Red Seal Trades

Instrumentation and Control Technician

NOC: 2243
Designation Year: 1964

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

Instrumentation and control technicians are knowledgeable in overall plant systems and the interactions of processes. They install and service a variety of systems including safety and security, energy delivery (hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical), communication, and process control systems. They also install and service measuring and indicating instruments to monitor process control variables, monitor the operation of equipment and measure the characteristics of the material within a process. Instrumentation and control technicians work with final control devices such as valves, actuators and positioners to manipulate the process medium. They install and terminate electrical, pneumatic and fluid connections. They also work on network and signal transmission systems such as fibre optic and wireless.

Along with the calibration, repair, adjustment and replacement of components, instrumentation and control technicians inspect and test the operation of instruments and systems to diagnose faults and verify repairs. They establish and optimize process control strategies, and configure related systems such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Instrumentation and control technicians maintain backups, documentation and software revisions as part of maintaining these computer-based control systems. Scheduled maintenance and the commissioning of systems are also important aspects of the work. Instrumentation and control technicians consult technical documentation, drawings, schematics and manuals. They may assist engineering in plant design, modification and hazard analysis, and work with plant operators to optimize plant controls.

Instrumentation and control technicians use hand, power and electronic tools, test equipment, and material handling equipment. They work on a range of instruments including primary control elements, transmitters, analyzers, sensors, detectors, signal conditioners, recorders, controllers and final control elements. These instruments measure and control variables such as pressure, flow, temperature, level, motion, force and chemical composition.

Instrumentation and control technicians work in various industrial sectors such as pulp and paper/fibre processing; nuclear, thermal and hydro power generation; mining; petrochemical; oil and gas; steel; water treatment; manufacturing; and industrial/commercial instrument servicing.

When performing their duties, instrumentation and control technicians must comply with federal, jurisdictional, industrial and site-specific standards, codes and regulations. They must ensure that all processes operate and are maintained within these set standards, codes and regulations. Keeping up-to-date with advances in technology in industry and the trade is important.

Instrumentation and control technicians can work in hazardous environments where they may be exposed to confined spaces, heights, noise, dust, cold and heat. There may also be risks with working with chemicals, gases, radiation, laser equipment and substances under pressure.

Key attributes for people entering this trade are manual dexterity, attention to detail, strong problem solving skills, communication skills, technological aptitude and mathematical and scientific aptitude.

This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with other tradespersons and professionals such as process operators, steamfitters/pipefitters, industrial mechanics (millwrights), electricians and engineers.

With experience, instrumentation and control technicians may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also move into supervisory, design, advanced control, training, sales and other related positions.

Provincial Certification

Please note that the abbreviations for the provinces use the Canada Post standard.

 NL   NS   PE   NB   QC   ON   MB   SK   AB   BC   NT   YT   NU 
Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Trade Information

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