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Assembly Operator

Assembly operators are responsible for building the electronic products that we use every day. They take parts from various suppliers and assemble them into a finished product, often under strict quality control standards.

Assembly operators typically work on an assembly line with other employees who perform specialized tasks. Their job is to ensure that all of the pieces fit together properly and that no errors occur during the assembly process.

The duties that they perform in this capacity include reading instructions, blueprints, and drawings of the products that the company is making; boxing items once they are finished; monitoring machinery; inspecting finished products; loading and unloading inventory; and adhering to safety protocols. 

Assembly Operator

What does an Assembly Operator do?

Assembly Operator

Assembly operators work in production factories and assembly lines and may have a specialized role in the electronic manufacturing and assembly of an item such as installing fasteners or connecting wires. They maintain an in-depth knowledge of industry safety standards and regulations, allowing them to safely operate heavy machinery and use resources appropriately. Assembly operators aim to be as efficient and consistent as possible when putting together an electronic product. They troubleshoot problems with their equipment and service it to ensure it works properly.

Good assembly operators are highly efficient and have complete expertise in products that they put together. They understand the engineering principles behind an item’s design and apply those concepts to producing a high-quality and durable item. Successful assembly operators use critical thinking to quickly interpret schematics and identify possible misprints or issues in the quality of materials they use. 

  • Machine Operation Knowledge

    Assembler operators operate design machinery and modify machinery settings as needed to meet design specifications. They must also operate power tools and other heavy machinery while following strict safety guideline

  • Communication Skills

    Assembly operators must communicate daily with all team members and supervisor through the use of shift meetings, email, log book, and other written and verbal methods.

  • Detail Oriented

    Assembly operators receive, read, and understand complex design specifications. Additionally, they must perform maintenance tasks to maintain equipment in good condition.

  • Problem Solving Skills

    Assembly operators will troubleshoot any issues with designs or production. They also quickly and effectively detect malfunctions with machinery and inform managers or upper-level staff of issues as they arise.

Electronic Assembler

Electronic assemblers need to know how to use soldering equipment and understand electrical engineering.


Fabricators, such as ironworkers, often assemble large pieces of metal or sheet work, and they need to be able to use welding equipment. 

Machine Operator

Machinists operate tools and mechanisms that create different parts, which are then put together by assemblers.

Quality Control Inspector

At the end of an assembly line, quality control inspectors examine each product to ensure that it meets the guidelines laid out in company blueprints.



The estimated total pay for an assembly operator is $38,030 per year.

0 - 1 Years

Assembly operators with 0 - 1 years experience earn on average:

$27,470 per year
10 - 19 Years

Assembly operators with 10 - 19 years experience earn on average:

$43,537 per year
5 - 9 Years

Assembly operators with 5 - 9 years experience earn on average:

$37,363 per year
20+ Years

Assembly operators with 20+ years experience earn on average:

$55,397 per year
1 - 4 Years

Assembly operators with 1 - 4 years experience earn on average:

$31,603 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for an Assembly Operator look like?

Most assembly operators work in manufacturing plants, and working conditions vary by plant and by industry.

Many physically difficult tasks have been automated or made easier through the use of power tools. Assembly work, however, may still involve long periods of standing or sitting.

Most assembly operators work full time. Some assemblers and fabricators work in shifts, which may require evening, weekend, and night work.

Top Industries for Assembly Operators:

  • Manufacturing
  • Fortune 500
  • Automotive
  • Technology
  • Professional

How to Become an Assembly Operator?

Assembly operators require a high school diploma or equivalent (such as a G.E.D.) at a minimum. A bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering may be preferred for some positions. As this role requires the use of different mechanical equipment, different certificates will be required for most assembler roles. Such certificates can often be obtained through specialized training schools. Assembly operators may also need a security clearance to work on government contracts.

Typical Qualifications

  • Post-secondary degrees, including associate’s or bachelor’s, may be necessary or preferred
  • Additional certifications for industry-specific machinery may be necessary
  • 0-6 years of experience, depending on previous education and current skills
  • Experience working with computer-aided drafting (CAD) software
  • Ability to read and interpret drawings and designs
  • Proven knowledge and experience using drafting tools and machinery

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