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Become An Instrument Technician

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Working As An Instrument Technician

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

  • $88,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Instrument 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 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 Technician Career Paths

Instrument Technician
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Chief Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation Engineer Commissioning Engineer
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Office Manager Controller
Contracted Controls Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Project Engineer Project Controls Engineer
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Field Service Technician Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineer Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Field Engineer Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineering Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Engineering Technician
Engineering Technician Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Controls Technician Lead Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Controls Technician Network Technician Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Calibration Technician Field Service Technician
Field Service Engineer Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Field Engineer Engineer
Lead Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Design Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Principal Electrical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Design Engineer Electrical Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Truck Driver Field Service Technician
Senior Electronics Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineering Technician
Senior Engineering Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Service Technician System Technician
Systems Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Program Director Senior Consultant
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Calibration Technician Test Technician Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Instrument Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
IE Technician 3.5 years
IC Technician 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Instrument Technician
Electrician 12.4%
Technician 11.7%
Supervisor 4.1%
Foreman 3.2%
Operator 2.1%
Top Careers After Instrument Technician
Technician 8.9%
Supervisor 3.4%
Foreman 2.8%

Do you work as an Instrument Technician?

Instrument Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

83.1%

Female

15.4%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

19.6%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.5%

French

6.3%

German

3.1%

Carrier

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Hindi

2.3%

Dakota

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Tamil

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Norwegian

0.8%

Chinese

0.8%

Hawaiian

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Marathi

0.8%

Malayalam

0.8%

Russian

0.8%

Polish

0.8%
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Instrument Technician Education

Schools

ITI Technical College

11.6%

Perry Technical Institute

11.4%

Lee College

9.3%

University of Phoenix

6.4%

Sowela Technical Community College

6.2%

Lamar Institute of Technology

5.5%

Northwest Louisiana Technical College

5.5%

Brazosport College

5.2%

Community College of the Air Force

4.8%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.5%

A-Technical College

4.0%

Lamar University

3.6%

Victoria College

3.6%

Delgado Community College

3.3%

Bellingham Technical College

2.6%

The Academy

2.6%

ITT Technical Institute-Baton Rouge

2.6%

San Jacinto College District

2.6%

Bismarck State College

2.4%

More Tech Institute

2.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

22.6%

Music

16.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

12.9%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

10.1%

Business

5.5%

Computer Science

3.5%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Medical Technician

3.0%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

2.5%

Engineering Technology

2.4%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Nursing

2.0%

General Studies

1.9%

Chemistry

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Management

1.5%

Automotive Technology

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

32.5%

Associate

30.5%

Bachelors

19.2%

Certificate

9.0%

Masters

4.1%

Diploma

3.5%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Instrument Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instrumentation Technician University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Jan 12, 2015 $72,215
Instrumentation Technologist University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Jan 12, 2016 $72,215
Instrumentation Technologist University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Oct 01, 2011 $68,000
Associate Instrumentation Technologist University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Dec 01, 2015 $65,650
Associate Instrumentation Technologist University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Jan 12, 2015 $65,650
Instrument Technician Greif, Inc. Deer Park, TX Aug 23, 2016 $60,008
Lecturer and Chemistry Instrument Technician Muhlenburg College Allentown, PA Jan 08, 2016 $52,490 -
$54,102
Lecturer and Chemistry Instrument Technician Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA Jan 08, 2016 $52,490 -
$54,102
Lecturer & Chemistry Instrument Technician Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA Oct 15, 2015 $50,230

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR An Instrument Technician

Average Yearly Salary
$88,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$54,000
Min 10%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Space Exploration Technologies
Highest Paying City
La Porte, TX
Highest Paying State
Louisiana
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does an Instrument Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Instrument Technician in the United States is $88,504 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $54,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $144,000.

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Top Skills for An Instrument Technician

  1. Temperature Transmitters
  2. Surgical Procedures
  3. PLC
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Calibrated and repaired Pressure and Temperature transmitters.
  • Prepared instrument trays used in surgical procedures as well as sterilization and decontamination of instruments.
  • Connect wires to circuit breakers, motors, push button, relays, control panel, PLC, and control system.
  • Maintain 24V control systems to current engineering standards through software upgrades and installing field modifications as released by engineering department.
  • Work with engineers on system upgrades: DCS migration, boiler chip feeder system, paper machine steam box and scanner.

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Top 10 Best States for Instrument Technicians

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alaska
  3. North Dakota
  4. Montana
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Nevada
  7. West Virginia
  8. Maine
  9. Vermont
  10. New Mexico
  • (69 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (139 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (259 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (210 jobs)

Top Instrument Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Instrument Technician Employers

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