How Do I Become an Instrument Technician?

T. Davis

An instrument technician is a technician who repairs different types of electronic or pneumatic equipment. He or she also is responsible for providing regular maintenance to the equipment as needed. To become an instrument technician, you will need to graduate from high school or complete a similar program. After graduating from high school, you will need to obtain an associate’s degree in instrumentation technology or a similar field.

Instrument technicians often gain hands-on experience during college or through an internship.
Instrument technicians often gain hands-on experience during college or through an internship.

Obtaining a high school diploma is one of the first steps necessary to become an instrument technician. It is important that you have an interest in electronics and technology. This position also requires math skills, so you should try to take classes in mathematics such as algebra or statistics to gain an advantage. Courses in communication, language, science and computer drafting would be helpful as well.

When you have graduated from high school, you should apply for enrollment into an associate’s degree program to become an instrument technician. You can specialize in different areas of this degree program, such as general, industrial or biomedical, so it is important to research which degree program would be best for you. Students in this type of program may take courses in equipment repair and maintenance. In addition to these courses, students also are taught about computer networking systems, electrical systems and instrument calibration techniques.

After you complete your degree program, you might be required to receive in-depth on-the-job training before you officially become an instrument technician. As an entry-level technician, your job duties might start off simple, doing general repair of basic equipment. After you gain more experience, you might be expected to use your skills to repair and troubleshoot more complex equipment issues.

Many instrument technicians are hired to work full-time in a medical setting such as a hospital or clinic or in various types of factories or other facilities that use complex instruments. Equipment can break down or need to be calibrated at any time, so there might be a chance that you will have to work overtime as needed. There might also be some travel involved if you work for an equipment repair company that provides service to many locations.

To advance into management, some employers might require you to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree. It also would be wise to take continuing education courses. After you have at least two years of work experience, you might be able to take an exam to become a certified technician.

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