Instrumentation Engineer

Take apart and rebuild electrical components to meet quality requirements.
picture of Instrumentation Engineer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $129,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Instrumentation Engineers do?

Instrumentation Engineers are the kind of people who spent their childhoods taking things apart and putting them back together (or at least trying to). The smaller the pieces, the bigger the challenge, and as an Instrumentation Engineer, you deal with some of the finest and most delicate electric and electronic components in the world. Every day, you design, disassemble, reassemble, and quality-check every element of a new or existing product.

Different products have different needs. Some products need troubleshooting. In these cases, you work with your team of Instrumentation Technologists and Technicians to devise tests and diagnose the problem. You collaborate with these professionals to gather data and find a solution.

You also need to communicate with them when doing redesigns, upgrades, or new products. Their insight can be vital when creating a new device, helping you to determine best practices and design features that can be quickly reproduced at a high level of quality.

You often have your own office, but spend a fair bit of time in the laboratory and/or on the fabrication floor as well. On paper, you work a 40-hour workweek, Monday through Friday. But count on some overtime when big projects come up.

You are the end of the line for all design and production specifics. Your team relies on your wealth of scientific, engineering, and practical knowledge to create quality products and solve complex problems. You’ll need communications skills—both speaking/writing and listening/reading.

Being a good leader is an important part of being a good Instrumentation Engineer, and this means give and take in both directions. Your brain and your team are your best resources, but you can’t rely on just one to get a project finished. You call the shots, but people also turn to you for guidance and advice when solving difficult problems.

Should I be an Instrumentation Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Line Construction Engineer

    How to Become an
    Instrumentation Engineer

    Most Instrumentation Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aak9ed&chl=||associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%286%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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