Assemblers and fabricators work assemble finished products that go into manufactured products. They also perform quality checks for mistakes or faulty components in the assembly process. The majority of assemblers and fabricators work in manufacturing plants which may require long periods of time sitting or standing.
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How to Become an Assembler and Fabricator
The type of industry you works in may impact the education and qualifications level requirements to be an assembler and fabricator. For example, aerospace and defense industries or other more specialized jobs may require certification in soldering. Most often though, a high school diploma or the equivalent is sufficient. For more advanced assembly work, additional training and experience would be needed.
Workers are typically trained on-the-job. It’s reported that over 80% of team assemblers hold a high school diploma. Positions that work with aircraft and motor vehicle products, electrical, or electronic manufactures usually need more formal education from a technical school. Some employers may ask for an associate’s degree for more skilled assembler and fabrication jobs. Qualified applicants, including those with technical vocational training and certification, are likely to have the best job opportunities in growing, high-technology industries, such as aerospace and electro-medical devices manufacturing.
Job Description of an Assembler and Fabricator
Assemblers and fabricators can read and understand blueprints and schematics. They use various hand tools or machines to assemble parts and check for quality. Some assemblers and fabricators use computers, robots, programmable motion-control devices, and sensing technologies. Also, some assemblers and fabricators work with a team of people while others specialize in one type of product.
O*NET OnLine further breaks out assemblers and fabricators into another category, team assemblers. These assemblers work together during the assembly process and complete an item or task together, often rotating tasks and deciding how to maximize their efficiency. Team assemblers is considered to have a bright outlook so this career has a higher growth rate and salary associated with it.
There are also timing device assemblers that perform precision assembling, adjusting, or calibrating, within narrow tolerances, of timing devices such as digital clocks or timing devices with electrical or electronic components. Duties include but are no limited to assembling and installing parts of timepieces to complete mechanisms, using watchmakers’ tools and loupes. They observe timepiece mechanisms, components, and subassemblies to determine accuracy of movement or find causes of defects. Timing device assemblers test the operation and fit of parts and subassemblies. They may use electronic testing equipment, tweezers, watchmakers’ tools, and loupes.
Other specialized assemblers include Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers, Engine/ Machine Assemblers, Electrical/Electronic Equipment Assemblers, and Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers.
Assembler and Fabricator Career Video Transcript
These days almost any product you buy at a store had its finishing touches put on by an assembler. Assemblers and fabricators construct finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make a wide variety of products, in many different settings. Assemblers and fabricators typically specialize. For example: Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles.
Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers use bolts, rivets and soldering equipment to build parts of products like motors, computers, and sensing equipment that require the soft touch and fine motor skills of human hands. Fiberglass laminators and fabricators apply layers of fiberglass on molds to form structures for boats, cars, and other products. They wear respirators and protective clothing for safety.
Most assemblers and fabricators work in manufacturing plants, where difficult tasks may be automated or aided by power tools. However, assembly work can still involve long periods of standing, sitting, or working on ladders. While some jobs involve exposure to chemicals or fumes… ventilation systems generally minimize harmful effects. Although a high school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training are enough for most jobs, experience and additional education or training is needed for more advanced assembly work.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Assemblers and Fabricators.
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The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.