Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 3162


  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 21 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887 $4072 $4265 $4479 $4690 $4914


The INSTRUMENT TECHNICIAN 3 (MECHANICAL), under general supervision, designs, constructs, fabricates, repairs, modifies, installs, and maintains original and innovative precision mechanical instruments, systems, or equipment used for scientific and/or medical research. Incumbents typically perform original mechanical equipment and instrument systems design under supervision from an Instrument Technologist (Mechanical) or professional engineer.


This is the third level of a four-level series. It is distinguished from the higher level by the absence of responsibility for independently designing complex state-of-the-art mechanical systems and for having a comprehensive knowledge of system integration. It is distinguished from the lower levels by having the primary responsibility to design equipment or units of a system that are not state-of-the-art or do not involve total system and integration. Employees design original equipment from verbal requests, sometimes with very vague instructions from a scientific faculty investigator. Designs require some adapting of existing precedents or techniques and the ability to exercise originality based on an understanding of the interaction of various sub units in the system. Incumbents work with a high degree of independence and are responsible for the technical quality and accuracy of their work.


Under general supervision, incumbents perform all or many of the duties listed. Incumbents in this class are expected to operate independently in the design, fabrication, construction, and maintenance phase of a major research effort.

  1. Design. Typical tasks: under general guidance by an engineer or scientific faculty investigator, employee designs from conceptual information equipment or units of a system that are not state-of-the-art or do not involve total system design and integration which are not commercially available; designs equipment modifications to original research instruments; designs new components to be integrated into existing laboratory instruments to adapt to changing needs as experiments evolve; makes drawings or blueprints of instruments to be constructed.
  2. Fabrication of Instruments. Typical tasks: fabricates research instruments from own or other's drawings, blueprints, designs, or rough sketches. Selects most suitable materials to use in the fabrication of instruments and apparatus. Tests equipment to evaluate its performance and makes adjustments and modifications as needed. Uses all shop machines and test equipment such as precision lathes, milling machines, electrical discharge machines, tungsten inert gas welder, soft and hard solder, sheet metal shears and brakes, precision mechanical and electronic measuring instruments and mass spectrometer leak detectors.
  3. Consultation. Typical tasks: consults with faculty researchers and staff regarding needs or technical problems relating to scientific instruments and equipment; writes work orders; estimates job completion dates and costs; provides consultation and recommendation on instruments to be purchased.
  4. Instrument Maintenance and Repair. Typical tasks: performs calibration, alignment, preventive maintenance, diagnostic services, and repair of precision research instruments and equipment such as nuclear instruments, which are calibrated using radioactive sources such as cobalt 60 or radium, ultra high vacuum systems such as Molecular Beam Epitaxy System, laser systems, high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometers, X-ray diffraction systems, and neutron generators; installs equipment and instruments following manufacturer's specifications; writes documentation and maintains records on repairs, calibration, and other work on equipment and instruments.


Employees in this class are in regular in-person contact with physicians, academic researchers, staff, and students while designing, fabricating, calibrating, and repairing scientific instruments and equipment. Employees are in frequent contact by telephone or in person with vendors to purchase parts and with manufacturer's service representatives to exchange information and to receive assistance on the assembly, repair, calibration, or exchange of instruments, equipment, or parts.


Employees in this class receive general supervision from an instrument technologist, shop supervisor, or faculty researcher. Design work is reviewed periodically at milestones and upon completion for adherence to design objectives. Work is reviewed on an ongoing basis from feedback from researchers and staff as to whether instruments perform well and are calibrated and repaired properly. Employees follow operator's manuals for the maintenance and repair of instruments and standard scientific and mathematical principles in the fabrication of instruments.


  • Four years of instrument shop experience fabricating, modifying, repairing, installing, and maintaining scientific or medical instruments and equipment used in teaching or research. One year of the experience must have included performing basic design of less-complex systems and components; 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.