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Become An Instrument And Controls Technician

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Working As An Instrument And Controls Technician

  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Make Decisions

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Instrument And Controls Technician Do

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Duties

Electrical engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units

Electrical engineering technicians install and maintain electrical control systems and equipment, and modify electrical prototypes, parts, and assemblies to correct problems. When testing systems, they set up test equipment and evaluate the performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated conditions. They then analyze test information to resolve design-related problems.

Electronics engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Design basic circuitry and draft sketches to clarify details of design documentation, under engineers’ direction
  • Build prototypes from rough sketches or plans
  • Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics
  • Adjust and replace defective circuitry and electronic components
  • Make parts, such as coils and terminal boards, by using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools

Electronics engineering technicians identify and resolve equipment malfunctions and then work with manufacturers to get replacement parts. They also calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on equipment and systems.

These technicians often need to read blueprints, schematic drawings, and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units. They also write reports and record data on testing techniques, laboratory equipment, and specifications.

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How To Become An Instrument And Controls Technician

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Education

Programs for electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some of these colleges allow students to concentrate in computer electronics, industrial electronics, or communications electronics.

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually take courses in ANSI C, C++ programming, Java programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Important Qualities

Logical-thinking skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to identify and fix problems. Technicians must also be able to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electronics engineering technicians in particular must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Observational skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit construction sites to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating projects onsite and reporting problems to engineers.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills. These technicians must write reports about onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing. This certification would benefit those technicians working in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry.

ETA International also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Control Systems Technician. To gain such certification, technicians must demonstrate skills in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. In addition, they must demonstrate an understanding of process control loops and process control systems.

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Instrument And Controls Technician Career Paths

Instrument And Controls Technician
Maintenance Supervisor Supervisor Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Supervisor Manager
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Chief Engineer
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
IC Technician Commissioning Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation & Control Engineer Control Systems Engineer Controls Engineer
Senior Controls Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation & Control Engineer Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation & Control Engineer Engineer Lead Engineer
Chief Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Control Supervisor Operations Manager Owner
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Control Supervisor Manager Facilities Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
IC Technician Start-Up Engineer Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
IC Technician Start-Up Engineer Project Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Electrical Controls Technician Controls Engineer Electrical Design Engineer
Senior Electrical Designer
14 Yearsyrs
Electrical Controls Technician Controls Engineer Lead Engineer
Senior Engineering Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Commissioning Technician Field Service Technician
Senior Electronics Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Commissioning Technician IE Technician Instrument And Electrical Technician
Lead Instrument Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Supervisor
Systems Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Electrical Supervisor
Lead Electrical Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Electrical Controls Engineer Instrumentation Engineer
Senior Instrument Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Instrument Technician Senior Engineering Technician Senior Research And Development Technician
Senior Manufacturing Technician
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Instrument And Controls Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
IE Technician 3.7 years
IC Technician 3.6 years
Top Careers Before Instrument And Controls Technician
Technician 5.2%
Top Careers After Instrument And Controls Technician
Technician 5.4%
Supervisor 3.4%

Do you work as an Instrument And Controls Technician?

Instrument And Controls Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

88.1%

Unknown

7.0%

Female

4.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.9%

German

7.7%

Urdu

7.7%

Navajo

7.7%
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Instrument And Controls Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.3%

Perry Technical Institute

8.6%

Northwest Louisiana Technical College

7.4%

Community College of the Air Force

6.2%

Excelsior College

6.2%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

5.6%

Idaho State University

4.9%

A-Technical College

4.3%

San Jacinto College District

4.3%

Grantham University

4.3%

ITI Technical College

4.3%

Bellingham Technical College

3.7%

The Academy

3.7%

Lamar University

3.7%

Bismarck State College

3.7%

Cape Fear Community College

3.7%

Lee College

3.7%

Thomas Edison State University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

3.1%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

27.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

17.2%

Music

12.2%

Business

8.9%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

8.5%

Computer Science

4.3%

Engineering Technology

2.2%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Project Management

2.1%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

1.8%

Management

1.5%

Education

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.3%

Military Applied Sciences

1.2%

General Studies

1.2%

Automotive Technology

1.2%

Mechatronics And Robotics

1.2%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%
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Degrees

Associate

33.7%

Other

29.3%

Bachelors

21.9%

Certificate

7.1%

Masters

5.3%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$71,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$125,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Siemens
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Hampshire
Avg Experience Level
5.5 years
How much does an Instrument And Controls Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Instrument And Controls Technician in the United States is $72,019 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Instrument And Controls Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Prin Tech Professional-Instrumentation/Controls KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 08, 2009 $124,548
Instrumentation and Control Technician BNY Power Operations New York, NY Jun 22, 2016 $100,990
Instruments and Control Technician BNY Power Operations, LLC New York, NY Aug 26, 2014 $93,080
Instruments and Control Technician BNY Power Operations, LLC New York, NY Aug 26, 2014 $91,828
Instruments and Control Technician BNY Power Operations, LLC New York, NY Aug 26, 2011 $87,737
Tech. Professional-Instrumentation/Controls KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 23, 2016 $86,986
Associate Tech Prof-Instrumentation/Controls KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2009 $78,000
Instrument and Controls Technician SJA, Inc. Dadeville, AL Aug 19, 2015 $70,000
Associate Tech. Prof.-Instrumentation/Controls KBR, Inc. Newark, DE Nov 01, 2014 $65,500
Associate Tech. Prof.-Instrumentation/Controls KBR, Inc. Newark, DE Nov 04, 2014 $65,500

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Top Skills for An Instrument And Controls Technician

  1. Temperature Transmitters
  2. Control Systems
  3. Control Valves
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed checks and Calibration on: DP flow transmitters, level transmitters, temperature transmitters, signal converters/transducers and pressure switches.
  • Set up/utilized testing equipment, performed testing on performance monitoring equipment, supervisory equipment and control systems.
  • Perform auto-calibration and finger-printing of control valves and emergency trip tests of ON/OFF valves using PRM and Valve Link Module.
  • Installed new and retrofitted existing boilers with operation and energy management systems.
  • Optimize plant preventative maintenance program to meet OEM recommendations, regulatory requirements, and corporate maintenance philosophy.

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Top 10 Best States for Instrument And Controls Technicians

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alaska
  3. North Dakota
  4. Texas
  5. Oklahoma
  6. West Virginia
  7. Vermont
  8. Maine
  9. Nevada
  10. New Mexico
  • (41 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (1,106 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (102 jobs)
  • (137 jobs)

Top Instrument And Controls Technician Employers

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