Assembly Supervisor Job Description
An assembly supervisor works at a factory or manufacturing plant, directing and overseeing the activities of assembly line personnel throughout their shift. Assembly supervisors generally split their time between offices, where they manage schedules and oversee production reporting activities, and the production floor, where they directly supervise employees.
This first-line supervisory role requires extensive assembly experience and familiarity with best practices in production. Assembly supervisors also ensure that the production environment is safe for employees by conducting safety training and inspections. Additionally, many assembly supervisors are in charge of onboarding and training new employees and occasionally fill in on the assembly line.
Assembly Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities
An assembly supervisor’s duties can vary between environments and industries, but based on our research, many of the core duties are the same and include the following:
Supervise Assembly Personnel
The primary duty of an assembly supervisor is overseeing and directing the activities of assembly line employees. They may assign personnel to specific tasks or stations, monitor processes to ensure that employees perform them correctly, and monitor the entire assembly process to prevent delays and provide instruction. This aspect of the role requires the assembly supervisor to ensure that individual assembly units work together and effectively communicate to prevent delays.
Train New Hires
Many assembly supervisors also train new hires on policies and procedures. In this aspect of the role, the assembly supervisor uses their experience and knowledge of best practices for manufacturing processes and provides detailed instruction and close supervision during the onboarding process. An assembly supervisor may develop training materials and manuals and periodically check back with newer employees to make sure they understand processes and are performing their expected duties.
Assembly supervisors also monitor workplace safety and strive to prevent injuries and accidents. They may utilize a safety checklist or reporting tools to conduct periodic inspections of materials and personnel, devise improved processes for reporting and resolving potential hazards, and prepare safety reports for plant managers. If an accident occurs, the assembly supervisor writes a report and investigates the situation and may make recommendations to improve safeguards.
Manage Employee Schedules
One of the administrative duties of assembly supervisors is managing scheduling for assembly line workers. For factory or plant settings with rotating shifts, the assembly supervisor needs to keep detailed records of employee shifts and hours worked while devising schedules that ensure steady rotation and adequate personnel levels at all times. Assembly supervisors frequently schedule 24-hour shifts and ensure that temporary workers are available in case of employee absences.
Maintain Production Records
Assembly supervisors also support manufacturing and assembly activities by maintaining and writing production reports and records. They may prepare daily activity reports as well as employee evaluations and reports on manufacturing and production issues. Assembly supervisors then provide these reports to plant managers to enhance productivity and ensure that workers adhere to production schedules and quotas.
Assembly Supervisor Skills and Qualifications
Assembly supervisors balance direct oversight of employees with supporting production schedules and expectations. Companies typically hire applicants with at least a high school diploma, along with the following skills:
- Team leadership – assembly supervisors oversee large teams of production personnel, so the ability to effectively lead teams is essential in this role
- Time management – because they manage employee and shift schedules, assembly supervisors need excellent time management and organization skills
- Machine operation – assembly supervisors should have extensive machine operation skills, both to train new hires and to directly work on the assembly line in case of employee absence
- Safety monitoring – this role requires familiarity with workplace safety procedures and best practices to prevent employee injuries and maintain overall plant safety
- Communication skills – because they report directly to plant managers and train new assembly personnel, assembly supervisors also need effective written and oral communication skills
Assembly Supervisor Education and Training
Typically, assembly supervisors need at least a high school diploma or GED. Some companies prefer to hire supervisors with bachelor’s or associate’s degrees, however. Technical and business classes can also help prepare employees for this role. Many assembly supervisors begin their career working on the assembly line before moving up to supervisory positions, so there is a significant amount of on-the-job training in this role.
Assembly Supervisor Salary and Outlook
According to data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median yearly wage for production supervisors, including assembly supervisors, is $57,780. The highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earn over $95,800 per year, while the lowest paid earn $34,290 annually.
Because assembly supervisors work in a variety of industries ranging from automobile manufacturing to plastic product assembly, employment outlook can vary significantly. However, across industries the BLS expects employment for assemblers and fabricators to shrink significantly by 2026, losing 14 percent of jobs.
We searched the web and found several resources if you’re interested in learning more about a career as an assembly supervisor:
“Let First-Level Supervisors Do Their Job” – the Harvard Business Review examines the role and responsibilities of assembly supervisors and how they can affect employee productivity and efficiency
Production Management – read about the principles and practices of production management, written by an experienced manufacturing supervisor
Ways to Improve Production as a First-Line Supervisor – discover practices and techniques to drive employee achievement and efficiency as an assembly supervisor
Operations Management – author William J. Stevenson covers the basics of operations management, including real-world examples and situations that may arise on the assembly line
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