If you know people who work in manufacturing, you likely know a team assembler. And when you think of team assembly, you most likely think of automobiles and pickup trucks.
Assemblers and fabricators are, by far, the largest occupational group in Kentucky manufacturing, with 62,243 total jobs projected in 2028. That’s a 1.21 percent increase from 2018. In fact, assemblers and fabricators have the most openings in Kentucky among jobs that require only a high school diploma for entry.
Median wage in Kentucky for assemblers and fabricators is $37,103. Most assemblers and fabricators in the nation, 60 percent, work in motor vehicle manufacturing, according to 2018 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And Kentucky has some of the top manufacturers in the nation, including Ford Motor Co. (two Louisville plants with 13,000 employees), Toyota Motor Manufacturing (over 8,000 employees in Georgetown), and General Motors (an estimated 1,373 at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green). There are also numerous companies that produce parts like brakes, windshields, and more.
There’s room for you in this field, and you can get started with on-the-job training. This occupation demands versatility as each team member rotates through many or all tasks performed by their team. And they may take part in management decisions affecting their work. Team assemblers need dexterity and stamina, as well as basic math, mechanical, and computer skills.
After you’ve had some experience, you might want to become a supervisor. And if you earn a bachelor’s degree and have at least five years of experience, you could go into management. Many industrial production managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering.
- First-line supervisors of production and operating workers: 6.32 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 12,229 to 13,002 jobs. Average median wage $60,274.
- Industrial production managers, 7.82 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 3,860 to 4,162 jobs. Median wage $95,358.
Figures from Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.