Calibration technician

A calibration technician

Description

Calibration technicians test and calibrate electrical and electronic equipment. They read blueprints and other technical drawings to develop testing procedures for every product.

The duties of a calibration technician include, but are not limited to:

  • Traveling to clients for equipment inspections.
  • Performing routine equipment maintenance.
  • Calibrating equipment to industry standards.
  • Troubleshooting equipment failures.
  • Conducting equipment repairs.
  • Responding to client queries.
  • Suggesting equipment upgrades.
  • Maintaining calibration equipment and supplies.
  • Completing job cards and equipment reports.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to calibration technician:

instrument calibration technician
technician in instrument calibration
technician in calibration of electrical and electronic equipment
pyrometry instrument calibration technician
instrumentation calibration technician
instrument and calibration technician
calibrator
electrical instrument calibration technologist
electronic instrument calibration technician
electrical and electronic equipment calibrator
electrical and electronic equipment calibration technician
electrical instrument calibration technician
calibration technologist
instrument calibration technologist
instrument calibrator
calibrator of electrical and electronic equipment
calibrations technician

Minimum qualifications

An associate-level or ordinary-level degree in mechanical, electrical, electronic engineering, or a related field, is a typical requirement to become a calibration technician . Typical subjects include metrology (the science of measurement), manufacturing/industrial engineering, instrument technology and electronics. In addition, those who have served an electrical apprenticeship can also cross-train into instrumentation/calibration roles.

Experience in a manufacturing environment and training is preferred for some roles. Companies will often provide in-house training on the specific equipment used.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Calibration technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Calibration technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to calibration technician.

computer hardware test technician
commissioning technician
metrology technician
avionics inspector
electronics production supervisor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of calibration technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of calibration technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

metrologist
commissioning engineer
maintenance and repair engineer
quality engineer
integrated circuit design engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of calibration technician.

  • Quality assurance procedures: The procedures to inspect a product or system to ensure that it is according to specifications and requirements.
  • Electronic equipment standards: The national and international quality and safety standards and regulations with regards to the use and manufacture of electronic equipment and its components, such as semiconductors and printed circuit boards.
  • Electrical equipment regulations: The national and international regulations with regards to the use and manufacture of electrical equipment on the workfloor. These regulations provide rules and guidelines on topics such as general risk management, electrical equipment manufacture, electrical equipment testing, electrical equipment installation, warning labels, and certificates.
  • Instrument performance elements: Elements that indicate or influence instrument performance. A first indication of the performance of the instrument is the accuracy or precision of the instrument, such as its response time, resolution, and range. A second indication of performance is the technical performance of the instrument, such as its power level, the electromagnetic interference, and transient voltages. A third indication of performance are environmental factors that can influence instrument performance, such as humidity, operating temperatures, or dust.
  • Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • Metrology: The methods and theory of measurement in a scientific context, including internationally accepted units of measurement, practical realisation of these units, and interpretation of measurements.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of calibration technician.

  • Monitor machine operations: Observe machine operations and evaluate product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
  • Measure electrical characteristics: Measure voltage, current, resistance or other electrical characteristics by using electrical measuring equipment such as multimeters, voltmeters, and ammeters.
  • Develop preventive maintenance procedures for instruments: Develop and upgrade preventive maintenance procedures for components, equipment or systems.
  • Conduct quality control analysis: Conduct inspections and tests of services, processes, or products to evaluate quality.
  • Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
  • Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
  • Communicate test results to other departments: Communicate testing information such as testing schedules, samples testing statistics and test results, to the relevant departments.
  • Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
  • Report defective manufacturing materials: Maintain required company records and forms in order to report any defective materials or questionable conditions of manufacturing machinery and equipment.
  • Operate surveying instruments: Operate and adjust measuring instruments such as theodolites and prisms, and other electronic distance-measuring tools.
  • Check system parameters against reference values: Make sure that the measurable factors which define the operation of a system correspond to the predetermined norms.
  • Use measurement instruments: Use different measurement instruments depending on the property to be measured. Utilise various instruments to measure length, area, volume, speed, energy, force, and others.
  • Test electronic units: Test electronic units using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • Ensure conformity to specifications: Ensure that the assembled products are conform to the specifications given.
  • Interpret electrical diagrams: Read and comprehend blueprints and electrical diagrams; understand technical instructions and engineering manuals for assembling electrical equipment; understand electricity theory and electronic components.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of calibration technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Industrial software: The selection of software that aids in estimating, managing and scheduling industrial processes such as design, work flow and production improvement.
  • Electrical discharge: Tthe qualities and applications of electrical discharge, including voltage and electrodes.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of calibration technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Develop calibration procedures: Develop test procedures for instrument performance testing.
  • Resolve equipment malfunctions: Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.
  • Maintain electrical equipment: Test electrical equipment for malfunctions. Take safety measures, company guidelines, and legislation concerning electrical equipment into account. Clean, repair and replace parts and connections as required.
  • Assemble electronic units: Assemble and maintain electronic components and electronic circuits.
  • Provide user support for electrical instruments: Provide user support and make recommendations for the use of existing or new electrical devices; assist and provide advice with regard to product maintenance, upgrades and troubleshooting.
  • Manage instrumentation systems: Set up, adjust, operate and maintain instrumentation systems. Process and analyse data, and present research results.
  • Develop material testing procedures: Develop testing protocols in collaboration with engineers and scientists to enable a variety of analyses such as environmental, chemical, physical, thermal, structural, resistance or surface analyses on a wide range of materials such as metals, ceramics or plastics.
  • Calibrate laboratory equipment: Calibrate laboratory equipment by comparing between measurements: one of known magnitude or correctness, made with a trusted device and a second measurement from another piece of laboratory equipment. Make the measurements in as similar a way as possible.
  • Maintain electronic systems: Calibrate and maintain electronic systems; execute preventive equipment maintenance tasks.
  • Research equipment needs: Research equipment or required machine parts; compare sources, prices and delivery times.
  • Maintain test equipment: Maintain equipment used for testing the quality of systems and products.
  • Validate raw materials using adequate equipment: Perform equipment validations and calibrations, along with methods and procedures for receiving incoming raw materials from suppliers.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
  • Write records for repairs: Write records of the repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, of parts and materials used, and other repair facts.
  • Write calibration report: Report on the instrument calibration measurements and results. A calibration report includes the objectives and approach of the test, descriptions of tested instruments or products, test procedures, and test results.

ISCO group and title

3113 – Electrical engineering technicians


References
  1. Calibration technician – ESCO
  2. Calibration Technician Job Description – Betterteam
  3. What is a Calibration Technician and What Do They Do? – GetReskilled
  4. Featured image: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey Lewis – Public Domain
Last updated on January 4, 2023

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