OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to investigate the association between work ability and job stress factors in three manufacturing industries. METHODS: The data were gathered from 705 workers of 3 manufacturing industries, from August 2007 to January 2008. A structured, self-reported questionnaire was used to access the demographic, socioeconomic and work related characteristics. Work ability and job stress factors were determined using two questionnaires: the work ability index (WAI) of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Korean Occupational Stress Scale (KOSS), respectively. RESULTS: According to the logistic regression analysis results, WAI was related to job stress factors after adjustment for age, shift work, employment type and exercise. Of the eight subscales, job demand, interpersonal conflict, lack of reward, occupational climate and total score were significantly associated with WAI. In the analysis of each factory, interpersonal conflict, job insecurity and lack of reward were significantly associated with WAI in factory II, and organizational system, lack of reward and total score in factory III, but there was no significant association in factory I. CONCLUSIONS: Job stress factors were significantly associated with WAI in two of the three manufacturing industries. Further and more detailed study needs to be conducted to reduce the job stress and improve the work ability.