Assembly line jobs vary from stocking positions to assemblers and quality control inspectors. Often associated with the automobile industry, nearly all types of mass-produced products made today are by workers with assembly line jobs. It is not uncommon for any given work shift to employ several extra assembly line workers to fill in for workers out sick or who have not shown up for a given work shift. These assembly line jobs are typically given to the workers who are very adept at learning new jobs so that the line does not suffer from the replacement of an assigned worker.
Some of the most difficult and exhausting assembly line jobs are in the supply or stocking category. These workers are required to keep workers supplied with parts and components to complete their assigned task on the assembly line. These assembly line jobs commonly have workers moving from one end of the assembly line to the other, filling bins and parts racks with material to keep the line working and moving along. It is not unusual for a stock worker to travel the length of the factory several times per shift while performing his or her duties.
The assembler is the heart of all assembly line jobs and actually builds the products sold by the manufacturer. Tasked with installing a component on the object traveling down the assembly line — often several thousand times per shift —, these assembly line jobs can become very boring and tiresome as the shift draws to an end. A worker called a relief person will often fill in for the assembler to allow a restroom break or simply a few minutes to clear the mind and allow the assembler to refocus on the job at hand. The relief person is one of the most valuable positions on the assembly line because he or she helps the regular workers to regain focus when at their assigned work stations.
Inspectors ensure that the components are being assembled properly and are the eyes and ears of the company. These assembly line workers are able to determine if a single worker is not up to speed or lacks the assembly skills needed to produce a quality product. The inspector will often work beside an assembly worker to try and determine what part of the job is most difficult and will occasionally recommend placing a struggling worker at another point on the line. The top of all assembly line jobs is the foreman, who makes decisions as to the placement of workers, time off and vacation allotment.