Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 3160


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Salary Range 17 $2741 $2859 $2971 $3103 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887 $4072


The INSTRUMENT TECHNICIAN 1 (MECHANICAL) fabricates components; assembles, repairs, installs, and maintains scientific instruments and equipment used in teaching and scientific research.


This is the first of a four-level series of classes. It is distinguished from higher levels by the absence of responsibility for custom fabrication of components; the absence of major calibration responsibility; and the absence of independent design responsibilities. Emphasis of duties in this class are on the maintenance and repair of scientific equipment and fabrication of components under direct guidance and supervision.


Allocation of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination of the duties or tasks listed below.

  1. Instrument Maintenance and Repair. Typical tasks: performs periodic preventative maintenance or repairs on scientific equipment, including components such as motors, servo-systems, hydraulic, pneumatic, or digitized control systems, pumps, compressors, and related parts; changes drive belts, worn parts, lubricating fluids, filters, screens, and other components, as required; independently, or as part of a team, installs and makes test runs of new equipment based on manufacturer specifications; accurately records all service and repair activities and maintains service and repairs logs for assigned systems/equipment.
  2. Fabrication of Instruments and Components. Typical tasks: works from detailed drawings, blueprints, and/or specifications to fabricate simple instruments or components of instruments; employs machine shop and related equipment such as drill press, cutoff saws, lathes, milling machines, shears, and brakes; works with a variety of materials including common metals and plastics as well as specialized alloys; performs hard and soft soldering to join materials; uses standard, highly accurate measuring devices to assure the accurate fabrication of parts within allowable tolerances; is familiar with and uses a variety of hand tools to fabricate, assemble, or maintain equipment and components.
  3. Consultations. Typical tasks: consults with senior or supervising technicians, with researchers and/or with equipment vendors regarding preventive maintenance, component replacements, or repair needs, techniques and schedules; consults with senior technicians regarding component fabrications to clarify directions, blueprints, or specifications data; consults with senior technicians and researchers regarding equipment adjustments, calibrations, or component accessing procedures on sensitive or highly complex mechanisms.
  4. Stores. Typical tasks: maintains the parts stock used in the maintenance and repair of equipment; maintains and keeps current technical library resources including equipment specifications, maintenance and repairs materials, vendor equipment advisories, technical journals, and related materials for easy access; may order and/or purchase standard parts needed through central purchasing office or directly through vendors.
  5. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: maintains and enhances skills through contact and consultations with senior-level staff or academic researchers and through review of relevant publications and journals; becomes familiar with the interrelationship of specialty disciplines such as electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics, metallurgy, optics, etc., which are part of the scientific equipment; works on development teams in the fabrication of specific components for complex systems or equipment as the employee becomes more familiar with unit operations.


Employees in this class are in regular in-person contact with faculty, researchers, staff, and students while repairing instruments and fabricating instrument components. Employees are in occasional contact, by telephone or in person, with vendors to purchase parts and with manufacturers service representatives to receive information and assistance on the assembly and repair of instruments.


Employees in this class receive close supervision from a shop supervisor, instrument technologist, principal technician, or research faculty member. Work is reviewed on an ongoing basis from feedback, from research staff, and/or from supervising staff as to the quality of maintenance, repair, and accuracy of the fabrication at the component level. Employees follow operators manuals for maintenance and repair of instruments and standard mathematical and machining principles in fabrication of instrument components.


Positions require the willingness to work around hazardous fumes, chemicals, radiation, tools, machinery, and voltages. Positions also require the willingness to work in noisy environments, with difficult people, and to meet reasonable schedules and deadlines.


One year of instrument shop experience maintaining and repairing mechanical scientific instruments and equipment; and one of the following: completion of a Machinist Apprenticeship program; or an Associate's degree in either Mechanical Engineering Technology or Machine (Manufacturing) Technology.