Instrumentation Technicians


Employment Prospects


Employers of instrumentation technicians include oil refineries, chemical and industrial laboratories, electronics firms, aircraft and aeronautical manufacturers, and biomedical firms. Companies involved in space exploration, oceanographic research, and national defense systems also employ instrumentation technicians. In addition, they work in various capacities in such industries as automotives, food, metals, ceramics, pulp and paper, power, textiles, pharmaceuticals, mining, metals, and pollution control.

Starting Out

Many companies recruit students prior to their graduation. Chemical and medical research companies especially need maintenance and operations technicians and usually recruit at schools where training in these areas is strong. Similarly, many industries in search of design technicians recruit at technical institutes and community colleges where the program is likely to meet their needs.

Students may also get assistance in their job searches through their school's career services office, or they may learn about openings through Web site and newspaper ads. Prospective employees can also apply directly to a company in which they are interested.

Advancement Prospects

Entry-level technicians develop their skills by learning tasks on their employers' equipment. Those with good academic records may, upon completion of an employer's basic program, move to an advanced level in sales or another area where a general understanding of the field is more important than specific laboratory skills. Technicians who have developed proficiency in instrumentation may choose to move to a supervisory or specialized position that requires knowledge of a particular aspect of instrumentation.

Tips for Entry

Join a school club or community organization for those interested in electronics. In addition to learning about related equipment, collaborating on projects will provide teamwork experience.

Contact a local refinery or factory to inquire about visits, tours, or information interviews with related personnel.

Find a part-time job with an emphasis on electronics and instrumentation, such as at a repair shop or an auto-body garage.