Putting into consideration proper functioning and management of resources and hardware in a company, organization or industry, many of these equipment’s or machines wear out quite considerably. Thus, the need for an instrumentation technician.
Looking into their continuous usage over the years, of a fact, these devices, machines or equipment are well monitored and kept in check for them to stand durable over a long period than speculated. This is where an Instrumentation Technician come in, many rising questions on what exactly and how exactly do these set of professionals function have drawn our attention.
This article, readily compiled by our Technical research team, is set to enlighten and clear the confusion aroused around the functionality of an instrumentation technician. So please do read through this article meticulously that you don’t miss out on very valuable information on the subject matter and we do hope to answer the unanswered questions.
Who Is An Instrumentation Technician?
An Instrumentation Technician is an individual who is responsible for carrying out various planned or unplanned activities for repair and maintenance. The activities are carried out on a wide range of safety systems, process control and electronic equipment.
The technician uses various devices and instruments to report and record the changes. The technician installs, tests, repairs, inspects and calibrates various monitoring devices. The Instrumentation Technician works with analytic and scientific computer software, current meters, calculators, electronic probes and voltage to determine various faults in the circuitry.
Moreover, with climatic factors and season occurrences, Petropedia states that it is the responsibility of the Instrumentation Technician to check if all the machines in the plant are running correctly. The technician also ensures that the machines are safe. The technician checks the quality of air in a mine and regulates the flow of water in the equipment.
All the operations and safety of the plant directly depend upon the instruments. It is very important to constantly calibrate and monitor these instruments. The technician may work in shifts or regularly in weekday hours. The working conditions may dramatically vary from one job to the other. The Instrumentation Technician may be exposed to restricted spaces, dusty, noisy, high elevation, and unusually warm or cold conditions.
What Is The Job Of An Instrumentation Technician?
An Instrumentation technician job can be categorized into many functional ways, some of which involve different areas in several vast operations he/she can be involved in. Therefore an Instrumentation Technician;
- Tests accuracy of flow meters , pressure gauges, temperature indicators, controllers, radiation counters or detectors, and other recording, indicating or controlling instruments to locate defective components in system, using test equipment, such as pressure gauges, mercury manometers, potentiometers, pulse and signal generators, oscilloscopes, transistor curve tracers, and ammeters, voltmeters, and wattmeter.
- Traces out and tests electronic solid state and vacuum tube circuitry and components to locate defective parts in analog and digital, protection, or radiation monitoring systems, using test equipment, schematics, and maintenance manuals.
- Inspects, tests, adjusts, and repairs electric, electronic, mechanical, and pneumatic instruments and systems used to indicate, record, and control generating operations in conventional or nuclear power electric generating plant.
- Removes defective instruments from system, decontaminates, disassembles, and cleans instruments, and replaces defective parts, using hand tools.
- Lubricates instruments and replaces defective wiring and tubing.
- Calibrates readings on instruments according to standards and adjusts phasing and aligns stages to ensure accuracy of recording and indicating function.
- Reassembles instruments and replaces instruments in system, using hand tools.
- Records calibrations made, parts and components used, and inventory of parts on hand.
- May be designated according to type of power plant as Nuclear-Plant-Instrument Technician; Instrument Repairer, Steam Plant.
- Prepares schematic drawings, sketches, and reports to reflect changes or alterations made in instruments, circuits, and systems.
How To Become An Instrumentation Technician
Becoming an Instrumentation Technician is not an easy one. Honestly, it does take a lot of work and effort to be put in to acquire such a title. More also, to practice the field on a large scale.
Below are well detailed and structured step by step processes that can lead one ahead to attaining all credibility needed to be clarified by an Instrumentation Technician
#1. Earning A Bachelors Degree
Many employers in this field prefer to hire employees with at least an associate’s degree. Associate’s degree programs in industrial instrumentation and control or electronics often feature courses in physics, mathematics, engineering design and automation control.
