Jobs in Demand: Assemblers and Fabricators

Assembly workers inspecting a part

With over 320,000 jobs, Manufacturing is Minnesota’s 2nd largest-employing industry sector. One of the top-employing occupations in this industry happens to be assemblers and fabricators. In fact, according to DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics data, there are over 31,700 assemblers and fabricators employed in the state. Such workers are employed in a wide variety of areas, including everything from transportation equipment manufacturing to computer and electronic product manufacturing to medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.

Simply put, assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them.  More specific tasks may include reading and interpreting schematics and blueprints, positioning or aligning components and parts either manually or with hoists, using hand tools and machines to assemble parts, conducting quality control checks, and cleaning and maintaining work areas, tools, and other equipment.

Based off the specific industry they work in, assemblers and fabricators may assist in the production of automobiles, computers, electronic devices, household appliances, toys, and more. Working on countless products and in a wide variety of manufacturing settings, the skills and experience required of assemblers and fabricators can vary. Typically, however, employers require a high school diploma or equivalent as a base and then implement on-the-job training. Some employers may require specialized training or an associate degree for more advanced positions.

The median wage for assemblers and fabricators in Minnesota is $16.94, with half of all such workers earning between $14.04 per hour and $20.05 per hour. Entry-level workers can expect wages closer to $12 per hour and more experienced workers in specific areas earn closer to $24 hourly.  These wages vary some by region.  For example, assemblers and fabricators in Northwest Minnesota earn a median hourly wage of $18.34, while such workers Southeast Minnesota earn a median hourly wage of $15.81. Most assemblers and fabricators are employed full time and may need to work evenings and weekends.

In Minnesota, total employment for assemblers and fabricators is projected to fall between 2018 and 2028, mainly due to the increased efficiency and productivity in many manufacturing sectors. Despite these trends, there are still anticipated to be the need for nearly 17,000 new assemblers and fabricators through 2028 due to current workers retiring or otherwise leaving the occupation. In the short-term, according to DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey, there were over 200 job vacancies for assemblers and fabricators in Minnesota during the second quarter of 2020.

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as an Assembler or Fabricator, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

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