Precision instrument assembler

Precision instrument assemblers make microscopes among other things.


Precision instrument assemblers read blueprints and assembly drawings to assemble precision instruments such as micrometers, gauges, thermostats and utility meters. They collect the different components and piece them together using hand tools or machinery. Furthermore they calibrate the instruments and test their precision.

The duties of a precision instrument assembler include, but are not limited to:

  • Fitting and assembling finished mechanical parts of precision instruments such as binoculars,microscope level, cameras, gauges, etc.
  • Checking finished components with micrometer, vernier, slip gauges and other precision measuring instruments and devices
  • Assembling them step by step in proper sequences according to drawing using spanners, screw-driver, adopters and other hand tools
  • Fitting lenses and metal or wooden accessories like stand (tripod), holders, boxes, specified
  • Checking whether assembled units conform to specifications, and replacing faulty units or components
  • Ensuring stipulated performance and sensitivity by standard tests
  • Repairing precision instruments
  • Performing minor machine operations on instrument makers’ lathe or drilling machine

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to precision instrument assembler:

thermostat calibrator
precision instrument calibrator
meter calibrator
precision instrument craftsman
precision instrument tester
gauge calibrator
precision instrument craftswoman
precision instrument maker
meter tester
precision instrument craftsperson
micrometer tester
micrometer assembler
thermostat tester
gauge tester
micrometer calibrator
thermostat assembler
gauge assembler
meter assembler

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally the minimum required to work as a precision instrument assembler.

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.

Precision instrument assembler is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Precision instrument assembler career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to precision instrument assembler.

dental instrument assembler
electronic equipment assembler
semiconductor processor
wire harness assembler
precision device inspector

Long term prospects

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

instrumentation engineering technician
microsystem engineering technician
computer hardware test technician
calibration technician
electromechanical engineering technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of precision instrument assembler.

  • Instrumentation equipment: The equipment and instruments used for the monitoring and controlling of processes, such as valves, regulators, circuit breakers, and relays.
  • Precision mechanics: Precision or fine mechanics is a subdiscipline in engineering that focuses on the design and development of smaller precision machines.
  • 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.
  • Precision measuring instruments: Instruments used for precision measuring or manufacture, such as micrometers, calipers, gauges, scales, and microscopes.
  • Instrumentation engineering: The science and engineering discipline that attempts to control process variables of production and manufacturing. It also focuses on the design of systems with desired behaviours. These systems use sensors to measure the output performance of the device that is being controlled.
  • Blueprints: Must be able to read and understand blueprints, drawings and plans and maintain simple written records.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of precision instrument assembler.

  • Read assembly drawings: Read and interpret drawings listing all the parts and subassemblies of a certain product. The drawing identifies the different components and materials and provides instructions on how to assemble a product.
  • Monitor manufacturing quality standards: Monitor quality standards in manufacturing and finishing process.
  • Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Calibrate precision instrument: Examine the precision instruments and assess whether the instrument meets the quality standards and production specifications. Correct and adjust the reliability by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results.
  • Pack goods: Pack different kinds of goods such as finished manufactured products or goods in use. Pack goods by hand in boxes, bags and other types of containers.
  • Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
  • Set tolerances: Align tolerances while inserting and placing different parts to avoid tolerance discrepancy and misfits in assembly.
  • 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.
  • Test instrumentation equipment: Check the instrumentation equipment for accuracy and performance using pneumatic, electronic, and electrical test and measuring equipment and hand tools.
  • Assemble instrumentation equipment: Build systems and instruments which measure, control, and monitor processes. Fit the instrument parts such as power supplies, control units, lenses, springs, circuit boards, sensors, transmitters, and controllers.
  • Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • 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.
  • Precision engineering: Engineering discipline related to the fields of electrical engineering, electronics engineering, software engineering, optical engineering, and mechanical engineering that deals with the development of apparatus with very low tolerances.
  • 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.
  • Electromechanics: The engineering processes that combine electrical and mechanical engineering in the application of electromechanics in devices that need electricity to create mechanical movement or devices that create electricity by mechanical movement.
  • Metallurgy: The branch of science concerned with the study of the chemical and physical properties of metallic elements, intermetallic elements, and alloys.
  • 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.
  • Automation technology: Set of technologies that make a process, system, or apparatus operate automatically through the use of control systems.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Resolve equipment malfunctions: Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.
  • Carry out measurements of parts: Operate measurement instruments to measure parts of manufactured objects. Take into consideration specifications of manufacturers to perform the measuring.
  • Remove defective products: Remove defective materials from the production line.
  • Align components: Align and lay out components in order to put them together correctly according to blueprints and technical plans.
  • Use power tools: Operate power driven pumps. Use hand tools or power tools. Use vehicle repair tools or safety equipment.
  • Use wrenches: Use spanners to adjust machinery and equipment.
  • Use hand tools: Utilize tools that are powered by hand, such as screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, drills and knives to manipulate materials and help create and assemble various products.
  • Replace defect components: Remove defective parts and replace them with functioning components.
  • Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
  • Assemble measuring equipment: Assemble and fit together the different components of the measuring equipment, such as circuit boards, control units, sensors, transmitters, and cameras, to create precision instruments that are able to measure, transmit, indicate, record, and control.
  • Maintain electronic equipment: Check and repair electronic equipment. Detect malfunction, locate faults and take measures to prevent damage.
  • Fasten components: Fasten components together according to blueprints and technical plans in order to create subassemblies or finished products.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Adjust manufacturing equipment: Regulate and monitor the manufacturing equipment settings and process parameters, such as its temperature and power level. Review the manufacturing process and equipment and suggest improvements.
  • Ensure conformity to specifications: Ensure that the assembled products are conform to the specifications given.
  • Operate soldering equipment: Use soldering equipment, such as a soldering gun, a soldering torch or a gas-powered iron, to melt and join together pieces of metal or steel.

ISCO group and title

7311 – Precision-instrument makers and repairers

  1. Precision instrument assembler – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photos by Pixabay from Pexels
Last updated on September 28, 2022

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