Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 3173


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Salary Range 23B $4265 $4479 $4690 $4914 $5149 $5403


The INSTRUMENT TECHNOLOGIST (ELECTRONIC) under general supervision designs and develops new electronic, instrument communication and computer systems, equipment, and circuits used for scientific research, medical research, and administrative applications. Duties may include the performance and/or coordination of construction, modification testing, debugging, and maintenance of systems and equipment.


The Instrument Technologist (Electronic) is distinguished from the Instrument Technician 3 (Electronic) by the greater emphasis on independent judgment, more extensive experience in the analysis and design of complex circuits and systems and the amount and degree of contact with users; incumbents at this level serve as project/team leaders, coordinate the work of subordinate technicians, and are required to have technical expertise in two or more fields. The Instrument Technologist (Electronic) is considered a specialized technical resource person for other electronic and computer personnel.


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. Examples of assignments allocated to this level of difficulty and responsibility are:

  1. Electronic System Design and Integration. Typical tasks: performs design for instrumentation, computer and communication systems required in support of a major research effort involving substantial investments in staff time and equipment; defines with faculty investigator the general system and/or equipment concepts; performs detailed circuit design using manufacturer's component data sheets (components used include passive and active discrete and integrated circuits); designs modifications to existing laboratory instruments for interfacing to computers; designs computer data acquisition and control interfaces; designs and modifies Radio Frequency circuits and equipment used in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mass Spectrometer and related equipment and systems; coordinates and/or performs debugging and testing of the equipment and/or system; creates documentation, including circuit schematic, timing and State diagrams, and operations manuals; may become involved in areas of design involving Analog, Digital, Optical, Software, Radio Frequency and multiple pole filter technologies, or passive and active components, including state-of-the-art semiconductors used in digital, low level analog and RF applications.
  2. Construction. Typical tasks: performs/coordinates difficult construction of equipment and circuits using machine shop equipment, multi-layer printed circuit boards, and wire-wrap techniques; adheres to waveguide, and transmission and strip-line principles for RF and high speed data transmission circuits.
  3. Troubleshooting, Maintenance and Calibration. Typical tasks: performs difficult system, computer and circuit troubleshooting requiring analytical techniques and data analysis; troubleshoots equipment to the component level that is beyond the capability of lower level personnel, serves as a backup for lower level personnel; performs difficult calibration and alignment tasks involving the interaction of several variables, nonlinear effects, compromise adjustments and physical samples (examples include Mass Spectrometers, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance systems, Gas Chromatographs, color video graphic systems, etc.); performs RF circuit and equipment tuning, adjustment, and calibration; maintains specialized computer systems, including mini-supercomputers, signal processors, communication processors, and other computers dedicated to analytical instrumentation systems.
  4. Consultation. Typical tasks: meets with investigators to discuss and evaluate their needs for systems, equipment, and components; perform conceptual design; and write project proposals, schedules, and estimates; consults with investigators regarding modifications and upgrades for existing systems and equipment; researches and evaluates new technologies, systems equipment, and components.
  5. Professional Development. Typical tasks: reviews technical journals and relevant literature to stay current with new design techniques, electronic components, and computer hardware and software, obtains samples of new components for evaluation to meet current and future project requirements; assignments typically carry responsibility for coordination of technical and shop personnel involved in drafting, construction, assembly, and test of systems and equipment. This level of assignments typically requires concentration in a scientific field of application where scientific subject matter knowledge relevant to research objectives and methodology is of great value in understanding and establishing design criteria. This kind of knowledge of the field of application is usually attained through several years of experience as a Senior Development Technician in the specific field of application.


Employees in this class are in regular personal contact with principal investigators, staff, and students while consulting on systems, equipment, and instruments to be designed, built, purchased, modified, or repaired. Employees are in regular contact, by telephone or in person, with vendors and manufacturer's representatives to obtain technical literature and specification sheets; to resolve problems; and to review the applications and specifications of components, test equipment, and instruments that they have available for purchase.


Employees in this class receive supervision and/or coordination from an administrator or a principal investigator. Work is reviewed on an ongoing basis. Design work is reviewed at major milestones and upon completion. Employees follow standardized engineering, mathematical, and drafting principles in the design of systems and equipment.


  • Two years of experience performing tasks equivalent to an Instrument Technician 3 which involved designing electronic systems, adapting existing techniques and electronic equipment to new applications, and maintaining electronic systems that are complex due to dense circuitry, miniaturization, and/or a lack of documentation. Experience must also include troubleshooting and repairing at the system component level; AND
  • Completion of an Electronic Technician Apprenticeship program, or an Associate degree in an Electronic Engineering Technician program.

One additional year of the above experience may substitute for the education requirements.