Assemblers and fabricators held about 1.8 million jobs in 2014; most of these jobs were in manufacturing industries.
Employment in the detailed occupations that make up assemblers and fabricators was distributed as follows:
Assemblers and fabricators, all other
Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers
Structural metal fabricators and fitters
Electromechanical equipment assemblers
Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers
Engine and other machine assemblers
Fiberglass laminators and fabricators
Coil winders, tapers, and finishers
Timing device assemblers and adjusters
Most assemblers and fabricators work in manufacturing plants, and working conditions vary by plant and by industry. Many physically difficult tasks have been automated or made easier through the use of power tools, such as tightening massive bolts or moving heavy parts into position. Assembly work, however, may still involve long periods of standing, sitting, or working on ladders, such as in the shipbuilding industry.
Injuries and Illnesses
Some assemblers may come into contact with potentially harmful chemicals or fumes, but ventilation systems normally minimize any harmful effects. Other assemblers may come in contact with oil and grease, and their work areas may be noisy. Fiberglass laminators and fabricators are exposed to fiberglass, which may irritate the skin. Therefore, fiberglass workers must wear gloves and long sleeves and must use respirators for safety.
Most assemblers and fabricators are employed full time, sometimes working evenings and weekends.