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Employment: Assemblers and Fabricators




Most of the 2.1 million assembler and fabricator jobs in 2002 were in manufacturing; most of the 7 percent who were employed by employment services firms also worked in manufacturing plants. Team assemblers, the largest specialty, accounted for 55 percent of assembler and fabricator jobs. The distribution of employment among the various types of assemblers was as follows:

Team assemblers 1,174,000
Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers 281,000
Structural metal fabricators and fitters 89,000
Electromechanical equipment assemblers 60,000
Engine and other machine assemblers 50,000
Fiberglass laminators and fabricators 37,000
Coil winders, tapers, and finishers 36,000
Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers 27,000
Timing device assemblers, adjusters, and calibrators 6,500
All other assemblers and fabricators 361,000

Manufacturing industries employ 80 percent of assemblers and fabricators. Assembly of computers and electronic products accounted for 13 percent of all jobs. Assembly of transportation equipment, such as aircraft, autos, trucks, and buses accounted for 19 percent of all jobs. Other industries that employ many assemblers and fabricators were machinery manufacturing (heating and air-conditioning equipment; agriculture, construction, and mining machinery; and engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment); electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing (lighting, household appliances, and electrical equipment); and fabricated metal products.

The following tabulation shows wage and salary employment in manufacturing industries employing the most assemblers and fabricators in 2002.

Transportation equipment manufacturing 397,000
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 285,000
Machinery manufacturing 209,000
Electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing 160,000
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 155,000