How to Become an Instrumentation Technician

June 8, 2021

An instrumentation technician should be able to test, maintain and repair electronic, mechanical, and pneumatic instruments used to record and report data.

The systems they work on contribute to various procedures, including surgeries, metalworking, and woodworking. Read on to learn more about their professional responsibilities, educational requirements, and salary expectations.

Instrumentation Technician Job Description

instrumentation technician job

An instrumentation technician will test, calibrate, install and inspect manufacturing equipment and monitoring devices. They will also work alongside electronic engineers or process technicians on the basic design.

Other responsibilities revolve around performing general maintenance on the equipment, adjusting system components, and replacing defective parts.

Skills Needed

Instrumentation technicians must possess an excellent eye for detail to identify problems and correct them quickly. They must remain up-to-date on the different tools needed to calibrate, adjust and restore various instruments. Since they perform a wide range of tasks using their hands, manual dexterity is also important.

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Instrument technicians should also maintain excellent written and oral communication skills. Discussing repair plans with customers is a big part of the job, and technicians need to explain specific procedures and write up reports regarding the status of certain instruments and equipment.

Other important skills include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Mathematics
  • Problem Solving
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Computer and Mechanical

Working Conditions and Environment

People depend on instrumentation technicians to monitor devices and test systems up and running, which can create some pressure. Fortunately, they have many different machines and tools at their disposal to maintain, repair, calibrate and restore various instruments. 

Most of their day is spent working with their hands. However, instrumentation technicians may also spend some time working with scientific and analytic computer software, calculators, voltage and current meters, and electronic probes to diagnose faults in circuitry.

Most often, instrument technicians will work a set number of hours each week. They do not usually have to work overnight or on holidays, though they may occasionally be asked to work overtime or over the weekend.

Job Prospects

Instrumentation technicians will most commonly find work in chemical plants, petroleum refineries, canneries, and food processing plants, though the opportunities don’t end there.

There is a high demand for instrument technicians across the electromedical industry and businesses that monitor air and water pollution. These industries rely on precise monitoring equipment and must ensure they continue operating correctly. 

Typically, an instrumentation technician will start out working as an assistant to a professional technician. As they move forward in their careers, instrumentation technicians can invest in a specialty area, working with medical equipment or mechanical instruments, for instance.

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Education and Training Requirements

While it is possible to break into the field with a high school diploma or equivalent, most employers prefer additional certification or an associate degree. A postsecondary degree will also help deliver technicians a strong foundation in mathematics, computer software, and mechanical skills. This process typically takes around two years to complete.


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Instrumentation Technician Salaries

Full-time instrumentation technicians earn an average salary of $59,800 per year. Though, salaries for technician jobs may vary depending on experience, education, and geographical location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $95,340.


Instrumentation Technician Career

The New England Institute of Technology can help students prepare for successful careers in instrumentation. Our degree programs in engineering technology will provide you the education, skills, and training in some of the most robust, emerging fields of the 21st Century.

Students can access a number of resources on our Rhode Island campus to help them pursue successful careers in the field. Our Career Services department is also available to help graduates start their job search immediately upon graduation. Get in touch with one of our representatives today!


Earn your degree in Engineering Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!





How much does an instrument tech make an hour?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electro-mechanical or instrumentation technicians make $28.75 per hour. The organization reports that these professionals earn an average salary of $59,800 per year.

How long does it take to become an instrument technician?

After receiving their high school diploma, aspiring instrumentation technicians will need either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. This process typically takes two years to complete, though some certification programs can be completed in less time.

What degree do you need for instrumentation?

Instrumentation technicians will need at least an associate’s degree to break into the field. Concentrations should revolve around robotics, instrumentation, electrical technology, or a related field.

What does an instrument technician do in a hospital?

When working in a hospital setting, an instrument technician must operate various diagnostic imaging and therapeutic medical equipment. They must ensure these testing systems are functioning correctly so that doctors can detect diseases or problems in patients.