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What Is an Instrument Designer and How to Become One

What Does an Instrument Designer Do?

An instrument designer may work in a variety of industries, from the oil and gas industry to building and manufacturing to musical instrument design. The roles and responsibilities of an instrument designer change quite a bit depending on the industry. For instance, in the gas and oil industry, an instrument designer focuses on instrumentation and controls on projects and equipment to decide what and how many instruments are necessary for the job. In building and manufacturing, an instrument designer may come up with new instruments or new ways of using instruments for things like wiring and electrical systems.

What Are the Requirements to Be an Instrument Designer?

Depending on the industry, the qualifications to become an instrument designer vary, but typically include several years of related experience. In the musical instrument industry, you learn your duties and skills mostly on the job from veteran designers and builders. In the oil and gas or manufacturing industries, you are usually required to have a bachelor's degree at a minimum, along with some on-the-job training. You also need to have excellent communication skills, the ability to work with a team, problem-solving capabilities, and possibly a certificate or license in your specific area of expertise.

What Is the Difference Between an Instrument Designer and an Instrument Engineer?

Despite the similar titles, there is quite a big difference between an instrument designer and an instrument engineer. An instrument engineer creates and monitors instrumentation to ensure optimum productivity. This instrumentation can be extremely complex and is utilized in manufacturing and other industries where computer-controlled equipment is necessary. Instrument designers do not typically create and monitor these kinds of sophisticated instruments and machines, but instead may use them within a plan for a project or job site during their work in the manufacturing or oil and gas industries, or may act as a technician if an instrument has trouble. Instrument designers are also not exclusive to the sectors that use instrument engineers.