An assembly technician is responsible for constructing products from smaller parts.
Depending on their position, they may be responsible for other tasks.
This can include quality control testing on completed products.
It can also include the creation of manuals and other product literature.
Does this sound like an exciting career to you?
I’m about to explain what an assembly technician does, how much they earn, and how you can become one.
Table Of Contents
- Assembly Technician: The Basics
- Work Opportunities in the Assembly Technician Industry
- What It’s Like to be an Assembly Technician
- Assembly Technician Salary & Income
- Overview of the Assembly Technician Industry
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Assembly Technicians
- Assembly Technician Education & Schooling
- Become an Assembly Technician
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Assembly Technician: The Basics
Let’s start with the basics; what does an assembly technician do?
The basic answer is that they assemble things.
The full answer is more complicated than that.
What is an Assembly Technician?
An assembly technician works in the manufacturing process.
They receive batches of small parts and assemble them into a complete product.
They can work in any industry, from high-tech electronics to agriculture.
What Does an Assembly Technician Do?
Assembly technicians are responsible for more than just assembly.
More often than not, they also play a role in quality assurance.
Besides testing, techs often write the manuals.
Who better to help with troubleshooting than the person that built the product?
Technicians are sometimes involved in the engineering of new products.
Engineers use their feedback to improve on old designs.
Work Opportunities in the Assembly Technician Industry
There are many types of assembly tech jobs, depending on what industry you’re in.
That said, these jobs all have a lot in common.
Assembly Technician Job Description
An assembly technician will be responsible for many tasks.
The exact tasks will vary, but they’ll include some of the following:
- Reading and understanding blueprints, and assembling products from those blueprints.
- Calibrating and testing electrical components.
- Ensuring that components are plumb, level, and otherwise well-installed.
- Soldering electrical components.
- Adhering to clean room and ESD protocols.
- Using appropriate personal protection equipment.
- Tracking inventory levels and ordering parts as needed.
- Performing quality testing on completed products.
- Ensuring that products adhere to all industry standards.
- Ensuring compliance with all federal regulations.
Keep in mind that a lot depends on your industry.
For instance, a mechanical assembly technician will have different duties than an electrical assembly technician.
Top Assembly Technician Jobs and Careers
Assembly technicians can take different roles, as part of a larger team.
Here are some possible careers:
- A sub-assembly technician assembles small parts into mid-sized parts for larger machines. For example, someone might assemble a fridge compressor while another assembles the fridge.
- An assembly line worker is responsible for one step in the assembly process.
- An assembly team lead oversees a group of technicians.
Where Can an Assembly Technician Work?
An assembly technician typically works in an industrial setting.
This can range from a biotech lab to a traditional assembly line.
Current Career Job Openings
If you already meet the job requirements, why wait?
Here are some jobs you can apply for today:
What It’s Like to be an Assembly Technician
By now, you’re probably curious about what it’s like to work as an assembly tech.
Here’s a quick overview.
Is Being an Assembly Technician Hard?
It can be hard.
Techs get paid to work quickly, so you’ll need to work hard to keep your speed up.
You’ll also need to stay up-to-date in your field.
Suppose you’re assembling electronics.
You’ll have to know what the latest parts are capable of.
That way, you’ll be prepared for any new blueprints your job throws your way.
Is an Assembly Technician Job Stressful?
When you’re working on a deadline, any job can be stressful.
That said, there are many days when all you’re doing is assembling devices.
You might even be able to listen to an audiobook while you work.
Common Assembly Technician Work Day
Let’s take a closer look at what an assembly technician does on a day-to-day basis.
Assembly Technician Tasks & Duties
Depending on your job, your day may look different.
If you’re working on an assembly line, every day will be the same.
You’ll go to your position and install parts until your shift is done.
If you’re working in another position, you’ll have more variety.
Some days will still involve nothing but assembly.
Other days, you might have to write a product manual.
Product engineers might ask you to consult on the development of the next product generation. It’s all in a day’s work!
Assembly Technician Work Hours & Schedule
Most assembly techs work a 40-hour schedule.
This typically falls within normal working hours, but there are exceptions.
Assembly Technician Dress Code
The dress code depends entirely on the work environment. In an industrial setting, you might wear jeans and a company-approved tee-shirt.
If you’re working in biotech, you might wear a lab coat.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
In general, yes.
You’ll have a regular schedule, so you can easily plan around your working hours.
Assembly Technician Salary & Income
When you apply for any job, you want to know the salary.
Here’s what you can expect to learn as an assembly tech.
Do Assembly Technicians Make Good Money?
Most of them do.
That said, there’s a wide pay range, and a lot depends on what you’re doing.
The more specialized the job, the more you can expect to earn.
Soldering and welding are good examples.
If you have one of those skills, you’ll have access to higher-paying positions.
How Much Do Assembly Technicians Make?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average US assembly technician earns $66,585 per year in 2022.
This includes $38,721 in base pay, plus $27,864 in bonuses and other incentives.
The same survey shows a pay range of $31,000 to $178,000 per year.
Some outliers earn as much as $600,000.
