Electronic Assembler Job Description
Electronic assemblers prepare and place electronic components within a variety of devices. This role exists in a number of industries, contributing to the fabrication and assembly of medical devices, computer equipment, and household goods. This is a highly technical, detail-oriented position, requiring extensive familiarity with circuit boards and electronic components as well as soldering and other methods of assembling electronics securely so they work as expected.
Electronic assemblers tend to work on assembly lines and within manufacturing settings. They usually collaborate with other fabricators and engineers to ensure that devices are assembled according to specifications. They also conduct quality assurance procedures to determine that electronic devices and components are free of damage and correctly assembled.
Electronic Assembler Duties and Responsibilities
Assemble Electronic Components
The primary responsibility of an electronic assembler is installing and attaching electronic components within a device. Depending on the industry and product, this process can include hand-soldering device components, using machinery to attach elements to a circuit board or other electronic assembly, or utilizing other hand tools to attach and adjust individual electronic components.
Review Blueprints and Specification Sheets
Electronic assemblers frequently work with product specification sheets to guide their work and assembly processes. They interpret materials provided by engineers and product designers and understand how individual parts work together to make the device function. Electronic assemblers may also review these specifications and documents for errors.
Electronics engineers support fabrication teams by inspecting individual components throughout the assembly process. They may check a component for manufacturing defects or use specialized tools like calipers to ensure that parts fit together as expected. Finding an error early in the process is very important in this role, since identifying a defect early in the fabrication process can reduce issues further down the line.
Perform Quality Assurance Tests
Many electronic assemblers conduct quality assurance tests throughout the assembly process. An assembler working on a specific component may, for example, check connections and measure electrical resistance to ensure that everything works as intended. Many electronic assemblers perform this duty both before and after assembly and may be responsible for preparing reports to support overall production and fabrication.
Correct Component Defects
Finally, many electronic assemblers work directly to repair or correct defective components. They may use manufacturing equipment or hand tools to make small repairs before incorporating the components into a device. This saves time, since defective components don’t need to be sent back to production departments before being used in complex assemblies.
Electronic Assembler Skills and Qualifications
Electronic assemblers are highly technical and detail-oriented, assembling and testing small components to ensure that devices work correctly. Most companies hire candidates with least a high school diploma, along with the following skills:
- Specification interpretation – electronic assemblers read and interpret engineering blueprints and specification sheets for a wide variety of devices and components
- Soldering – working with a soldering iron is essential, as electronic assemblers need to attach very small components to circuit boards and other devices using solder and flux
- Testing and quality assurance – electronic assemblers ensure that devices and components work consistently and correctly, so some familiarity with testing and quality assurance procedures is important
- Process enhancement – electronic assemblers constantly seek to improve methods and enhance overall efficiency to speed up and simplify the assembly process
- Attention to detail – this job requires a high level of attention to detail, since electronic components and devices can include many elements that need to work together perfectly
- Communication skills – electronic assemblers tend to work as part of a fabrication team, so effective communication with other assemblers, engineers, and product designers is vital
Tools of the Trade
Most electronic assemblers work within a factory, assembly line, or other manufacturing facility. They need to be familiar with:
- Hand assembly tools (soldering iron, power tools)
- Fabrication equipment
Electronic Assembler Education and Training
This position typically requires at least a high school diploma or GED. Because many electronic assembler positions are entry level, they have many opportunities for on-the-job training. However, most companies prefer applicants who demonstrate some familiarity working with electronics, and an associate’s degree or technical education in a related field can help secure a position.
Electronic Assembler Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that the median yearly wage for assemblers and fabricators is $30,930. The highest-paid 10 percent earn more than $52,170, while the lowest paid make less than $20,470. The BLS also found that electronic equipment assemblers make slightly more on average, with a median salary of $31,310.
The BLS expects employment for assemblers and fabricators to decline 14 percent by 2026 as more companies embrace lean manufacturing processes and rely more heavily on automated assembly systems.
We searched the web and found many resources if you’re interested in learning more about working as an electronic assembler:
“Printed Circuit Boards from 10,000 Feet: An Introduction for Electronics Beginners” – read about the basics behind circuit board design and assembly, common components, and how they work together
The Electronics Handbook – author Jerry C. Whitaker provides a detailed look at electronic components and devices, along with technical references and formulas
Electronics Technicians Association – the ETA is a professional organization for electronic assemblers and other technicians that provides resources and professional development opportunities
Newnes Electronics Assembly Pocket Book – Keith Brindley’s essential reference guide provides rapid access to topics and information that an electronic assembler needs from day-to-day
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