As the name suggests, in the simplest terms, an assembler is responsible for assembling the physical components of a product. Assemblers are also known as mechanical assemblers, industrial assemblers, or electronic assemblers. The primary role is to construct, maintain, and repair the physical components of a product. They transform semi-finished goods into the end product by putting together the parts into complex structures. An assembler is also responsible for overseeing that all the safety standards are being met in manufacturing the product. The ability to understand and implement instruction manuals and design plans is key for this job.
If you are someone who takes a great interest in acquiring essential technical knowledge and is agile with your fingers, then the job of an assembler might be perfect for you. Resume Now brings all the information you need to either begin your career as an assembler or make it better. The first step towards this is understanding the three ways of presenting your resume most professionally.
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Job duties of an assembler
The main job duties are to ensure proper assembly, manufacturing, and fabrication of the physical components of products. They must possess technical knowledge and skills since these are important in compiling components and operating the machinery used to carry out the process of assembly. Good knowledge of understanding and implementing instruction manuals and blueprints for various technologies is also required. Overall, the job requires excellent dexterity and technical skills.
Following are the primary job duties of an assembler:
Understanding and implementing technical instructions as stated in the provided manuals and blueprints.
Following standard measurement ratios and modifying measurements as per the needs of individual products.
Compiling, assessing, and putting together physical components to manufacture complex parts and the final product.
Assessing the assembly line for faults and drawbacks to ensure that the assembling process is optimized.
Examining physical components for defects and correcting them to ensure that they follow industry safety standards.
Ensuring the functionality of all technical equipment by following manufacturer’s guidelines and conducting routine checks for any defects.
Maintain relevant documentation of the manufacturing process by filling up production and quality forms.
Managing the inventory of raw materials by checking the quantities being used up in the manufacturing process and ensuring adequate supply.
Assembler median salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of assemblers and fabricators as of May 2020 stood at $34,970. Assemblers who work in demanding industries such as transportation equipment manufacturing have a median annual salary of $40,010.
Top skills for assemblers
As an assembler, you’ll perform various moderately complex assembly, fabrication, production, and operator tasks. You’ll be assembling parts per standardized work instructions. For this role, the ideal candidate should possess critical thinking ability, be detail-oriented and meticulous in the execution of tasks. Let’s learn more about the skills you’ll need to get the job:
- Assembling skills The main responsibility of this role is to assemble or produce component pieces into completed parts, products, or completed units adhering to the assembly standard work instructions. This requires solid shop skills and equipment operation knowledge, excellent hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity for operating machinery and computers, and the ability to work productively on a repetitive basis. Some roles require you to assemble by hand on an assembly line, while others require operating specialized machinery. More specifically, you’ll be assembling and attaching hardware, such as caps, clamps, knobs and switches to a product. You may also be performing intermediate assembly tasks, such as potting, encapsulating, sanding, cleaning, epoxy bonding, curing, stamping, etching, impregnating and color-coding parts. At a minimum, you’ll be positioning and aligning parts in a specified relationship to each other according to instructions. You could also expect to crimp, stake, screw, bolt, rivet, weld, solder, cement, press fits or perform similar operations to join or secure parts in place. Finally, you’ll be installing finished products or parts in cases and cabinets.
- Detail-oriented One of the primary skills you must have to be an assembler is to be attentive to details. This is because to successfully assemble or produce products to the expected quality and instructions; you’ll need to be highly accurate and attentive to small details. If you’ve ever assembled a product at home, such as a bookcase, a fan, or a futon, you know there are many parts you need to work with and get right, preferably the first time, not needing to disassemble and try again. As an assembler, you might be working with many more pieces than you find in a product box, and you must assemble things right the first time and on time. Following established procedures and processes for in-house manufacturing requires you to be attentive for extended periods. Superb attention to detail produces work of exceptional quality and accuracy, plus gives you the ability to identify issues and address them proactively.
- Be a team player As an assembler, you’ll usually be working as part of a team. For this, you need good interpersonal and communication skills to be an effective team player who excels in a collaborative environment and gets along with others to work flexibly within any area of assembly. You must be a team-oriented individual who is flexible and adaptable to an ever-changing environment and display intense collaboration skills to assist assembly groups with problem-solving.
- Adept using tools To accomplish tasks daily, you’ll need to be familiar with and adept at using various tools that’ll allow you to complete your assembling tasks. You must know how to use hand tools and power tools to assemble units according to product specifications, use air tools, overhead cranes, hoists and lift trucks used in the assembly area. The manufacturing operations you’ll be performing might require you to operate such equipment as saws, tube benders, degreasers, glass beaders, packaging equipment, and more. You’ll be operating equipment to assemble and align electronic and mechanical assemblies and/or tending to machines that press, shape or wind parts.
