Assembly of proteins into the outer membrane is an essential process in the cell biology of bacteria. The integration of β-barrel proteins into the outer membrane is mediated by a system referred to as the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) that includes two related proteins: BamA in the BAM complex and TamA in the TAM (translocation and assembly module). Here we review what is known about the TAM in terms of its function and the structural architecture of its two subunits, TamA and TamB. By linking the energy transduction possibilities in the inner membrane to TamA in the outer membrane, the TAM provides additional capability to the β-barrel assembly machinery. Conservation of the TAM across evolutionary boundaries, and the presence of hybrid BAM/TAM complexes in some bacterial lineages, adds insight to our growing understanding of how bacterial outer membranes are built.