Thinking about a job as an assembler, but not sure what it’s really like? In this article, we’ll talk about what you can expect on the job as an assembler, what qualifications you need, and how you can find an assembly job. Assemblers are in demand in many areas of the country, and positions are available on a temporary and direct-hire basis. Some assembly jobs are seasonal, for example, if you are assembling products that are popular at Christmas or in the summer. You might be surprised by exactly when the busy times occur because items are usually built well ahead of when needed. You may also hear assembly positions referred to as production, production line specialist, assembly/production line, or assembly line processor. They are just different ways of describing the same job.
Why Work an Assembly Job?
Assembly jobs can give you a sense of accomplishment. At the end of each day, you can point to what you’ve gotten done. You’ll get better each day and become a valuable part of a team with the goal of creating a product you can put your hands on. One of the best things about assembly work is that you don’t have to take your job home with you at the end of the day. When you clock out at the end of the day, your work is done. You’re not answering email while you’re trying to relax in the evening and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have to take work-related calls on your day off.
What is an Assembler’s Daily Job Requirements?
All but the most complex assembly jobs require just a high school education or a GED. Some may require some additional training, such as assembly jobs that require advanced skills like welding. When you look at a job description for an assembly job, you’ll typically see something like this:
Job Duties May Include:
- Reading and understanding blueprints, schematics, or assembly guidelines
- Collecting parts for assembly
- Assembling products quickly and accurately
- Moving assembled products to the next area
- Conforming to company guidelines for quality and safety
- Using required machines or hand tools to accomplish tasks
- Maintaining equipment and/or conveyors and performs basic repairs when needed.
- Inventorying tools, parts, and supplies to ensure you have everything you need to do your job
- Performing quality checks
- Resolving issues or reporting problems to supervisor
What are the Qualifications Necessary to be an Assembler?
Pay and qualifications can vary depending on the product and location. Some assembly jobs require prior experience, training, or certifications. They can be harder to come by and offer a higher rate of pay. On the other hand, if you are just entering the workforce or making a career change, there are plenty of entry-level assembler jobs where the employer will offer training. These jobs may come with a lower level of pay, but it’s a great way to start. If you prove yourself to be a quick learner and dependable, you can work your way up or use that experience to land a more challenging and better-paying job. You can also pursue certifications in hazardous materials, electrical wiring, or soldering. Any of these will make you more in demand with employers and earn you a higher rate of pay. Earning a forklift operator’s license is also a smart move to increase your income and job prospects.
What is the Salary of an Assembler?
The salary for assembler jobs can vary widely depending on many factors such as where in the country you are located, how much demand there is for workers, and the kind of products you are assembling. Assembly jobs that require advanced or technical skills will pay higher, as will jobs that require you to handle hazardous materials.
Assemblers are typically paid an hourly wage rather than a weekly salary and can earn extra income from overtime pay if the employer needs to meet a tight deadline or keep up with high demand levels. The current average hourly pay for assembly jobs in the United States is just over $14.00 an hour. Assembly jobs with a high level of skill or experience can pay more than $20.00 an hour, while simple jobs that require only basic skill and no experience will probably pay minimum age or a little more. That’s why it’s wise to gain experience and build your skills to increase your pay rate.
For challenging projects, an employer may look for three to five years or more of experience and sometimes specific certifications. For jobs that require assemblers to use forklifts or solder on the job, the pay rate is typically higher, and you probably have your choice of employers.
Assembly jobs are fair because you can control a lot about the advancement of your career. Almost anyone willing to do the work can get an entry-level assembler job. From there, it’s up to you to make a great impression with your work ethic and positive attitude and build your skills to boost your hourly wage, and if you keep at it, you can work your way up to line supervisor and beyond.
What Skills are Used in Assembly Production?
The skills used in production jobs can vary, but typically they will need to be able to prepare and position parts for assembly, check that each component is assembled correctly, and log any discrepancies. Assemblers must-read measurements, check specifications, and ensure completed components conform to standards for quality and accuracy. Assembly workers are often expected to maintain and service equipment, troubleshoot malfunctions, ensure quality control, maintain supply inventory, and communicate with other stations on the assembly line to ensure accuracy, speed, and efficiency. Assemblers often work in stations or cells where they work on a specific portion of a build and send the product down the line to the next set of workers. That makes it essential that you can communicate effectively and work well with the workers on your team and those on other teams to keep the work moving efficiently and accurately without delays or wasted time or effort.
