What Does an Instrumentation and Control Technician Do?

An Instrumentation and Control Technician (447A) repairs, maintains, calibrates, adjusts and installs industrial measuring and controlling instrumentation. This instrumentation makes sure that all machines in a plant are safe and running correctly. They may regulate the water flow in equipment or check the air quality in a mine. The operation and safety of the plant relies on these instruments so the Instrumentation and Control Technician is very important as they constantly monitor and calibrate these instruments.

Job -Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • consulting manuals, reading and interpreting circuit diagrams, blueprints and schematics
  • inspecting and testing the operation of instruments and systems to diagnose faults using testing devices
  • writing maintenance reports
  • repairing and adjusting system components or removing and replacing defective parts
  • calibrating components and instruments
  • performing scheduled preventative maintenance work
  • installing control and measurement instruments on existing or new plant equipment
  • observing safety in accordance with government and company standards

To view the Essential Skills necessary to work in this occupation, click on the following link or search for Instrument Mechanic NOC code 2243:

http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2006/ProfileNocCode.aspx?val=2&val1=2243&val17=2243&val18=0&val19=0

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

An Instrumentation and Control Technician is an unrestricted certified trade in the industrial sector, which means that it does not require a valid Certificate of Apprenticeship to work in the trade. However, apprenticeship training is recommended. This is considered a Red Seal trade, which means that it may be possible to be certified to work in any province of Canada.

You should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 8,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification. General skills can sometimes be transferable to other trades as well.  To succeed in this trade, you should possess mechanical skills and have the ability to problem-solve.

What’s Your Future as an Instrumentation and Control Technician?

Instrumentation and Control Technicians work mainly indoors, on the plant floor and often in cramped conditions. They may be required to stand for prolonged periods of time and be exposed to high noise, fumes and heat levels. Because this is such an important job, they must pay close attention to safety and may be called out in emergencies. Constant learning may be required to keep up with new technology.

Primarily work in this trade is full time and often in shifts. Employers who hire Instrumentation and Control Technicians include:

  • Machinery and equipment wholesalers
  • Industrial instrument and other manufacturing companies
  • Primary steel producers
  • Nuclear and Hydro Electric Power companies
  • Industrial chemicals manufacturers
  • Mining, petrochemical and natural gas companies
  • Pulp and paper processing companies

Wage Rate

Fully qualified Industrial Instrumentation and Control Technicians earn an average of $15-$32/hr, not including overtime and benefits.

Ask Yourself: Is Working as an Instrumentation and Control Technician For You?

Self-Rating

Do you enjoy working indoors in an industrial setting?

Yes      No

Do you mind being exposed to high levels of noise, fumes and heat?

Yes      No

Are you good at problem solving and persisting at a task until it is done just right?

Yes      No

Are you able to concentrate in busy or stressful situations?

Yes      No

Are you physically fit, and interested in working with machinery and high tech equipment, sometimes in cramped conditions?

Yes      No

Are you good at reading and interpreting blueprints?

Yes      No

Are you safety conscious?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as an Instrumentation and Control Technician may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Industrial Mechanic Millwright
  • Electrical Instrument Mechanic
  • Electronics Technician

For more information, check out the Ontario Association of Certified Technicians and Technologists, at www.oacett.org

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