How Do I Become an Assembly Line Worker?
The requirements you'll have to meet to become an assembly line worker will likely depend on the employer with which you plan to apply. You may need a high school or General Educational Development® (GED®) diploma to land this position, though some employers may not set specific educational requirements. As far as skills are concerned, you will likely need basic communication, reading, and writing skills as well as the ability to follow instructions, keep up with a fast pace at work, and stand on your feet for most of the day. Previous experience can help you land a job, but many employers will prove willing to offer on-the-job training.
The educational requirements you will have to meet to become an assembly line worker are usually minimal — in fact, many employers do not set minimum education requirements. When employers do set requirements, they usually request high school or GED® diplomas. Most employers do not require college degrees for assembly line work.
There are certain skills that are typically important when you want to become an assembly line worker. For example, most employers will want to know that you are capable of following instructions and staying organized. You will likely need good communication skills in order to listen to procedure instructions and communicate with others if something goes wrong. Reading ability may also prove important when it comes to following written instructions and reading company handbooks and safety guidelines. Likewise, basic writing skills may prove necessary for completing and signing work-related forms.
You will most likely need a range of physical skills and abilities to become an assembly line worker. Assembly line work is repetitive, and to succeed in it, you will have to be able to keep up without injuring yourself. Most employers will expect you to perform your work with reasonable speed and manual dexterity. Some may require heavy lifting as well.
For most types of assembly line work, you will have to stand for a significant period of time each day as well. Often, people who work on assembly lines stand for six to eight hours out of every workday, so being in good physical condition is usually a requirement. For many of these jobs, you will also need good hand-eye coordination. Additionally, you might be required to handle various types of equipment and tools.
If you have experience with assembly line work, your work history may help you land the job you want. This may prove particularly helpful if you have experience with the particular type of product the employer produces. Lacking experience, however, doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to land a job. Most assembly line employers are willing to offer on-the-job training for those seeking this position.
I got my job as an assembly line worker through my state's employment agency, but it's not always a fast process. There are about 9 good factories to work for around here, and hundreds of people put in applications every week to get hired on. Sometimes the companies will add another line of products and they'll hire more workers. That's when you might get called into the state employment office for more job information and requirements.
When I got called in, a man from the company asked me some interview questions, like my previous work experience and preferred work shifts. I'd say if you want a shot at getting hired, be very flexible when it comes to availability. These companies like to fill the unpopular shifts first, so be open to the idea of working third shift or splits.
I've been an assembly line worker several times, and I'd say the best characteristic to have is a willingness to do the work day in and day out. Most of the time, my assigned work station on the line meant doing a relatively simple task over and over again. I'd take a part off the line, snap on a few additional parts and then put it back on the tray for someone else to do whatever they did with it.
Sometimes an assembly line will move at a comfortable pace, but other times the line will move so fast that it's hard to keep up. Sometimes your supply of parts will run out or get damaged, and you have to figure out a way to replace them without getting too far behind. Some assembly lines can be stopped if there's trouble, but others can't. Most of the time, the job itself is not very exciting, but it is steady employment.
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