Successful assemblers must have good manual dexterity, basic math skills, and the ability to read and understand blueprints or manuals. Depending on the nature of the job, they may also need mechanical and technical skills. Employers also look for candidates who can use simple software for communication or record–keeping and who can work well as part of a team or on their own. They want you to be capable of working without a lot of hands-on supervision, but they also want you to be receptive to feedback and be able to learn from your mistakes. The ideal assembler is hard-working, dependable, and willing to learn.
Where is the Job Setting of an Assembler Located?
Assembly jobs are available nearly anywhere in the country. The industries may vary depending on where the factory is located, but you can live almost anywhere and work an assembly job from cities to small towns to rural areas. Factory settings can also vary. Some are climate-controlled and quite comfortable; others can get very hot or cold depending on the climate in the area or the products being assembled. There are even some assembly jobs in outdoor or partially open-air environments. There’s really no limit to where or when you can work.
Equipment Used in Assembler Jobs
Most employers will expect assemblers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Common PPE can include steel-toed boots, hard hats, and safety glasses. Other specialized PPE can include cut-proof gloves, latex gloves, masks, or respirators. It really varies a lot. There are assembly jobs in cleanrooms – highly controlled environments for things like computer components, or cold rooms if products must be kept below a certain temperature.
Some assembly jobs can be performed with just your hands or basic hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, or Allen wrenches, but many require specialized power or automated equipment. (how would you like to build a car with your socket set?)
Typical Hours for Assembler Jobs
Temporary assembly jobs can provide a lot of flexibility if that’s important to you. You could take summers off if you wanted. Assembly jobs sometimes offer second or third-shift jobs. This can be a great opportunity if you have daytime obligations such as childcare or school. It can also be great if you’re just not a morning person!
First shift typically starts at six or seven in the morning. It can be tough to get up for this early start, but the advantage is that your day is done by late afternoon, giving you plenty of time for hobbies or family time. Second shift picks up where first shift leaves off; three to eleven is common. Some companies run a third shift either year-round or to keep up with crunch time, production deadlines or seasonal demands.
Physical Demand of Assembler Jobs
The physical demands of assembly jobs can vary depending on what you are assembling and many other factors. In almost all cases, you’ll be expected to stand for the duration of your shift except during your scheduled break and lunch. The work is typically repetitive. You must avoid distractions as much as possible. Speed and attention to detail and equally essential, so it’s important to remain focused. You’ll need to have good eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity.
Assembly jobs are typically in a fast-paced environment that requires accuracy and attention to detail. That can be stressful, so it’s important that you can manage your stress levels and stay focused. In some assembly jobs you’ll work with parts that are sharp or otherwise hazardous. The employer will provide safety equipment and safeguards, but the most important factor in keeping you safe and healthy on the job is your own attentiveness. Keeping yourself fit can also help give you the strength and stamina to perform your job duties safely and effectively, so a regular fitness routine is smart.
Depending on the nature of your job, you may have to read and understand complex blueprints or instructions. Assembly jobs usually have a requirement that you be able to lift a certain amount of weight. Thirty to forty pounds is typical, but it can be much more.
How to Be Successful in Assembly Production
Many people take assembler jobs for granted but they are actually very important jobs. Some have been automated, but many more still require the human touch. If you are dependable and focused you will have no trouble finding an assembly job. Many employers are willing to offer training which adds to your marketable skills. That means that every assembly job you work make you in greater demand in the job market. Keeping your skills up to date can help to ensure you don’t get pigeonholed into a specific industry. This is important because the economy and technology change all the time. New products are created, old industries die off. The more experience you gain, the more options you have in terms of employment as an assembler.
Work with Our Staffing Agency to Get Started
Working with a staffing agency is a great way to get started as an assembler. They typically work with a wide range of employers, increasing your chance of finding an assembly position that’s just right for you. In most cases, you can apply once to be considered for many jobs, which is much less frustrating than searching online and filling out dozens of applications looking for the exact same information. They typically have different employment options such as temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct hire jobs which give you choices depending on your lifestyle or preferences.
Contact Westside Personnel Services
Westside Personnel Services is St. Louis & Franklin County’s top staffing agency for assembly positions. We help job seekers throughout the area find the right assembler jobs. If you’d like to get started as an assembler or want help finding a better assembler job, stop by our offices or search jobs and apply online today! We would be happy to help you make the most of your skills and experience to earn a good income or find a job that’s a better fit for you.