An instrumentation technician is somebody who works at setting up, testing and fixing devices that are used in the field of engineering and medicine. Devices that are used for surgeries, those that are used for mechanical procedures, musical instruments are all things that would come under the purview of an instrumentation technician. He/she is mostly responsible for selecting, setting up, testing and fixing any problem that might occur in these devices but will also have to sometimes design and build devices themselves.
This job involves working with intricately designed instruments that measure the change in the industrial environment. The instrumentation technician is responsible for anything that happens to an instrument. Sometimes they are required to work with laboratory equipment that measures the changes that occur in a test instrument when the humidity, pressure, temperature, stress, vibration and altitude changes. Technicians are also responsible for designing equipment based on certain requirements or getting engineers to create a device according to the designs that he has made and make sure that it works.
Equipment to Deal With
Instrumentation technicians have to work with three different kinds of equipment. The first set is the electro-pneumatic and pneumatic equipment. These devices include flow and temperature transmitters and devices that are started using diaphragms, bellows or pressure springs. The second kind of devices that they have to deal with is hydraulic instrumentation and this includes hydraulic valve operators, hydraulic valves and electro-hydraulic instruments. The third kind of instruments is electronic and electrical equipment. These include computers, recorders, transducers and telemetering devices. Some of this equipment needs special training to operate while others use a general principle that has been covered in your course.
Areas of Employment
Instrumentation technicians are employed in a number of industries. Mechanical technicians deal with machinery and it's working which makes it a labor intensive job. Biomedical instrumentation technician's work with devices used for medical procedures and electromechanical technicians work with machines that are controlled using electronic devices. Some of them will have to work at calibrating instruments while others help in finding out what is causing problems in an instrument and are known as troubleshooting technicians. Instrumentation technicians work in industries like refineries, chemical plants, canneries, power stations, food processing units and water and air pollution monitoring agencies.
Science and math in school along with some amount of electronic or mechanical training can help you gain an early advantage when it comes to training for the role of an instrumentation technician. Entry level jobs are available to those who have had two years of training after school or the equivalent experience in the particular field. Engineering degree programs, Master's and PhD programs can get you placement in highly reputed companies with a good salary. Those who graduate from recognized colleges are considered as instrumentation technicians by the National Institute for Certification and a certificate is issued to this effect. Jobs that require special certification or training is provided by the relevant authority who gives the certificate once the program is completed.