Instrument and electrical technicians inspect, troubleshoot, and resolve problems with electrical circuits and their connected components. They configure, install, and test new equipment while making sure all maintenance and installations are well-documented. Maintenance may include performing adjustments and calibration procedures on various forms of process equipment. Some travel may be required in this line of work. Extended hours or shift work may be required depending on the company's needs. Many instrument technicians work in large manufacturing or processing plants in a variety of industries, such as energy production or agriculture. It's a very hands-on type of job, and some degree of physical fitness may be required for climbing or lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds.
Many positions only require a high school diploma or GED, but some companies prefer candidates with a two-year technical degree related to electrical work or instrumentation. Extra classes in electronics or electrical theory are very beneficial. The amount of prior work experience required for a given position can range from four to ten years. Computer literacy is a requirement and knowledge of programming may be necessary for certain industries.
Safety awareness is important in this vocation because a lot of instrument and electrical technicians work around dangerous machinery in industrial environments. The technicians must perform all job duties in strict compliance with applicable OSHA and site safety regulations. Organization and multitasking skills are important as the technician may have several different work orders open at the same time. Strong verbal and written communication skills are necessary to collaborate with other team members and ensure that all assigned tasks are properly carried out.
Instrument and Electrical Technician Tasks
- Configure, install, and test new equipment.
- Document maintenance and installations.
- Inspect, troubleshoot, and resolve problems with electrical circuits and their connected components.