Article

Top 11 Instrumentation Technician Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best instrumentation technician certifications available and how to choose the right one for you.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Instrumentation technicians play a vital role in the maintenance, operation and repair of complex equipment used in a variety of industries. Having certifications demonstrates their knowledge, experience and dedication to the profession. It shows employers that they are knowledgeable about industry standards, safety procedures and the latest technology. Certifications also help technicians stand out from other applicants by showing they have gone above and beyond to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques in instrumentation technology. By having certifications, instrumentation technicians can prove that they have the necessary skills required for certain positions and make them more attractive to potential employers.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Instrumentation Technicians and explains how they can help advance an instrumentation technician's career.

What are Instrumentation Technician Certifications?

Instrumentation technician certification is a type of professional certification designed to demonstrate an individual’s expertise and knowledge in the field of instrumentation. Instrumentation technicians are responsible for installing, troubleshooting, calibrating, and repairing instrumentation systems used in various industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, petrochemical, and pharmaceuticals. To be certified as an instrumentation technician, individuals must complete a comprehensive training program that covers topics such as electrical principles, PLC programming and operation, process control systems, and calibration procedures.

Having a certification in instrumentation can help open doors to job opportunities in many different industries. It provides employers with an assurance that the individual has the necessary skills to perform the job effectively. Additionally, having a certification can provide individuals with greater job security since it demonstrates their commitment to the profession. Finally, having a certification can also help individuals earn higher salaries since employers typically view certified technicians more favorably than those without certifications.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing an instrumentation technician certification, make sure to research the specific requirements for the certification you are interested in. Many certifications require a minimum level of experience and/or education, as well as passing an exam. Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on any changes to the certification requirements as they can change over time.

Related: What does an Instrumentation Technician do?

Top 11 Instrumentation Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Instrumentation Technicians today.

1. Certified Instrumentation Technician (CIT)

A Certified Instrumentation Technician (CIT) is an individual who has been certified by a professional organization to demonstrate proficiency in the installation, maintenance, and repair of industrial instrumentation. This certification is designed for technicians who work in the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, and other related industries.

The certification process typically requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as electrical principles, instrumentation theory, calibration techniques, and troubleshooting. The exam may also include a practical component where applicants must demonstrate their ability to install and maintain instruments. Depending on the certifying organization, applicants may also be required to complete additional training or have a certain amount of experience in order to qualify for the certification.

The length of time it takes to get CIT certification varies depending on the certifying organization. Some organizations offer online exams that can be completed in as little as one day while others require applicants to attend a two-day workshop before taking the exam.

In order to become certified as a CIT, individuals must first locate a certifying organization that offers CIT certification. Once they have identified an organization that meets their needs, they should contact them for more information about the application process and any fees associated with taking the exam.

The cost of becoming certified as a CIT will vary depending on the certifying organization but typically ranges from $200-$500 USD. This fee typically covers both the cost of taking the exam and any additional training or materials required for certification.

2. Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

The Certified Automation Professional (CAP) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the field of industrial automation. It is administered by the International Society of Automation (ISA).

To become a CAP, an individual must pass an exam that covers topics such as process control, instrumentation, programming, networking, safety systems, and more. The exam is offered twice a year at various locations around the world. The exam fee is $450 for ISA members and $550 for non-members.

In order to be eligible to take the CAP exam, applicants must meet certain criteria including having at least three years of experience in automation or related fields. Additionally, applicants must have completed at least 30 hours of continuing education in automation or related fields within the past five years.

Once an individual passes the CAP exam, they will receive their official certification from ISA and will be recognized as a Certified Automation Professional. This certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by completing additional continuing education requirements.

The cost of becoming a CAP varies depending on whether or not you are an ISA member. For non-members, it costs $550 for the exam plus any additional fees associated with continuing education credits needed to maintain your certification after it expires. For ISA members, it costs $450 for the exam plus any additional fees associated with continuing education credits needed to maintain your certification after it expires.

3. Control System Technician (CST)

A Control System Technician (CST) is a professional who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of industrial control systems. These systems are used to monitor and control various processes in industries such as manufacturing, energy production, transportation, and healthcare.

In order to become a CST, an individual must have experience working with industrial control systems or have completed a specialized training program. Depending on the level of expertise desired, it can take anywhere from several months to several years to become certified as a CST.

To get certified as a CST, an individual must complete a certification program offered by an accredited institution or organization. The cost of these programs varies depending on the provider and the level of certification sought. Generally speaking, certification programs can range from $500-$3000 USD.

