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Become An Instrument Operator

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Working As An Instrument Operator

  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $50,290

    Average Salary

What Does An Instrument Operator Do At Bowman Consulting Group

* Work as a member of a survey crew performing boundary, topography, ALTA, right of way, and construction surveys for public and private clients.
* Set-up and operate survey equipment, including total-station, data-collector, level, and GPS
* Perform survey calculations.
* Perform all aspects of stakeout and locations surveys using applicable survey equipment.
* Maintain survey equipment used and keep survey truck stocked with necessary supplies and tools.
* Coordinate work of assigned subordinate personnel.
* Assist and train personnel in lower-level positions.
* Make accuracy and calibration checks and adjustments on equipment used

What Does An Instrument Operator Do At Intertek

* This position is responsible for performing daily sample analysis and data processing in accordance with the company SOPs and relevant regulatory requirements to include Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).
* Listed examples are illustrative and representative of the tasks required of this position and are not intended to be complete or exclusive.
* Generate sample runlists from the laboratory’s information management system (LIMS).
* Set up the LCMS system for sample analysis
* and run samples according to defined methods.
* Document activities according to
* company SOPs.
* Process and review instrument data and
* document all observations according to company SOPs.
* Upload data into laboratory’s LIMS.
* Prepare reagents needed for routine analysis.
* Write or contribute to the review of written SOPs in the laboratory
* Understand and comply with all safety procedures applicable to the type of work performed.
* Work with all laboratory personnel to maintain a safe and clean working environment.
* Work with the QAU and Safety Officer to address and correct issues arising from quality assurance or safety audits.
* May fulfill other jobs/responsibilities as directed by management consistent with skill level and training

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How To Become An Instrument Operator

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators typically need a high school diploma and a license to work. They also typically undergo on-the-job training.


Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need a high school diploma or equivalent to become operators. Employers may prefer applicants who have completed a certificate or an associate’s degree program in a related field such as environmental science or wastewater treatment technology, as it reduces the amount of training a worker will need. These programs are generally offered at community colleges, technical schools, and trade associations.


Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need long-term on-the-job training to become fully qualified. Trainees usually start as attendants or operators-in-training and learn their skills on the job under the direction of an experienced operator. The trainees learn by observing and doing routine tasks, such as recording meter readings, taking samples of wastewater and sludge, and performing simple maintenance and repair work on plant equipment.

Larger treatment plants usually combine this on-the-job training with formal classroom or self-paced study programs. As plants get larger and more complicated, operators need more skills before they are allowed to work without supervision.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must be licensed by the state in which they work. Requirements and standards vary widely depending on the state.

State licenses typically have multiple levels, which indicate the operator's experience and training. Although some states will honor licenses from other states, operators who move from one state to another may need to take a new set of exams to become licensed in their new state.


Most states have multiple levels of licenses for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators. Each increase in license level allows the operator to control a larger plant and more complicated processes without supervision.

At the largest plants, operators who have the highest license level work as shift supervisors and may be in charge of large teams of operators.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must conduct tests and inspections on water or wastewater and evaluate the results.

Detail oriented. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must monitor machinery, gauges, dials, and controls to ensure everything is operating properly. Because tap water and wastewater are highly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, operators must be careful and thorough in completing these tasks.

Math skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must have the ability to apply data to formulas that determine treatment requirements, flow levels, and concentration levels.

Mechanical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must know how to work with machines and use tools. They must be familiar with how to operate, repair, and maintain equipment.

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Instrument Operator jobs

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Instrument Operator Typical Career Paths

Instrument Operator Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Portuguese

  • Ukrainian

  • Romanian

  • French

  • Russian

  • Polish

  • Korean

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Instrument Operator

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Instrument Operator Education

Instrument Operator

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Top Skills for An Instrument Operator


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Top Instrument Operator Skills

  1. Boundary Surveys
  2. Topographic Surveys
  3. Robotic Total Stations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experience with topographic boundary surveys, elevations, and standard boundary surveys.
  • Performed Topographic Surveys for residential and commercial properties.
  • Gained experience in commercial and residential construction as well as new data collection techniques.
  • Used the Hewlett Packard TDS-48 Data Collector and Topcon Total Station.
  • Gas pipeline, completed profile of thirty seven mile gas line through the mountains with traversing and locating land features.

Top Instrument Operator Employers

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