Engineering assemblers work as part of a team to build a wide range of products such as cars, household goods, furniture, gadgets and industrial machinery.
You could be:
following a diagram or set of instructions and adding parts (components) to a product in the right order
fitting separate parts of the product together by hand or with tools
using pliers, spanners and electric screwdrivers or specialist tools and equipment
Using moulding machines, preset to carry out certain tasks
wiring and soldering components or gluing, bolting or screwing them together
assembling the whole product in some cases, but only certain parts of the product in other cases
using machinery such as lathes and grinders
operating hand controlled and computer controlled machines
quality checking components and reporting defects.
The figures below are only a guide, as actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour. Shift allowances, overtime and bonuses can increase your pay. With experience and promotion this could rise to £16.00 an hour.
Working conditions can vary a lot depending on the type of product you are making.
Factories can be clean and quiet or dusty, dirty and noisy.
You may have to sit at a work bench, or stand in the same position all day.
You may have to do heavy lifting and bending.
You might have to work shifts including early starts.
You will usually have to wear overalls and, in some industries, a head covering and protective glasses, boots and gloves.
You may not require formal qualifications, but some employers may ask for some subjects at National 4 or 5, particularly in English, Maths and science or technological subjects.
You might enter through a Modern Apprenticeship.
You may also have to sit an entrance test to see how good you are at working with your hands.
Your colour vision may be tested if you are working with electrical wiring.
A wide range of manufacturing companies employ engineering assemblers. However, the number of jobs may decrease as assembly operations become more automated or firms buy in ready assembled products from other countries.