Once certified, CSTs can find employment in many different industries including manufacturing plants, power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, water treatment facilities and more. They may also work as independent contractors or consultants for companies that need experienced professionals to maintain their control systems.

4. Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (IMM)

Industrial Maintenance Mechanics (IMMs) are responsible for the maintenance, repair and installation of industrial machinery and equipment. They also inspect, troubleshoot and diagnose malfunctions in order to keep machines running efficiently. IMMs may work with a variety of different types of machinery including conveyors, pumps, engines, generators and other production equipment.

To become an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic typically requires at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may require additional training or certification in specific areas such as welding or electrical systems. Depending on the employer, some IMMs may need to complete an apprenticeship program before being hired for full-time employment.

The cost of becoming an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic varies depending on the type of training required by the employer. Many employers offer on-the-job training which can be completed without any additional costs. However, if specialized training is needed then there may be associated costs such as tuition fees for courses or certifications.

Overall it usually takes around two years to become an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic depending on the level of experience and qualifications required by the employer.

5. Electrical/Instrumentation Technician (E/I Tech)

An Electrical/Instrumentation Technician (E/I Tech) is a specialized technician who works with electrical and instrumentation systems. They are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical and instrumentation systems in industrial settings. They must be able to read and understand blueprints, schematics, wiring diagrams, and other technical documents.

It typically takes two years or more of technical training to become an E/I Tech. Most employers require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent before they can begin the training process. After completing the necessary training program, most states require certification or licensure as an E/I Tech in order to practice professionally.

The cost of becoming an E/I Tech will vary depending on the type of training program you choose. Many community colleges offer certificate programs that may cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 depending on the length of the program. Other schools may offer associate’s degrees which could cost up to $20,000 or more depending on how many credits you need to complete the degree.

In addition to the cost of tuition, there may also be additional costs such as textbooks, lab fees, and other materials needed for your coursework. It is important to research all available options before deciding which program is right for you so that you can make sure you are getting the best value for your money.

6. National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is a non-profit organization that provides certification programs for engineering technicians. NICET certifications are designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of individuals who work in engineering technology fields, such as fire protection, civil engineering, electrical power systems, and industrial automation.

To become certified by NICET, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements and must pass an exam. The amount of time it takes to prepare for the exam varies depending on the individual’s level of experience and the specific certification they are pursuing. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months to several years to get certified.

In order to apply for a NICET certification, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their education and experience. Once their application is approved, they will be assigned a test date and given access to study materials. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their certificate in the mail within 6-8 weeks.

The cost of getting certified by NICET varies depending on the type of certification being sought and whether or not an applicant is eligible for any discounts or scholarships. Generally speaking, however, most certifications cost between $200-$500 USD.

7. Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP)

Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) is a certification program offered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of energy measurement and verification. The CMVP certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to accurately measure and verify energy savings from energy efficiency projects.

The CMVP certification requires successful completion of an exam administered by AEE. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as energy auditing, measurement and verification, utility rate structures, and energy management systems. The exam must be taken at an approved testing center.

It typically takes 6-12 months to prepare for the exam, depending on the individual’s experience level. Preparation can include self-study or attending professional training courses offered by AEE or other organizations.

The cost to take the CMVP exam is $495 for AEE members ($595 for non-members). Additional fees may apply if retaking the exam or taking it at a special location.

8. International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST)

The International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) certification is a professional credential designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of control systems technicians. It is an internationally recognized certification that demonstrates a technician’s ability to design, install, configure, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair industrial automation systems.

In order to obtain the CCST certification, applicants must pass a two-part examination. The first part consists of a multiple-choice exam that covers topics such as electrical theory, instrumentation and control systems fundamentals, process control principles, system configuration and programming principles. The second part consists of a hands-on lab exercise that tests the applicant’s practical skills in configuring and troubleshooting industrial automation systems.

The entire process typically takes about six months to complete from start to finish. During this time applicants must study for the written exam and practice their hands-on skills in order to prepare for the lab portion of the exam.

The cost of obtaining the CCST certification varies depending on location but generally ranges from $400 - $800 USD including registration fees and materials.

9. American Society for Quality - Certified Calibration Technician (ASQ-CCT)

The American Society for Quality - Certified Calibration Technician (ASQ-CCT) is a certification program offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The ASQ-CCT certification is designed to demonstrate a technician’s knowledge and competence in the field of calibration. It is intended to provide assurance that technicians have the skills necessary to properly calibrate instruments and equipment used in industrial, commercial, and medical settings.