In addition to classroom work, students participate in introductory training and hands-on work through an internship or co-op experience. These provide students with real-world experience in the field and help them prepare for employment.
Furthermore, try attaining an electrical experience. Some employers prefer that applicants have electrical training and are qualified to become licensed journeyman electricians. To be eligible for this designation, individuals often need to have work experience under the guidance of a Master Electrician. Some states require that individuals pass an examination.
#2. Getting Certified
The International Society of Automation (ISA) offers the Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) designation. Earning this credential demonstrates a certain level of automation and control knowledge and skills. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers several certifications related to electrical engineering technology, including industrial instrumentation, electrical power and security systems.
#3. Pursue Career Opportunities
Employment opportunities are available in numerous industries, including architectural and engineering-related services, semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing, navigational and control instrument manufacturing and the federal government.
Many training programs offer apprenticeship programs; get involved as early with potential employers through apprenticeships.
#4. Seeking Higher Education and Intenships
With a little extra training and education in instrumentation and control, technicians have many career advancement opportunities. Get a bachelor’s degree in engineering, electronics or systems management to open opportunities in positions like control systems engineer, senior systems engineer or master electrician.
Skills Needed To Be An Instrumentation Technician
Some of instrumentation technician training and skills required are mathematics, critical thinking, problem-solving, reading, comprehension, analytical thinking, computer and mechanics are needed skills in the niche. Moreover, Instrumentation technicians should also maintain excellent written and oral communication skills.
Discussing repair plans with customers is a big part of the job, and technicians need to explain specific procedures and write up reports regarding the status of certain instruments and equipment.
Instrumentation technicians must also possess an excellent eye for detail to identify problems and correct them quickly. They must remain up-to-date on the different tools needed to calibrate, adjust and restore various instruments. Since they perform a wide range of tasks using their hands, manual dexterity is also important.
How Much Is An Instrumentation Technician Salary?
Now, let us tell you how much an instrumentation technician’s salary is worth. Average Instrumentation Technician salary in the United States is $50,038 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $41,070 and $59,751.
Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
Career Prospects Of An Instrumentation Engineer
Becoming an Instrumentation Technician is a very lucrative career path. Hence, you’d be opportune to work in several spheres of industry. Though this is based on the Instrumentation Engineering you are more focused on. Meanwhile, some of the career paths you’d be able to work as an Instrumentation Technician are the;
- Petroleum Industries
- Manufacturing industries
- Entertainment Industries etc
Good Schools to Get A Degree To Become An Instrumentation Technician
There are a myriad of schools to obtain a good degree relating to becoming a good instrumentation technician. Meanwhile, we’ve selected some of the best schools you can always refer to in regards to this. In no particular order, you can see them below;
- Fox Valley Technical College.
- San Jacinto Community College.
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
- Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.
- William Rainey Harper College.
- Ridgewater College.
- Florida Panhandle Technical College.
- Lake Land College.
With the article all structured out, it’s fair to state that the job of an Instrumentation Technician is not an easy one. Moreover, it’s a job that needs vast knowledge and expertise on how things function. We do hope along the line we have answered the unanswered questions. Please do leave any reply in the box below.
Frequently Asked Questions On What Does an Instrumentation Technician Do?
A career as an Instrumentation Technician might be a great fit for you. They are highly skilled technologists. The great news is you can start working in this role with a high school diploma. You will get to work with Engineers on basic design and sometimes consult with and advise Process Technicians.
In summary, the requirements for working as an instrumentation technician include an associate degree in electrical technology or a related field and the willingness to earn a bachelor’s degree or continuing education credits for advancement and certification.
The BLS estimates there will be an average job growth (3%) for the field from 2019 to 2029, including a 2% increase in engineering technician jobs, due to the American manufacturing industry’s decline.
- Voltage, alternating and direct, in volts.
- Current, alternating and direct, in amperes.
- Resistance, in ohms.
- Capacitor, in farads.
- The frequency in Hz.
- Temperature Celsius or Fahrenheit.
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