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Instrumentation Technician Job Description, Career as a Instrumentation Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training State license and certification

Average Salary $57,000 per year

Job Outlook Good

Basic Job Description

Instrumentation technicians set up, test and operate instrumentation and electronic devices that are used in a variety of engineering or medical jobs. They design and repair a variety of instruments that are used for different procedures such as surgeries, mechanical procedures, metalworking, woodworking or a wide range of other careers that use instruments. Some even specialize in the repair of musical instruments, as it takes similar skills and precision to fix cords, strings and buttons on musical instruments as it does surgical tools. Most technicians specialize in producing equipment and instruments for one field rather than creating instruments for many different jobs.

Education and Training Requirements

Instrumentation technicians typically obtain a certification through an association such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation or other associations related to the field they want to specialize in. These associations provide the resources for taking classes and becoming certified in the field of instrumentation technology.

Instrumentation technicians often start out working as an assistant to a professional technician. Some associations require a technician to work as an assistant for a certain number of hours before they are qualified to become certified. There are several different types of certifications for people who want to work in specific fields. Those who want to work as a technician for medical instruments will get a different type of certification than someone who wants to work with electrical or mechanical instruments. Some instrumentation technicians become certified in several areas so they can work for a variety of different companies.

Getting the Job

Instrumentation technicians must possess an extreme eye for detail and be able to provide neat, precise work. They need to be able to work a variety of tools that repair, calibrate, adjust and restore a variety of instruments. Technicians need good vision and should possess manual dexterity so they can effectively perform any job that needs to be done.

Instrumentation technicians must also have excellent written and oral communication skills. They will need to be able to communicate well with customers to determine what needs to be maintained, restored or repaired and be able to ask them questions about specific procedures they need done. They will also write up reports regarding the status of instruments and equipment to let customers know what was done to the tool and what they can do differently to keep them in good condition and prevent excess wear and tear.

Instrumentation technicians should also have a basic understanding of various electrical technicalities in the event that they have to work on a tool that requires electricity to operate. Most technicians do not work on electrical tools until they have furthered their education or training and have a basic understanding of how to repair electrical tools.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Instrument technicians usually start off working for a company and taking on jobs as they come in. Over time, many technicians will advance to specializing in the repair, maintenance and restoration of a specific type of instrumentation device or instruments that are part of a specific trade such as medicine or automotive engineering. Technicians may even open their own repair and maintenance shop and employ several technicians to work for them.

After working in the field for awhile, many technicians will advance their skills and training so they can maintain and repair electrical tools and instruments. This requires training that is similar to an electrician, as they will have to understand how to replace or repair electric cords without risking danger or injury.

Employment outlook for instrumentation technicians is on the rise as more technicians are retiring and getting older. Technological advancements, however, are causing there to be a slight decrease in the use of these instruments in various fields. Over time it is expected that instrumentation technicians will be needed by less industries do to the decrease in instruments they use.

Working Conditions and Environment

Instrumentation technicians spend most of their time working in a repair shop that has several machines and tools that can be used to maintain, repair, calibrate and restore various instruments. Most of their day is spent working with their hands and with machines, so they must be able to effectively operate the tools and machinery without causing damage or injury.

Instrumentation technicians typically work a set number of hours each week and are not needed to work overnight or on holidays. Depending on the workload, technicians may occasionally have to work overtime or on the weekend to make sure they get all their work done on time.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for an instrumentation technician is about $57,000 per year. Salaries in this field vary according to a technician’s experience and the type of equipment and instruments they are skilled to repair. Those who maintain and repair electrical instruments will make more due to extra training and experience that is needed.

Instrumentation technicians can be employed by a variety of establishments such as hospitals or repair shops. Full-time workers will receive health insurance benefits as well as vacation and sick leave allowances along with their salary.

Where to Go for More Information

Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
1110 North Glebe Road, Suite 220
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-4890

National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians
PO Box 51
Normal, IL 61761
(309) 452-4257

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production