Career Spotlight: Instrumentation Engineer
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What Is Instrumentation Engineering?
Instrumentation engineers are responsible for installing, monitoring, and maintaining control systems and machinery needed in the manufacturing environment. Their primary focus is on control processes that use sensors as an input. Instrumentation engineers ensure that control machinery and processes are working effectively and efficiently, while working in a safe and reliable manner.
Roles and Responsibilities of an Instrumentation Engineer
Instrumentation engineers are responsible for any part of the control process, including the planning, design, development, and installation of a new process. They are also responsible for ensuring systems that are already in place are working safely and effectively.
While the tasks will vary depending on where you work, check out a few of the most common responsibilities:
- Install new control processes
- Develop instrumentation testing protocols
- Monitor sensor outputs and process operations
- Ensure instrumentation operation is compliant with regulations
- Complete routine and planned maintenance
- Work with leadership and other key members of the team to design and develop new control processes
- Supervise instrumentation technicians and other team members
- Collect data, analyze, and create reports for leadership
- Train staff members if required
In addition to these responsibilities, instrumentation engineers lead a team and can be responsible for procurement and budgetary operations.
Where Do Instrumentation Engineers Work?
Instrumentation engineers can work in a variety of organizations that specialize in specific industrial industries and facilities. They may work in an office, a laboratory, on a factory floor, or all three depending on their job responsibilities. Employers of instrumentation engineers must meet standards for lower emission levels. Instrumentation engineers are hired for the following industries to ensure levels are standard and up to date:
- Manufacturing firms
- Oil and gas refineries
- Energy companies
- Pharmaceutical development and production companies
- Food and chemical processing plants
According to Salary.com, instrumentation engineers make $82,068 on average per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported positions in this field could rise by 7 percent by 2030; therefore, it is a great time for people to enter this field.
What Skills and Education Requirements Does an Instrumentation Engineer Need?
Instrumentation engineers need a range of skills and education to ensure success. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field are required for entry-level instrumentation engineer positions. Recruiters also look for the following skills during the hiring process:
- Teamwork: As an instrumentation engineer, you are required to work closely with people across different departments and at a variety of levels.
- Problem-solving skills: You must be able to assess problems and come up with new and innovative solutions.
- Communication: Strong verbal communication skills are necessary to work with the rest of the manufacturing team.
- Organizational skills: As an instrumentation engineer, you must be able to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines and ensure systems are up and running for all manufacturers.
Because of the continued rise in the manufacturing, electrical, computer, and control system fields, instrumentation engineers will always have a job in the labor field. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from Excelsior University will prepare you for a job in any of these fields. The degree program is designed specifically to advance job skills by ensuring a range of knowledge in technology as well as by giving you an opportunity to choose a concentration in electronics or power systems. Check out how you can get started with this degree today!