- Strong communications and problem-solving skills This role demands strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and the ability to read and use blueprints and working drawings. This is necessary to read and understand work orders, follow production drawings and sample assemblies, or receive verbal holding instructions regarding duties to be performed. The ability to read and comprehend simple instructions requires interpreting the work instructions and procedures necessary to perform work tasks and understand the documents that comprise the company’s quality system. Most roles also require you to record and maintain accurate daily production record logs associated with the production process and the manufacturing performance, for which you’ll need written communication skills. You must also effectively communicate any process problems with peers, leads, supervisors and engineers. For this, you need the ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to others.
- Quality Assurance Monitoring the quality of the finished product to identify, discard or re-manufacture faulty ones is also an essential responsibility of an assembler. You’ll be expected to identify units that fail tests or tolerance levels and repair them as necessary. You must inspect assembled products or completed units for conforming to product specifications and standards and dimensional correctness by using visual inspection, gauges, tape measures, checking fixtures, calipers or other inspection equipment.
- Physical endurance It may come as no surprise to hear that the nature of an assembler’s job is not a passive one. Most roles expect you to move up to 50 pounds, stand and sit for long periods, move continuously to efficiently get to other work areas and reach and use fine manipulation skills.
Assemblers education and certifications
DegreeThe minimum educational requirement for an assembler position is to have your high school diploma or a GED. Many times, any other training is not necessary since many companies provide mandatory company-provided training. However, some employers prefer an associate degree in a technical field since you will be expected to read and interpret assembly prints/drawings and adhere to written instructions.
Santa Ana College offers an associate degree in Conventional Machining, which teaches necessary skills such as blueprint reading, technical math, and how to work with the Computer Numerical Controller (CNC). Southern Maine Community College offers a degree program in Precision Machining and Manufacturing which also encompasses the necessary skills to be an assembler.
Since most employers consider a combination of education and experience, having an associate degree is advantageous for those with few or no years of experience in the field. Especially since some roles require three to five years of experience working in a related area. Not all roles require so many years of experience, though, and you can find positions looking for zero to one year of experience in previous assembly or manufacturing in a warehouse setting, working with power tools, or working in a physically demanding position.
CertificationsWhile employers don’t require candidates to be certified or licensed in any area, some courses, specializations, and certifications can be beneficial to prove your ability to perform specific required skills and boost your chances of getting the job. Certifications can hold more weight than a degree if you get certified in the exact skills needed for the job. A few options to consider are:
For-profit online educational companies: Learning platforms like Udemy offer courses that train you in specific skills. A good one for anyone wanting to become an assembler is the course Introduction to Engineering Drawings and Blueprints on Udemy, which will teach you how to read blueprints.
Colleges and universities: Santa Ana College offers a certificate in Conventional Machining, which teaches you to read blueprints, technical mathematics, CNC program writing, and many other necessary skills for the role. Shoreline Community College also offers a Basic Manufacturing Certificate, which trains you in the skills you need to get an assembler role. Also, Front Range Community College offers a certificate in Manual Machining.
Organizations and associations: OSHAcademy has a Basic Tool Safety course that’ll teach you how to safely use the tools you’ll need to be an assembler.
Assembler resume-writing tips
Optimizing your resume is the best way to kickstart your career as an assembler.
Following are some tips that must be followed while building your resume:
- Use keywords to stand out: Most employers do not spend a lot of time going through a candidate’s resume. In fact, in the majority of the cases, they might not even bother reading complete sentences. In such a case, placing keywords strategically throughout your resume can help your unique selling points pop out, even if someone is only skimming throughout the resume. For example, use long-tailed and short-tailed keywords like ‘attention to details’ and ‘mechanical aptitude.
- Put your experience over education: The work of an assembler is highly technical. This is why an educational qualification such as a bachelor’s degree is not considered necessary for the post. Instead, the focus is entirely on a person’s skills and expertise as acquired through past experiences. Thus, make sure that you emphasize your experiences rather than your education so that your resume reflects your full professional potential. This means talking more about your experience in the role of an assembler rather than about your degree.
- Make sure your resume is up-to-date: A resume can become outdated over time as a person grows professionally and acquires new skills and experiences. An outdated resume hampers your chances of growing in your career by not reflecting your fullest potential. Thus, it is important to keep updating your resume as you progress in your career. This is especially important for assemblers since their work is highly technical, constantly acquiring new skills. Make sure to put in any new skill you learned, such as working with new physical components to impress interviewers.
Which industries have a great demand for assemblers?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries that are the largest employers of assemblers and fabricators are transportation equipment manufacturing, temporary help services, machinery manufacturing, computer and electronic product manufacturing, and fabricated metal product manufacturing.
What are the working hours of an assembler?
Assemblers usually have to dedicate 37 to 40 hours to their work every week. The work may be distributed in a shift system that covers hours of the morning, evening, night and weekends.
What is the difference between an assembler and a packer?
Assemblers and packers play very different roles in an organization. While both deal with physical components, either raw, semi-finished, or finished, they play their roles at very different stages. An assembler’s work lies at the manufacturing stage of the business operations. On the other hand, the role of a packer lies at the packaging and shipment stage of the business operations.