Instrumentation technicians work in a variety of industries installing, repairing and controlling operating equipment in manufacturing or industrial plants. These positions usually require an associate's degree. Certification is available, but not always required.
Instrumentation technicians work in industrial and manufacturing environments. These technicians work to maintain the equipment that controls the automation of industry plants and factories. Some postsecondary education is required to enter this field.
|Required Education||Associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Optional certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||0% for all electrical and electronics engineering technicians*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$64,330 for all electrical and electronics engineering technicians*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education Requirements for Instrumentation Technicians
Obtaining an associate's degree in instrumentation technology is the minimum educational requirement. These degree programs provide training for working in a variety of industries. Instrumentation technology degree programs provide theoretical and hands-on learning in setting up and maintaining automated control systems.
Students are introduced to temperature and pressure controls, electrical systems, automation, flow devices and microprocessing computers. Students learn to read, analyze and produce electronic drafting documents. Advancing to higher supervisory positions can require a bachelor's or master's degree, such as the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Engineering or Master of Science (M.S.) in Instrumentation.
Certification is not a requirement to work in the field; however, individuals can choose to upgrade their skill sets and become certified. The International Society of Automation (ISA) and the National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technologies (NICET) offer certifications opportunities. NICET offers four levels within its industrial instrumentation certification track, ranging from entry-level to upper senior technicians.
Instrumentation technicians can be found in a number of industries, such as power, food, oil, and even computer and telecommunication industries. The prime responsibility for these technicians is to maintain automated control systems within the facility where they work. They help install, regulate and repair the operating equipment that is vital to the functioning of a manufacturing or industrial plant. This equipment can include computer, electrical or communication systems.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes instrumentation technicians with the electrical and electronics engineering technicians career group. This group of workers had an average salary of $65,050 in 2018. Instrumentation technicians are also likely to receive benefits that include health insurance, as well as paid sick or vacation days.
Those seeking careers as instrumentation technicians need to complete an associate's degree. Advancement and additional opportunities in this field usually require a bachelor's or master's degree. Certification is available to augment a candidate's credentials.