Instrumentation Mechanics install, maintain and repair the measuring and control instruments used in industrial and commercial processing. They work with a wide variety of pneumatic, electronic and microcomputer instruments used to measure and control variables such as pressure, flow, temperature, level, motion, force, and chemical composition and have a high level of computer skills.
In general Instrumentation Mechanics consult manufacturers manuals to determine test and maintenance procedures, use testing devices to inspect and test instrument and system operation and diagnose faults, consult with and advise process operators, repair, maintain and adjust system components or remove and replace defective parts, calibrate and maintain components and instruments according to manufacturers' specifications, and install and maintain instruments on new or existing plant equipment and processes.
Training to become an Instrumentation Mechanic is available through a union apprenticeship program offered by the United Association of Journeypersons and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada.
The application process to become a part of the union includes in most jurisdictions in Canada that you must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum Grade 12 education. Instrumentation is a complex, analytical trade, and taking courses in mathematics and science, as well as having good oral and writing skills, are necessary in preparing yourself for a career as an Instrument Mechanic. An apprentice is someone who learns a trade by working under the guidance of a qualified Journeyperson in the trade so they “learn while they earn”. The skills that are developed under this arrangement have been a proven model for the trades since the 1400’s when the apprenticeship model began. Learning skills from a person that has completed their trade is still the best way to become a master at your craft. The apprentice also has to attend training at a registered apprenticeship program delivery agent and learn the theoretical skills required for the position. You get paid by the hour while working on the job site.
Apprenticeship is both an ancient tradition and a highly effective modern training method, proving to still be the best system for trades training. This is a highly rewarding career path for an individual who is motivated to learn the piping trade and become an active member of a proud and noble trade union. The rewards of Union Apprenticeship Training are the good wages and benefits you receive as a skilled craftsperson. You'll be working under the protection of a union contract with insurance, pension and health and welfare benefits. In the long run, it pays to become an Instrument Mechanic, trained through Union Apprenticeship!