Those ultra-high-paid techs work in classified fields, which require advanced knowledge and a security clearance.
Overview of the Assembly Technician Industry
Assembly techs work across many industries.
But what’s the state of the business, and how can you advance your career?
Let’s take a closer look.
Assembly Technician Field: Career Progression
An entry-level tech follows assembly procedures to produce completed assemblies.
As they gain more experience, they can work directly from schematics and wiring diagrams.
From there, you can graduate to quality control, and even oversee your own team.
Is Assembly Technician a Good Career?
It depends on whether or not you enjoy the work.
If you like working with hand tools and power tools, you’ll probably be happy.
If you dislike repetitive work, you’ll be less pleased.
Assembly Technician Job Outlook
The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts reduced demand for assembly technicians.
By the year 2030, the BLS expects jobs in these fields to decrease by 5%.
That’s worse than the 0% growth they forecast for manufacturing overall.
It’s way worse than the US job market’s 8% growth forecast.
Demand for Assembly Technicians
Due to automation, there’s less demand for assembly technicians than there used to be.
At the same time, existing jobs are becoming more complex.
You’ll need to be comfortable working with advanced equipment and cutting-edge technology.
Assembly Technician Facts
- According to Zippia.com, there are currently more than 115,000 assembly technicians in the US.
- The average American assembly tech is 47 years old.
- The majority of assembly technicians work at publicly-owned companies.
Jobs Related to Assembly Technician
- Food manufacturers take raw crops or livestock and convert it into edible food.
- Textile designers are responsible for the technical design of fabrics used in the fashion industry.
- Software engineers develop and maintain software for businesses and nonprofits.
- Warehouse team leader
- Shift manager
- Component design engineer
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Assembly Technicians
So, you want to become an assembly tech?
First, you’ll have to meet the requirements.
Let’s talk about what you need to become an assembly technician.
Who Should Consider an Assembly Technician Career Path?
An assembly technician needs to have excellent manual dexterity and technical aptitude.
It also helps if you’re a good team player.
The production process is complicated, and you’ll rarely be working alone.
Who Should NOT Consider an Assembly Technician Career Path?
If you like a job with lots of variety, you shouldn’t become an assembly technician.
The same goes if you prefer to work alone.
Is it Hard to Become an Assembly Technician?
It depends on the position.
Even an electronic assembly technician needs more or less skill, depending on the job.
What Do I Need to Become an Assembly Technician?
To become an assembly tech, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED.
However, that’s just a bare minimum.
For many positions, you’ll need a degree.
Requirements for Becoming an Assembly Technician
A good assembly technician needs to have the following attributes:
- Good manual dexterity
- Strong technical and mechanical skills
- Physical strength and stamina
- Color vision
What Skills Does an Assembly Technician Need?
In addition to all of the above, a technician may need additional skills.
For example, an electronic assembly technician might be expected to solder.
What Education Does an Assembly Technician Need?
An assembly technician needs a high school diploma or GED.
Can You Become an Assembly Technician Without a Degree?
Yes, although some positions require a degree.
What Experience Does an Assembly Technician Need?
An entry-level assembly technician requires no experience.
More advanced roles will have more stringent qualifications.
Assembly Technician Education & Schooling
Like any job, an assembly technician position requires some education.
Here’s what you’ll need to do.
What is Taught in an Assembly Technician Course?
Assembly technician courses cover the specifics of certain types of equipment.
For example, you might take a course in automotive design to better understand motor vehicles.
How Long Does an Assembly Technician Course Take?
If assembly techs take special classes, they typically earn an associate’s degree.
Most of these degrees take two years or less to complete.
Assembly Technician Education Options and Degree Programs
You don’t need a degree to become an assembly tech, but there are plenty of postsecondary options.
A lot of assembly technicians earn degrees in electrical engineering, avionics, and related fields.
Assembly techs rarely, if ever, earn a bachelor’s degree.
There are no master’s degrees for assembly technicians.
Schools for Assembly Technicians
Since you’ll be earning an associate’s degree, your local community college is the best educational resource.
You may also enter into an apprenticeship program to build your resume.
Become an Assembly Technician
Before I wrap up, let’s talk about how to become an assembly technician.
You can get an assembly tech job right out of high school if you’re lucky.
But in today’s market, it makes more sense to earn a degree first.
The market is already tight, and there are fewer jobs with each passing year.
To be competitive, you need that degree.
It also helps if you earn a professional certification.
You can obtain certificates and training from organizations like the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA).
The Association Connecting Electronic Industries (IPC) also offers some excellent programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common Assembly Technician interview questions?
According to jobinterviewquestions.com, these are some of the most common interview questions:
– “Describe a time when you successfully serviced, repaired, calibrated, or tested a device that operates mainly by electronic principles.”
– “Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.”
A career as an assembly technician can be long and rewarding.
If you have a knack for mechanical and electrical systems, you might be a great fit.
On the downside, the market is shrinking.
Automation is squeezing more and more people out of the assembly process.
That’s why it’s so important to invest in your education.
With the right degree and certifications, you can still open the door to a promising career.
All it takes is hard work and dedication.