An instrumentation technician tests, maintains, and repairs automated machinery utilized in a variety of industries, including medicine, science, and engineering. Training for this profession should begin in high school by completing courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. In addition, an Associate of Applied Science degree is usually required to become an instrumentation technician. After meeting the educational requirements for this profession, you will also need to complete an extensive on-the-job training program to acquire specific work skills. You may also want to seek voluntary professional certification and participate in continuing education programs to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date with the latest technology.
You should begin training to become an instrumentation technician during high school by taking classes in relevant subjects. Your focus should be on science, mathematics, and engineering-related coursework to prepare for college admission. You will need to have a basic knowledge of biology, chemistry, and physics to be successful in their career. Courses in mechanical drawing and computer technology, as well as electronics and circuitry may also be beneficial and should be taken if offered. Blueprint and electrical schematic reading classes will also help to prepare you for this career.
An Associate of Applied Science degree is usually required to become an instrumentation technician and can be obtained through a number of community colleges and technical institutes. During your college training, you will be taught electrical subjects such as circuitry, electrical systems, and conduits. Science and mathematical coursework may include subjects such as chemistry, physics, and algebra. You will also complete coursework specific to instrumentation technology, including equipment installation, setup, and calibration, as well as repair and maintenance. In addition to these subjects, you will be taught how to interface with computers and use programmable logic controllers.
After completing your formal education, you should seek an entry-level position to gain the practical work skills needed to become an instrumentation technician. Most employers provide extensive on-the job training that allows you to earn an income while gaining hands-on experience. During this training period, you will work under the direct supervision of an experienced technician. This in-depth training allows you to acquire the specific skills needed for the type of industry in which you will be working. You will be taught how to install, calibrate, and test various instruments along with the particular computer programs and interfaces utilized in their operation.
You should also consider becoming professionally certified in this field to show prospective employers that your knowledge and skills are up-to-date with current technology. These certifications are usually tailored to a particular sub-field of instrumentation technology and are offered to qualified candidates who successfully complete a knowledge and skills examination. Continuing education classes are usually required for periodic certification renewal as well.