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Become An Assembly Associate

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Working As An Assembly Associate

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $72,873

    Average Salary

What Does An Assembly Associate Do

Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make engines, computers, aircraft, ships, boats, toys, electronic devices, control panels, and more.

Duties

Assemblers and fabricators typically do the following:

  • Read and understand schematics and blueprints
  • Use hand tools or machines to assemble parts
  • Conduct quality control checks
  • Work closely with designers and engineers in product development

Assemblers and fabricators have an important role in the manufacturing process. They assemble both finished products and the pieces that go into them. The products encompass a full range of manufactured goods, including aircraft, toys, household appliances, automobiles, computers, and electronic devices.

Changes in technology have transformed the manufacturing and assembly process. Modern manufacturing systems use robots, computers, programmable motion-control devices, and various sensing technologies. These technological changes affect the way in which goods are made and the jobs of those who make them. Advanced assemblers must be able to work with these new technologies and use them to manufacture goods.

The job of an assembler or fabricator requires a range of knowledge and skills. Skilled assemblers putting together complex machines, for example, read detailed schematics that show how to assemble the machine. After determining how parts should connect, they use hand or power tools to trim, shim, cut, and make other adjustments to fit components together. Once the parts are properly aligned, they connect them with bolts and screws or weld or solder pieces together.

Quality control is important throughout the assembly process, so assemblers look for faulty components and mistakes in the assembly process. They help fix problems before defective products are made.

Manufacturing techniques are moving away from traditional assembly line systems toward lean manufacturing systems, which use teams of workers to produce entire products or components. Lean manufacturing has changed the nature of the assemblers’ duties.

It has become more common to involve assemblers and fabricators in product development. Designers and engineers consult manufacturing workers during the design stage to improve product reliability and manufacturing efficiency. Some experienced assemblers work with designers and engineers to build prototypes or test products.

Although most assemblers and fabricators are classified as team assemblers, others specialize in producing one type of product or perform the same or similar tasks throughout the assembly process.

The following are examples of types of assemblers and fabricators:

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as the wings, fuselage, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, and heating and ventilating systems.

Coil winders, tapers, and finishers wind wire coils of electrical components used in a variety of electric and electronic products, including resistors, transformers, generators, and electric motors.

Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers build products such as electric motors, computers, electronic control devices, and sensing equipment. Automated systems have been put in place because many small electronic parts are too small or fragile for human assembly. Much of the remaining work of electrical and electronic assemblers is done by hand during the small-scale production of electronic devices used in all types of aircraft, military systems, and medical equipment. Production by hand requires these workers to use devices such as soldering irons.

Electromechanical equipment assemblers assemble and modify electromechanical devices such as household appliances, computer tomography scanners, or vending machines. The workers use a variety of tools, such as rulers, rivet guns, and soldering irons.

Engine and machine assemblers construct, assemble, and rebuild engines, turbines, and machines used in automobiles, construction and mining equipment, and power generators.

Structural metal fabricators and fitters cut, align, and fit together structural metal parts and may help weld or rivet the parts together.

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators laminate layers of fiberglass on molds to form boat decks and hulls, bodies for golf carts, automobiles, and other products.

Team assemblers work on an assembly line, but they rotate through different tasks, rather than specializing in a single task. The team may decide how the work is assigned and how different tasks are done. Some aspects of lean production, such as rotating tasks and seeking worker input on improving the assembly process, are common to all assembly and fabrication occupations.

Timing device assemblers, adjusters, and calibrators do precision assembling or adjusting of timing devices within very narrow tolerances.

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How To Become An Assembly Associate

The education level and qualifications needed to enter these jobs vary depending on the industry and employer. Although a high school diploma is enough for most jobs, experience and additional training is needed for more advanced assembly work.

Education

Most employers require a high school diploma or the equivalent for assembler and fabricator positions.

Training

Workers usually receive on-the-job training, sometimes including employer-sponsored technical instruction.

Some employers may require specialized training or an associate’s degree for the most skilled assembly and fabrication jobs. For example, jobs with electrical, electronic, and aircraft and motor vehicle products manufacturers typically require more formal education through technical schools. Apprenticeship programs are also available.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) offers the Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification (PSMO) and the Precision Press Brake Certification (PPB). Although not required, becoming certified can demonstrate competence and professionalism. It also may help a candidate advance in the profession.

