If your job search has led you to apply for a position on an assembly line, you may be wondering what that type of work it involves and what skills you need to do the job. We have you covered!
What does an assembly line worker do?
Assembly line workers create mechanical parts and put them together to construct products – everything from cars and computers to planes and appliances. Each assembler is responsible for crafting and installing individual components so that by the time a product has reached the end of the line, it’s ready for quality tests and shipping.
Some assemblers have specialized roles, such as motors, or in a product, such as copiers. And assembly line teammates generally cross-train and rotate to other stations along the line.
What are the requirements and qualifications for assembly line work?
Employers using assembly lines commonly look for workers who have these traits:
- Manual dexterity – Assembling complex machinery requires precise handling. If you loved putting model kits together as a child, this should be right up your alley.
- Attention to detail – This goes hand in hand with manual dexterity, as assembly line work involves intricate assembly. If one component is placed incorrectly, it can ruin the product.
- Teamwork – Workers on an assembly line must work like the well-oiled machines they’re manufacturing. They count on each other to make sure the process runs smoothly, and often develop a unique camaraderie.
- Focus – While assembly line work involves precise work, it involves doing the same thing over and over for extended periods. Workers need to be able to maintain focus despite the monotony.
- Dependability – Manufacturing employers need to be able to count on you for reliable attendance and punctuality. If one link of the assembly chain is removed, the whole process can grind to a halt.
Once you’re hired, you’ll most likely need the following equipment (your employer will provide much of it):
- work boots (possibly steel-toed);
- safety goggles;
- work gloves; and
What kind of work environment can I expect on an assembly line?
Manufacturing can involve physically demanding work. An assembly line can be loud (Don’t forget the earplugs!) and hot (due to a combination of heavy machinery and protective clothing). Depending on what you’re building, you may be asked to stand for long periods of time, and you may be called upon to do some literal heavy lifting.