Gather and analyze information about production processes.
Automation Technician are the brain behind the machines. They keep those machines running—and running efficiently—and are capable of tweaking their programming, or the machines themselves, if a problem crops up.
Automated machines are everywhere, from homes to offices to mills to manufacturing plants. They may perform simple tasks like turning off the lights at a certain time of the day, or more complex ones like ensuring that a certain amount of baking powder is dispensed into a packaged muffin mix at a predetermined time. These machines can go out of sync for a variety of reasons, from computer glitches to jamming.
When this happens, it’s your job as an Automation Technician to find the problem and fix it, pronto! A small delay can cost a company thousands of dollars, so you must be able to spot problems and solve them quickly. You must be a laid-back person who can still think and function while multiple alarm bells are sounding.
As an Automation Technician, you work in a grey area between machines and computers, and you must feel comfortable in both worlds. You must be slightly more than a techie/gearhead, however. At times, you may be required to write reports about problems the machines are having, or manuals that owners can use to keep the machines running well. So you must be a good Writer and a good talker, capable of explaining difficult concepts to people who may not understand the basics of either mechanics or computers.