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What Is an Automation Technician and How to Become One

Automation Technician

What Is an Automation Technician?

An automation technician works to maintain computer-controlled, automated systems that are designed to remove humans from the process, such as in robotic assembly, food processing, and other industrial applications. As an automation technician, your responsibilities include checking these systems and diagnosing and isolating problems by performing tests to then repair or replace parts. Other duties include installing upgrades and modifications as needed. You are expected to stay updated on the most cutting-edge technological developments in your industry and provide insight into improved processes where possible.

How to Become an Automation Technician

The qualifications to become an automation technician include a high school diploma, though most employers prefer an associate degree in automation technology or a related field. You should be familiar with computer science, mechanics, electronics, machinery, human-machine interfaces, and process controls. You must possess strong math, computer, and electrical skills. You need to be familiar with a variety of hand tools and be an excellent problem solver. It is critical to have a thorough understanding of equipment like motors, drives, pneumatics, and hydraulics for some positions. The ability to read blueprints, work effectively in a fast-paced environment, and follow directions while being detail-oriented is essential to be successful in this position.

What Certifications Are Available for Automation Technicians?

There are many certifications available for automation technicians that can provide you with better career opportunities. The International Society of Automation (ISA) offers two certification programs. The Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification is for individuals involved in process and manufacturing automation industries working with information systems, control systems, and operational consulting. The Certified Control Systems Technician certification provides a knowledge base applicable to many industries to work with instrumentation for systems that measure and control temperature, flow, pressure, and level. You may also earn a Control Systems Engineer License by taking exams provided by your state. The Electronics Technicians Association and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council also offer certifications that can further your professional development.

Automation Technician Job Description Sample

With this Automation Technician job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Automation Technician role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a qualified, experienced individual to join our company as an Automation Technician. As part of our team, you will install, maintain, and replace automation systems throughout the production process. You will also troubleshoot component parts, including motion sensors, control components, photosensors, and other vital technology. In addition to maintaining smooth operation, you will operate as a subject matter expert (SME) for leadership and key decision-makers, delivering reports on current automation capabilities and future opportunities. This is a specialized position, and our ideal applicant has considerable experience and education in engineering, robotics, and production automation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Install, maintain, and replace automation systems at key points in the production process
  • Troubleshoot non-functioning components including servos, sensors, and control components
  • Log equipment usage, parts replacement, and scheduled maintenance to ensure maximum functionality
  • Periodically report to leadership regarding automation capabilities and status

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, robotics, or a closely related technical field
  • Experience in a production environment, particularly as it relates to automation technology
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent mechanical aptitude and communication skills