According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the automotive manufacturing industry is one of the largest employers in the United States and a huge contributor to the nation's economy, as of 2010. Workers employed to work on the line are responsible for installing engines, transmissions, seats, dashboards and a host of other parts onto cars as they pass by them on large conveyor belts.
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The work environment for auto workers has improved greatly over the years. However, work environments are still noisy, hot and full of dangerous machinery. Recent developments in technology have eliminated some of the more dangerous work environments. Assembly line workers often must do repetitive tasks and may have to bend or lift heavy objects repeatedly. Because of this, auto assembly line workers have a higher rate of injury than most other industries. Most auto assembly line workers work at least 40 hours a week, and during peak production times overtime is very common.
In 2008, the average weekly earning of an auto worker was just more than £812. Compared to the £470 average weekly salary of all other manufacturing industries it's easy to see that auto workers are handsomely compensated. In addition, automotive assembly line workers are usually paid time and a half for overtime or for weekends and holidays.
Since jobs in the automotive manufacturing industry pay so well there is a high amount of competition for jobs. Because of this, standards are relatively high for entry into the occupation. Successful candidates often have a strong educational background, and may have to pass a series of aptitude tests. Once hired, many auto manufacturing companies will provide additional training, some of which may even qualify for college credit. Additionally, many auto companies will pay for their employees to attend college or technical universities.
Opportunities for Advancement
Experienced auto assembly line workers may advance to managerial or supervisory roles, especially if they have obtained a bachelor's degree or other technical degree. Once promoted to these positions, the work environment drastically changes. Clean, quiet well lit office spaces replace the noisy dangerous environment of the assembly line, and for this reason management positions are highly sought out.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and employment in the automotive manufacturing industry were expected to decline 16 per cent from 2008 and 2018. In comparison, all other job industries in the U.S. are expected to grow 11 per cent in the same time period. Factors contributing to this shrink in employment are technological advancements that will likely cut the amount of workers needed to produce the product. Cost cutting and the desire to produce autos in a more economical way will also likely contribute to this decline in employment. As job opportunities decrease, competition will increase.
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