Career Guide  
Precision Assembler
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

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Occupation Overview

Assemblers work in manufacturing plants and create many types of durable goods, ranging in complexity from furniture to automobiles to computers. For this Information Technology (IT) career guide, the focus is on Electrical and Electronic Equipment Precision Assemblers, who assemble IT-related products such as computers and cellular telephones.

This is an excellent occupation for those who are mechanically inclined, have good vision and can work with small tools and parts, regardless of whether they are male or female.

Silicon Valley is home to the largest concentration of electronics manufacturers in the country. Contract manufacturers, such as Solectron Corporation, are experts at assembling the inner workings of products that are then marketed by big-name companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple Computer.

While new companies moving to the Bay Area will create new assembly jobs, this increase will be offset by an increasing emphasis on automation and the trend of moving manufacturing operations out of the country.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:

Opportunities for advancement include movement into quality assurance/inspection roles, as well as supervisory roles. Another avenue for advancement is into the arena of product repair, fixing newly created products that are defective. With additional education, movement into research and development is possible.

Skills Transferable to:

Fiber Optic Assembler, Precision Machine Builder, Electromechanical Equipment Assembler, Prototype Assembler, and Precision Aircraft Assembler.


Job Descriptions

Job Descriptions Electrical and Electronic Equipment Precision Assemblers assemble electrical or electronic equipment such as computers and electronic test equipment. In the same job, they might work on a number of different products. Their working environments are typically clean, well lit, and free of dust.

Precision Assemblers must know how to read and interpret engineering specifications that are represented by text, drawings, or computer-aided drafting software. Common tasks include identifying and placing components; soldering pieces together; performing color and numeric coding; performing mechanical assembly; and performing some testing, inspection, repair, and rework.

For example, many Assemblers in the Bay Area create printed circuit boards. In these cases, the Precision Assembler works with a variety of components such as integrated circuits (including computer processors and RAM chips), resistors, capacitors, transistors, and jumper wires. These components are attached to the circuit board with a soldering iron. Schematic diagrams show where each component belongs on the board, and the Assembler must be able to interpret this diagram. Other Precision Assemblers might perform gold wire assembly under a microscope.

More experienced Precision Assemblers might work with engineers assembling prototypes or testing products.

It is worth noting that Precision Assemblers typically have more variety in the tasks they perform than Non-precision Assemblers.

Entry Level ($5 - 11/hour)

Experienced, New to Job ($6 - 16/hour)

Experienced in Job ($8 - 22/hour)

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