Career as Instrumentation Engineer

Career as a Instrumentation Engineer

About Instrumentation Engineer

Instrumentation engineers research, design and develop new systems and devices which will be used to control, monitor and regulate industrial processes and operations. These engineers typically work for industries with automated processes, such as manufacturing or chemical plants, with an aim of improving system productivity, reliability, safety, optimisation and stability. The role of an instrumentation engineer is multidisciplinary as one needs a thorough understanding of the operational processes of an organisation.

As an instrumentation engineer, one has to work closely with colleagues across a number of functions, including operations, purchasing and design. The job of an instrumentation engineer involves managing operations, designing and developing new control systems, analysing data and presenting findings in written reports, testing, maintaining and modifying existing systems, purchasing equipment and working collaboratively with design engineers, operation engineers, purchasers and other internal staff.

Eligibility to become Instrumentation Engineer

  • In class 12, candidates must score at least 60% marks from a recognised board to be eligible for admission into top colleges.

  • Admission into instrumentation engineering is done on the basis of entrance exams like JEE Main or JEE Advanced.

  • State /Private engineering colleges also select candidates for B.E or Btech courses in instrumentation engineering on the basis of state-level entrance exams like MHT CET, WBJEE, KCET.

  • Private and Deemed Universities conduct their own engineering entrance exams for admissions like VITEE, BITSAT.

Types of Job Roles Instrumentation Engineer

Instrumentation engineering is one of the new and less popular engineering branches in India, therefore, less number of candidates get into this field. Candidates having a degree in instrumentation engineering are offered some good job opportunities in the electrical, mechanical as well as electronics sector. Additionally, because of the multidisciplinary nature, an instrumentation engineer can also work within or outside the industry.

There are various instrumentation engineer job profiles and one can progress in his/her career by acquiring specialist knowledge of a particular industry sector and/or area of instrumentation knowledge. Depending on the level of qualification, one can also work towards professional registration such as incorporated engineer (IEng) or chartered engineer (Ceng). Some of the top sectors which opens the employment opportunities for an instrumentation engineer are mentioned below:

  • Corporate businesses

  • Consultancies

  • Public sector companies

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Engineering firms

  • Automation

  • Railways and construction

  • MNCs

  • Telecommunications

  • Manufacturing

  • IT

  • General management

  • HR

  • Finance

  • Oil and gas and petrochemical industries

  • Chemical industries

  • Purchasing

  • Marketing

Employment Sector/Industry for Instrumentation Engineer

Top Recruiting Companies for an Instrumentation Engineer

Few of the leading recruiting companies for an instrumentation engineer where an instrumentation engineer can find employment opportunities are listed below:

  • HCL

  • Tata Consultancy Services

  • Larsen & Toubro

  • ABB (Asea Brown Boveri)

  • Siemens

  • GAIL

  • Texas Instruments

  • Bechtel

  • NTPC

  • EIL

  • Fluor Daniel

  • Foster Wheeler

  • SAIL

  • ONGC

  • BHEL

Pay Scale/Salary of Instrumentation Engineer

The salary of an instrumentation engineer depends on the experience that one has in the relative field. Additionally, the salary packages also depend on the companies that are recruiting. Multi-national companies and government agencies offer relatively better packages than all other companies.

Following is the relative salary figure for an instrumentation engineer:

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Instrumentation Engineer

171,479

367,978

894,225

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company. 

Books & Study Material to Become Instrumentation Engineer

One will require a professional degree (B.Tech, etc.) to pursue a career in instrumentation engineering. Hence, there are no specific books or study material that can be studied for instrumentation engineering.

To be an instrumentation engineer, one needs have project-management and team-building skills for coordinating complex projects, computer skills for translating concepts into plans and documents and communication and presentation skills for discussing instruments with production staff and clients. Furthermore, practical hands-on experience is key to a career as an instrumentation engineer. 

Pros of becoming a Instrumentation Engineer

  • There are wide range of career opportunities for an instrumentation engineer.They can choose to work in a variety of industries including telecommunications, automation and manufacturing industries. Additionally, they can progress in their career by specializing in specifc areas.

  • The wider knowledge base of an instrumentation engineer gives them an edge over mechanical or electrical engineers in a plant.

Cons of becoming a Instrumentation Engineer

  • Instrumentation engineer has a highly responsible role. For instance, if the instrumentation system fails, the whole plant will grind to a halt.

  • Instrumentation engineers may have to work with potentially dangerous equipments.

  • There is high-pressure time constraints to fix malfunctioning machinery as quickly as possible.

  • Instrumentation engineers may have to work irregular hours and be on their feet for extended periods.

Career path for Instrumentation Engineer

An instrumentation engineer need to have a sharp, analytical and practical mind. If one wishes to be in the field of instrumentation engineering and is looking at how to become an instrumentation engineer, then, following are the educational qualifications that is required for instrumentation engineering courses:

Subject Combination – Science Stream (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)

Paths for Being Instrumentation Engineer