In addition, many employers that hire electrical and electronic assembly workers, especially those in the aerospace and defense industries, require certifications in soldering.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Assemblers and fabricators who make electrical and electronic products must be able to distinguish different colors because the wires they work with often are color coded.

Dexterity. Assemblers and fabricators should have a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination, as they must grasp, manipulate, or assemble parts and components that are often very small.

Math skills. Assemblers and fabricators must know basic math and must be able to use computers, as the manufacturing process continues to advance technologically.

Mechanical skills. Modern production systems require assemblers and fabricators to be able to use programmable motion-control devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.

Physical stamina. Assemblers and fabricators must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitious work.

Physical strength. Assemblers and fabricators must be strong enough to lift heavy components or pieces of machinery. Some assemblers, such as those in the aerospace industry, must frequently bend or climb ladders when assembling parts.

Technical skills. Assemblers and fabricators must be able to understand technical manuals, blueprints, and schematics for a wide range of products and machines to properly manufacture the final product.

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Assembly Associate Jobs

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Assembly Associate Career Paths

Assembly Associate
Picker Production Assembler Assembler/Team Lead
Assembly Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Assembler Technician Operations Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Instructor General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Technician Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Operator
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Production Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Assembler Security Officer Account Manager
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Production Supervisor Production Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Maintenance Technician
Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Repair Technician Quality Inspector
Production Team Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Production Technician Engineering Technician Project Engineer
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Quality Technician Quality Engineer
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Quality Engineer
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Security Officer Account Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Mechanic Mechanical Assembler
Senior Assembler
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Warehouse Manager Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Quality Control Inspector Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Assembly Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Assembly Repairer 4.2 years
Assembly Leader 3.8 years
Assembly Inspector 3.1 years
Assembly Operator 2.8 years
Assembly Person 2.5 years
Assembly Member 2.2 years
Assembler 2.1 years
Assembly Loader 2.0 years
Assembly Associate 2.0 years
Assembly Worker 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 13.8%
Associate 8.5%
Assembler 5.5%
Manager 2.6%
Inspector 2.4%
Teller 2.2%
Top Employers After
Associate 8.6%
Cashier 7.7%
Assembler 6.1%
Technician 3.3%
Driver 3.1%
Manager 2.4%
Cook 2.2%

Do you work as an Assembly Associate?

Assembly Associate Demographics

Gender

Male

53.5%

Female

44.1%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.0%

French

10.0%

Hmong

7.5%

Vietnamese

5.0%

Arabic

5.0%

Swahili

2.5%

Samoan

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Polish

2.5%

Navajo

2.5%
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Assembly Associate Education

Schools

Trident Technical College

14.4%

Midlands Technical College

7.8%

Greenville Technical College

7.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.6%

Forsyth Technical Community College

5.6%

Columbus State Community College

5.6%

Gadsden State Community College

4.4%

Piedmont Technical College

4.4%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.4%

University of Phoenix

4.4%

Denmark Technical College

4.4%

Ashford University

4.4%

ITT Technical Institute-Greenville

3.3%

University of Alabama

3.3%

Miami Dade College

3.3%

Ashworth College

3.3%

Sinclair Community College

3.3%

Vance-Granville Community College

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

29.5%

Accounting

7.6%

Criminal Justice

6.2%

Health Care Administration

5.8%

Computer Science

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

5.1%

Information Technology

4.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.0%

General Studies

4.0%

Management

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.9%

Nursing

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.5%

Culinary Arts

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Psychology

2.2%

Nursing Assistants

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

36.1%

Bachelors

24.8%

Associate

23.8%

Certificate

7.8%

Masters

3.5%

Diploma

3.5%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for An Assembly Associate

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  1. Inspect Parts
  2. Product Line
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operated equipment properly and followed safety procedures.
  • Worked with engineers to ensure quality standards for all parts built, relying on blueprints and attention to detail.
  • Assembled parts on mini cash registers using hand tools and power tools in a timely and orderly fashion.
  • Packaged orders for shipment - Assembled electronic equipment - Participated in quality testing - Sanitized equipment
  • Performed monthly safety audits and maintained active participation for several American Honda quality checks.

How Would You Rate Working As an Assembly Associate?

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