Instrumentation Engineer

Introduction

As an Instrumentation Engineer, you will design, develop, install, manage and maintain equipment used in engineering systems.

Also known as

  • Control and Instrumentation Engineer

Work Activities

As an Instrumentation Engineer, you will be designing control systems for nuclear and renewable energy businesses.

Once you have tested the control system, you will analyse the data and present your findings in a report, which will be shown to your client.

You will also make sure that everyone is kept safe by ensuring that everyone complies with the health and safety regulations and standards.

You might be working in a large team of:

  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Hardware Engineers
  • Operations Engineers
  • Purchasers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Software Engineers
  • Technical support
  • Design Engineers
  • Civil Engineers

Once a device has been developed, you may also be in charge of technical support. This may involve you travelling to the company and helping out with any support that they may need.

Other duties include:

  • plan and research into automation and process control
  • manage and make reports on installation safety
  • contact external suppliers for contractors to work on specific projects
  • keeping up to date with advanced technology

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Instrumentation Engineer, you will need:

  • IT skills
  • communication skills
  • designing skills
  • attention to detail
  • good written skills
  • organisation skills
  • leadership skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates below are approximate:

  • Starting: £21,000 - £21,500
  • With experience: £23,000 - £28,000
  • Senior Instrumentation Engineers earn £30,500

Hours of work

You will most likely work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Occasional late finishes and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include firms such as:

  • nuclear businesses
  • renewable energy businesses
  • construction firms
  • electrical businesses
  • building services
  • manufacturing firms
  • oil and gas companies

Opportunities occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

This career could involve working for an agency.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry Routes

Instrumentation Engineers usually complete a relevant degree, foundation degree or HND in electrical and electronic engineering.

However, there has been entry studying these degrees:

  • systems engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • computer engineering

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

If you would like some more training, then The Technical Training Group offer a level 2/3 programme in instrumentation.

By the end of the course, you would have learnt:

  • health and safety in an engineering workplace (level 3)
  • maths for Engineering Technicians (level 3)
  • industrial process measurement (level 3)
  • engineering drawing (level 3)
  • process plant control (level 3)
  • electrical principles (level 3)
  • carrying out engineering activities efficiently and effectively (level 2)
  • forming and assembling pipework systems (level 2)
  • wiring and testing programmable controller based systems (level 2)

Other courses may be available in your area,

Work Experience

Previous experience working in an engineering environment such as a Mechanical, Electrical or Chemical Engineer would be really useful for this career.

Progression

Once you have gained experience as an Instrumentation Engineer, you could work your towards becoming a Consultant or Manager.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Further Information

Professional institutions

Professional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

The Technical Training Group

Tel: 01642 770 310

Email: info@tte.co.uk

Website: tte.co.uk

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