Many complex operations must be performed, monitored, and controlled to safely and reliably collect, store, treat, and deliver water and wastewater and generate and transmit electrical power. Electronic equipment is used throughout water, wastewater, and power systems to monitor and control factors such as flow and water quality. Because of the dependence of modern water and wastewater systems on accurate collection and transmission of data, the work of an EMT or instrument technician can be crucial to operational reliability.
Electronic Maintenance Technicians (EMTs)/Instrument Technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electronic equipment, including the circuits, components, and related equipment used in electronic communications systems, telemetering, power systems, metering equipment, and remote control equipment.
EMTs/Instrument Technicians may install and inspect new equipment, evaluate performance under different operating conditions, or use Diagnostic Test Equipment, oscilloscopes, meters, and other devices to test, calibrate, and troubleshoot electronic systems. They require knowledge of analog, digital electronic and pneumatic equipment. Within the water and wastewater industry, EMTs/Instrument Technicians are responsible for installing and maintaining various electronic monitoring and communication equipment, including pressure and level recorders, programmable logic controllers, relays and computers. They are responsible for communications systems at treatment plants, pump stations, power generating facilities, electrical substations, and remote locations.
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Working knowledge of: Electrical and electronic circuits; the methods, practices, and tools used in maintaining, repairing, testing, and adjusting pneumatic and electromechanical recording and metering instruments; mechanical linkage and telemetering systems; safety practices and precautions pertaining to the work.
General knowledge of: The principles of operation and maintenance of pneumatic and electronic instruments and controls; hydraulics as related to the operation of recording and metering instruments.
Skill in: Diagnosing mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, and electronic difficulties in field instrumentation and telemetering systems; reading and interpreting wiring diagrams and mechanical drawings; making extensive repairs and overhauls to metering and control instruments; making estimates of labor and materials.
Ability to: Direct the work of sub-journey level employees; keep records and make reports; establish and maintain effective working relationships. Requires ability to evaluate electronic systems, circuits and components; troubleshoot electric communications, power and signal equipment; work from schematics, drawings and blueprints.
Electronic Maintenance Technicians/Instrument Technicians generally require completion of a two-year or equivalent program in electronics at a recognized academic, trade, or technical institution. To become a journey-level EMT/Instrument Technician, many employers require completion of an apprenticeship (typically four to five years), which combines paid, on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Federally approved apprenticeship programs for Electronic Maintenance Technicians and Instrument Technicians are available. More information can be obtained by contacting the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship representative for your State. Contact information can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/oa/stateoffices.cfm.
Apprentice/Trainee $5,400 to $6,600
Journey-level $6,500 to $7,900
Supervisory $8,200 to $9,800
Source: BAYWORK Salary Survey, 2014.
Chris Franzel, Electronic Maintenance Technician/ Instrument Technician Intern, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission