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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

  • $47,000

    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
Electrician Field Service Technician
Senior Field Service Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Electrician Field Service Technician Project Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Electrician Field Service Technician Electrical Engineer
Electrical Engineer Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Technician Engineering Technician
Senior Engineering Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Technician Field Engineer
Senior Field Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Designer Electrical Designer
Senior Electrical Designer
14 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Design Engineer Electrical Engineer
Manager Of Electrical Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Technician Operations Technician
Senior Operations Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Technical Support Engineer Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Calibration Technician Test Technician Electrical Technician
Senior Electrical Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Instrument Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Instrument Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Calibration Technician Test Technician
Senior Electronics Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Controls Technician Systems Specialist Electronics Technician
Electronics Technician Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Foreman Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Electrical Foreman Electrical Superintendent
Electrical Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation Engineer
Senior Instrumentation Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Calibration Technician Test Technician Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
IE Technician 3.7 years
IC Technician 3.6 years
Technician 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Instrument Technician
Electrician 12.3%
Technician 11.7%
Supervisor 3.9%
Foreman 3.0%
Cashier 2.9%
Top Careers After Instrument Technician
Technician 9.4%
Supervisor 4.1%

Do you work as an Instrument Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
Show Salaries
$33,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Occidental Petroleum
Highest Paying City
Fresno, CA
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does an Instrument Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Instrument Technician in the United States is $47,532 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $67,000.

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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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.
  • Performed Surgical Tech duties, assisted surgeons during surgical procedures maintaining aseptic technique.
  • Conducted diagnostic and troubleshooting of equipment operated by PLC.
  • Tested distributed control systems, panels, racks and stand-alone modules of pneumatic, electrical, electronic and microprocessor-computer design.
  • Repair and trouble shoot PLC/DCS associated with measurement instrumentation, control valves and transfer meteorology including documentation, calibration and commissioning.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Instrument Technicians

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Nevada
  3. Texas
  4. New Mexico
  5. Idaho
  6. Arkansas
  7. New York
  8. Washington
  9. Kansas
  10. Alaska
  • (259 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (1,515 jobs)
  • (210 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (632 jobs)
  • (411 jobs)
  • (260 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)

Instrument Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 8,647 Instrument Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Instrument Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Instrument Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

75.3%

Female

16.4%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

18.8%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.8%

French

8.1%

German

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Carrier

2.5%

Hindi

1.9%

Tagalog

1.3%

Dakota

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Tamil

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Norwegian

0.6%

Chinese

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%

Marathi

0.6%

Japanese

0.6%

Malayalam

0.6%

Russian

0.6%

Polish

0.6%
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Instrument Technician Education

Schools

ITI Technical College

13.6%

Lee College

10.9%

Perry Technical Institute

8.5%

University of Phoenix

8.2%

Sowela Technical Community College

5.8%

Lamar Institute of Technology

5.7%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.8%

Community College of the Air Force

4.5%

Brazosport College

4.5%

A-Technical College

4.2%

Northwest Louisiana Technical College

4.2%

Victoria College

3.5%

San Jacinto College District

3.2%

Bellingham Technical College

3.1%

Lamar University

2.8%

More Tech Institute

2.8%

The Academy

2.6%

Purdue University

2.5%

Henry Ford College

2.3%

Delgado Community College

2.3%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

20.7%

Music

16.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

12.5%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

9.9%

Business

6.8%

Medical Technician

4.9%

Industrial Technology

3.1%

Computer Science

2.9%

Nursing

2.9%

General Studies

2.1%

Engineering

2.0%

Engineering Technology

1.9%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Automotive Technology

1.8%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

1.8%

Medical Assisting Services

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Education

1.7%

Chemistry

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

31.6%

Associate

31.3%

Bachelors

19.2%

Certificate

8.6%

Diploma

4.1%

Masters

4.0%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Updated May 19, 2020