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Apprenticeship

Instrumentation and Control Technician

Instrumentation and control technicians install, maintain and repair the measuring and control devices used in industrial and commercial processing.

Also Known As

Instrument Repair Technician, Mechanic, Service Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics (2243) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics (C143) 
  • 2011 NOC: Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243) 
  • 2016 NOC: Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics
2006 NOC : 2243

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to repair and adjust system components such as sensors, transmitters and programmable logic controllers, remove and replace defective parts and to install control and measurement instruments on existing and new plant equipment and processes

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing to inspect and test instruments to diagnose faults using pneumatic, electrical and electronic testing devices and precision measuring instruments

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking to consult with and advise process operators; and in performing scheduled preventive maintenance

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Instrumentation and control technicians work with a wide variety of pneumatic, electronic and microcomputer devices that are used to measure and control pressure, flow, temperature, level, motion, force and chemical composition.

In general, technicians:

  • Consult manufacturers’ manuals to determine test and maintenance procedures
  • Use pneumatic, electrical and electronic testing devices to inspect and test instrument and system operation, and diagnose faults
  • Implement loss management practices
  • Consult with and advise process operators
  • Repair, maintain and adjust system components or remove and replace defective parts
  • Do risk assessments
  • Calibrate and maintain components and instruments according to manufacturers’ specifications
  • Work with engineers on basic design
  • Install and maintain instruments on new or existing plant equipment and processes
  • Interpret and use appropriate CSA, ISA and API installation standards and practices
  • Train apprentices
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Instrumentation and control technicians may follow regular weekday hours or work rotation schedules, and are sometimes on call at night and on weekends.

Working conditions may change dramatically from one job to another. Instrumentation and control technicians working with manufacturing processes may be exposed to noisy, dusty, cold or unusually warm conditions. They can find themselves in confined spaces or high places, or working with radiation devices or laser equipment. There is some risk of injury particularly when processing dangerous chemicals or working with substances under pressure or at high temperatures.

Instrumentation and control technicians may be required to lift or move items that weigh up to 25 kilograms.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Instrumentation and control technicians need:

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and reading skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Patience
  • Mathematical and mechanical abilities
  • The ability to reason logically

They should enjoy solving problems and working with little direction or supervision.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
NOC code: 2243

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 17 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 28, 2021 and May 17, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Inspect and test operation of instruments and systems
Repair and adjust system components
Install new measuring instruments
Determine testing and maintenance procedures
Remove and replace defective parts
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Organized
Logical approach for troubleshooting
Calibrate components and instruments
Complete test and maintenance reports
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

To work in Alberta, an instrumentation and control technician must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate
  • Someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • Self-employed

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 30-3, Physics 30 and Chemistry 30, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

Most employers prefer to hire high school or post-secondary program graduates who have strong backgrounds in the chemical and physical processes involved in instrumentation. Courses in math, physics and chemistry are particularly important.

The term of apprenticeship is 4 years (four 12-month periods) that include a minimum of:

  • 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in the first and second year
  • 1,425 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training in the third and fourth year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Instrumentation and control technician apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Instrumentation and controls technicians need to keep up to date with changes in technology.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Instrumentation and Control Technician

Instrumentation and control technicians install, maintain and repair the measuring and control devices used in industrial and commercial processing. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Instrumentation and Control Technician Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Instrumentation and Control Technician.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

With industry becoming increasingly automated, instrumentation and control technicians are needed virtually anywhere there are control and metering systems.

They are employed in the following industries:

  • Pulp and paper processing
  • Utilities (for example, water, waste water, power and natural gas)
  • Mining, petrochemical and hydrocarbons
  • Industrial and commercial manufacturing
  • Industrial construction
  • Industrial instrument servicing
  • Food processing

Experienced instrumentation and control technicians may advance to supervisory positions, be employed as engineering technicians or move into company sales offices.

Instrumentation and control technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2243: Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics. In Alberta, 86% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf]in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 2243: Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson instrumentation and control technicians wage rates vary but generally range from $30 to $55 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 55% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 65% in the second, 75% in the third and 85% in the fourth.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics

2016 NOC : 2243
Average Wage
$34.41
Per Hour
Average Salary
$73,037.00
Per Year
Average Hours
41
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2243 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $46.25 $25.39 $21.45
Overall $24.33 $50.62 $34.41 $36.20
Top $28.30 $52.88 $42.17 $43.14

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Construction
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

26%
26%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

21%
21%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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