Measurement and control technicians work with complex instruments and sensors that monitor production or operational processes in a wide variety of fields, including manufacturing, medical instruments, transportation, power generation, and light and heavy engineering.
The control instruments are used to monitor what is happening in a specific area of operation or production. Where faults occur, the instruments are programmed to carry out any necessary changes and adjustments straight away. They are also designed to collate and feedback data, which is used in quality control.
The work includes the installation, and routine maintenance and repair of components, monitoring existing systems using programmable logic controls (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCSs), and designing, producing, testing, calibrating and operating new systems.
Technicians work closely with instrument control engineers and may also be responsible for the supervision of craftspeople and machine operators. See the profile for Measurement and Control Engineer.
Technicians work 37 to 40 hours a week, with shift, on-call, night and weekend work often required.
Working conditions are dependent on the type of industry. Technicians may work indoors on a factory production line, a controlled environment, such as an electronics manufacturing plant, or hospital or research facility; they may be outside, for example, if working on road and rail infrastructure.
To be a measurement and control technician you need:
Measurement and control technicians are employed in a wide range of engineering and manufacturing industries, and research and development companies and prospects are good.
There are opportunities in installation and maintenance of monitoring equipment; design and manufacture of components; computerised control equipment; testing of new equipment; production control; and costing.
Career progression would normally involve moving into supervisory positions. With further training and experience, higher management and project lead roles may become available - see Measurement and Control Engineer.
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