several months of on-the-job training, which might include third-party technical instruction. They can work in a variety of industries, and gaining an accredited certification in a specific field demonstrates competence and professionalism and can be a faster path to career advancement. Assemblers can work in industries such as automobiles, optics, computer and electronic devices, aircraft, and household appliances, among many others.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 51-2051

2020 Employment1,883,700
Projected Employment in 20291,679,400
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift 11% decline
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift204,300 decrease

Assembly roles are becoming increasingly digitized, and innovation continues to drive change in manufacturing plants and factories. More and more, assembly jobs will require high technical skills and a willingness to partner with robotic, collaborative coworkers. The emergence of electric cars will see a change in how assemblers in automotive plants work from infrastructure to raw materials to assembly. Growing, high-tech fields, such as aerospace, defense, and electro-medical devices will offer the best job opportunities for assemblers in the manufacturing sector.  

Sample interview questions

  • Tell me about the most complex item you’ve built. How did you do it?
  • Are you able to read blueprints and schematics? 
  • How experienced are you working with tools? 
  • What do you feel are the most important skills for an assembler to possess?
  • What is the most challenging aspect of the job of an assembler?
  • How do you ensure the consistent quality of your work?
  • What do you do if you receive an order with an error?
  • How do you imagine a typical day in this factory? 
  • What are your expectations for the job of an assembler?
  • Are you comfortable having quotas and targets to meet at work every day?
  • Are you able to do repetitive jobs? How do you stay motivated?
  • What will you do to ensure your safety in work, and the safety of your colleagues?
  • Do you have any experience with [Your Preferred Tool] tool?
  • Do you have experience with [Your Company’s Assembly Machines] machine?
  • Do you have experience with laser-guided assembly instructions?
  • Are you experienced with assembling products of different sizes?
  • Are you detail oriented?
  • Do you work well as a part of a team?
  • Do you have experience ordering supplies for parts and products?
  • Are you familiar with energy-saving protocols to lower costs?
  • What steps do you typically follow to keep factory equipment operational?

Assembler Jobs in Ashburn

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