In order to become certified as an ASQ-CCT, individuals must first take a course or training program approved by ASQ. After completing the training, applicants must pass an exam administered by ASQ. The exam consists of multiple choice questions related to calibration principles and practices. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their ASQ-CCT certification.

The length of time it takes to become certified as an ASQ-CCT will vary depending on how much preparation an individual puts into studying for the exam. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months to a year or more before someone is ready to take the exam and become certified.

In order to get started on becoming an ASQ-CCT, individuals should contact their local ASQ chapter or visit the website of one of the approved training providers offering courses related to calibration principles and practices. The cost of taking a course or training program will vary depending on which provider you choose; however, most courses range from $500-$2,000 USD. Additionally, there is a fee associated with taking the exam which currently stands at $225 USD per attempt.

10. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ certification is an industry-leading, vendor-neutral IT certification program. It validates the skills and knowledge necessary to perform essential tasks in the field of computer hardware and software. It is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates technical competency in areas such as installation, configuration, diagnostics, preventive maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting.

The CompTIA A+ certification consists of two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The exams cover topics such as installing and configuring operating systems; working with mobile devices; understanding cloud computing concepts; network technologies; understanding security fundamentals; operational procedures; and more.

It typically takes around three months to prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. During this time, you should focus on studying the material covered in the exam objectives and practice with sample questions. Additionally, it is recommended that you take practice tests to assess your knowledge level before taking the actual exam.

To get CompTIA A+ certified, you must pass both Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002) exams. You can register for each exam separately or purchase a bundle package which includes both exams at a discounted rate. The cost of each individual exam varies depending on your location but generally ranges from $200-$300 USD per exam.

11. Microsoft Technology Associate - Networking Fundamentals

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) - Networking Fundamentals is an entry-level certification designed to validate the knowledge and skills of IT professionals who are just beginning their career in networking. It is a great way for those new to the field to demonstrate their understanding of fundamental networking concepts and technologies.

The MTA - Networking Fundamentals exam covers topics such as network topologies, protocols, and services; IP addressing; routing; remote access solutions; wireless networking technologies; network security fundamentals; and more. It takes approximately 90 minutes to complete the exam, which consists of 40-60 multiple choice questions.

To get the MTA - Networking Fundamentals certification, you must pass the associated exam with a score of 700 or higher on a scale of 1000. The cost for taking the exam is $127 USD.

Do You Really Need a Instrumentation Technician Certificate?

The answer to this question depends largely on your specific career goals. If you are already employed as an instrumentation technician and want to increase your job prospects or earn a higher salary, then a certificate may be beneficial. A certificate in instrumentation technology can demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge and skills for the job, which could make you more attractive to employers.

On the other hand, if you are just starting out in the field of instrumentation technology and do not have any prior experience, then a certificate may not be necessary. Many employers are willing to hire entry-level technicians without certification. However, if you have some experience with instrumentation technology and would like to further your career in this field, then obtaining a certificate could be beneficial. It will show potential employers that you possess the skills required to perform the job successfully.

In conclusion, whether or not you need an instrumentation technician certificate depends on your individual career goals. If you already have experience in this field or want to improve your chances of getting hired for certain positions, then a certificate may be worth pursuing.

Related: Instrumentation Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Instrumentation Technician Certifications

1. What certifications are available for instrumentation technicians?

Answer: There are a variety of certifications available for instrumentation technicians, including Certified Instrument Technician (CIT), Certified Controls System Technician (CCST), and the National Instruments Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) certification.

2. How long does it take to become certified as an instrumentation technician?

Answer: The amount of time required to become certified as an instrumentation technician will depend on the specific certification you are pursuing. Generally speaking, most certifications require at least several months of study and practice before taking the exam.

3. What is the cost associated with obtaining an instrumentation technician certification?

Answer: The cost associated with obtaining an instrumentation technician certification can vary depending on the specific certification being pursued. Generally speaking, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the type and depth of training required.

4. Are there any prerequisites or eligibility requirements for becoming certified as an instrumentation technician?

Answer: Yes, most certifications have certain prerequisites or eligibility requirements that must be met in order to pursue them, such as having a certain number of years’ experience working in the field or completing specified courses in related topics.

5. Is certification mandatory for all instrumentation technicians?

Answer: No, certification is not mandatory for all instrumentation technicians; however, it is highly recommended in order to demonstrate competency and professionalism within the field.