Scientific Instrument Maker

Bring high-quality tool building knowledge into the laboratory.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$24,000 – $58,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Scientific Instrument Makers do?

Scientific Instrument Makers develop, create, and test scientific and medical instruments. Think a little grander than your basic science classroom Bunsen burners and glass beakers. Scientific Instrument Makers develop intricate cameras and lifesaving medical equipment, and may even participate in creating advanced technology like particle accelerators and colliders.

As a Scientific Instrument Maker, you put on an Inventor ’s thinking cap every day you walk into the lab. Keeping a clear head can go a long way, as the items you produce are some of the most important in the world. Sometimes, you start off with a blank piece of graph paper and get to create your own models from scratch. Other times, you improve on previous instruments, streamlining and refining to perfection.

You’re a skilled craftsperson, able to focus on an object’s small details. Your creations are sophisticated and, in some cases, one of a kind. But you must be able to do more than draft up schematics. Often, your task stretches from the idea stage all the way through installing the equipment and teaching others how to use it.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary so you can pass on your expertise to others who need to use your instruments. You may have to lead a team of Inventors, in which case you need to be extremely organized to make sure everyone is on the same page. If something goes wrong, it could be more hazardous than when the clumsy kid in your chemistry class accidentally spilled their homework on your favorite shirt. But when things go right, you might just have a revolutionary instrument in your hands, one that can shape the future of scientific advancements.

Should I be a Scientific Instrument Maker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • How to Become a
    Scientific Instrument Maker

    Most Scientific Instrument Makers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9weaaa&chl=no+college+%2854%25%29|certificate+%2842%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,54,54
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