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Maintenance and Instrumentation Technicians

"I've always loved tinkering with stuff. When I got out of high school, I worked with my father and uncle in their heating and cooling business for several years. Then I heard that biotechnology companies were looking for people with my technical education and skills. Now I'm earning good money and working with some very cutting-edge technology."   —Andre

A Maintenance & Instrumentation Technician at Work

Andre is a maintenance and instrumentation technician with a company that uses biotechnology in its manufacturing process. He joined the company six years ago after getting an Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in Industrial Systems Technology from a local community college.

Andre spends a lot of time on the manufacturing floor, making sure that the manufacturing equipment and instrumentation are working properly. He spends very little time at his desk. He usually works on the equipment and instruments by himself, but he sometimes visits with the company process technicians who are often on the manufacturing floor with him.

Andre is responsible for a wide variety of facility systems including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (H.V.A.C.); water purification; and steam generation. In addition, he maintains a complex network of computer interfaces, valves, and pipes carrying both gases and liquids. Repair work orders for all of these systems and parts are communicated to Andre through a computer system for managing maintenance work. If he is late responding to a work order to fix a broken steam valve, he could potentially delay or jeopardize the entire manufacturing process.

Career Map

If you enjoy tinkering with things, are good at troubleshooting and repairs, and take pride in your work, you would probably make a good maintenance and instrumentation technician.

Maintenance and instrumentation technicians are valuable employees who seldom have difficulty finding employment.

They are responsible for keeping the manufacturing facility in good running order; if the manufacturing line goes down, the company loses money.

Maintenance and instrumentation technicians maintain the electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and water-purification systems. They also maintain the pumps, valves, piping, and other complex equipment used in the manufacturing process.