Instrument Technician apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Instrument Technician

Instrument Technician apprenticeship

DOT code: 710.281-030

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


Inspects, tests, adjusts, and repairs electric, electronic, mechanical, and pneumatic instruments and systems used to indicate, record, and control generating operations in conventional or nuclear power electric generating plant: Inspects meters, indicators, and gauges to detect abnormal fluctuations. Tests accuracy of flowmeters, pressure gauges, temperature indicators, controllers, radiation counters or detectors, and other recording, indicating or controlling instruments to locate defective components in system, using test equipment, such as pressure gauges, mercury manometers, potentiometers, pulse and signal generators, oscilloscopes, transistor curve tracers, and ammeters, voltmeters, and wattmeters. Traces out and tests electronic solid state and vacuum tube circuitry and components to locate defective parts in analog and digital, protection, or radiation monitoring systems, using test equipment, schematics, and maintenance manuals. Removes defective instruments from system, decontaminates, disassembles, and cleans instruments, and replaces defective parts, using handtools. Reassembles instruments and replaces instruments in system, using handtools. Lubricates instruments and replaces defective wiring and tubing. Calibrates readings on instruments according to standards and adjusts phasing and aligns stages to ensure accuracy of recording and indicating function. Records calibrations made, parts and components used, and inventory of parts on hand. Prepares schematic drawings, sketches, and reports to reflect changes or alterations made in instruments, circuits, and systems.

Work process schedule

Task Hours
A. Shop practices 600
B. Electronics: tape systems, servosystems, potentiometers, VTVM and multimeters, voltmeters and ammeters, oscillographs, power supplies, R-L-C bridges, and amplifiers. 1200
C. Flow: anemeters, trubinmeters, and tachometers 500
D. Pressure and vacuum: transmitters and transducers, carrier systems and indicators, precision pressure balances, gauges, manometers, and dead weight tester. 900
E. Force: internal balance, load cells and torque meters. 700
F. Temperature: pyrometers, thermometers, and thermocouples. 700
G. Optical: schlieren and shadowgraph, and remote television. 700
H. Digital equipment: analogue to digital equipment, digital computers, analogue computers, and miscellaneous digital apparatus. 1500
I. Position and vibration: accelerometers, extensometers, and displacement and velocity measurements. 700
J. Moisture and humidity: dew point and humidity indicators 500
(Every 2,000 hours = one year) total hours: 8000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. The following is a general list of instruction topics for this trade. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.

First year
Math I, algebra
Electricity I, DC fundamentals
Math II, trigonometry, and analytic geometry
Electricity II, sinewaves, and AC measurements
Math III, miniature calculators
Sketching, mechanical, and electrical
Safety, electrical safety

Second Year
Physics I, mechanics, and properties of matter
Physics II, Heat, Light, Sound, Lasers
Math IV, calculus, and statistics
Electronics I, vacuum tubes, transistors and diodes, basic digital equipment

Third Year
Electronics II, integrated, and other solid state circuits
Digital techniques, digital logic
Instrumentation I, basic measurements

Fourth year
Instrumentation II, advanced measurements
Minicomputers and microprocessors theory and application
Digital systems theory and application (including software)