Electronics assemblers work as part of a team making electronic components and equipment.
You could be:
- assembling and fixing microchips on circuit boards for equipment such as computers, televisions and washing machines
- inserting electronic components into a range of products such as hair dryers and food blenders
- working on an assembly line, adding or fixing particular parts to an article as it moves down the line
- using hand tools and soldering equipment
- using other equipment such as magnifiers and tweezers for detailed work
- checking machinery to make sure that it is working properly
- examining or testing finished articles to make sure they meet production standards
- packing goods for dispatch
- reporting problems in processes to a supervisor.
The figures below are only a guide. 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.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). At present this is £4.00 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £5.55 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £6.95 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24 (October 2016).
As of 1 April 2016 there is a new National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.20 for workers 25 and over. The NMW still applies to those 24 and under, although some organisations offer the NLW to all employees, regardless of age.
At present the apprentice rate is £3.40 an hour (October 2016).
With experience this can rise up to £10 per hour. You can get additional earnings by working overtime.
- Electronics factories are usually bright, very clean and free of dust to avoid damaging the electronic parts. You may work in sterile conditions.
- It could be noisy due to machinery.
- You will wear overalls, and maybe also a hair covering, gloves, safety glasses and antistatic arm or ankle bands.
- You will either sit or stand, usually repeating the same tasks for long periods.
- You may get regular breaks to avoid eye strain from working with small parts.
- You might have to work shifts including weekends and nights.
- Overtime and part time work may both be available.
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- You do not always need formal qualifications, but some employers prefer a few subjects at National 4 or 5.
- You will need to be good at working with your hands. You may have to take a practical test to show this.
- Certain colour vision conditions may affect entry to careers in this branch of engineering.
- If you have allergies you may be at risk from certain materials that can irritate skin.
Look for jobs with companies making parts for domestic appliances or scientific, medical, audio, or aeronautical equipment. Jobs are usually advertised through Universal Jobmatch.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- good at working with your hands
- patient, to cope with repetitive work
- willing to learn new skills and procedures
- aware of strict health and safety rules.
You need to be able to:
- follow instructions closely
- understand diagrams
- handle small components
- work quickly and accurately under pressure
- concentrate on detailed items
- work well in a team and alone.
- You will normally train on the job through an employer’s training scheme.
- You may be able to work towards relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) such as Performing Engineering Operations at Levels 1 and 2 (SCQF Levels 4 and 5).
- With suitable experience you may be promoted to a supervisor’s post.
- You may be able to move into other jobs such as quality control.
SEMTA is the Sector Skills Council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies. The website includes a section on Careers and Qualifications, which identifies progression routes in the industry.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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