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CLOCK­WORK The av­er­age day of an in­stru­men­ta­tion en­gi­neer at an oil re­fin­ery: 8am: Check sys­tems com­plaints against the in­stru­ments. Start trou­bleshoot­ing. Ask tech­ni­cians to re­place faulty in­stru­ments In­stru­men­ta­tion engi­neer­ing can be re­ferred to as a ‘mix­ture’ of dif­fer­ent sub­jects that can be the launch pad for many ca­reers. In­deed, in­stru­men­ta­tion engi­neer­ing is an in­ter­dis­ci­plinary branch that in­cludes study of elec­tri­cal, chem­i­cal, elec­tron­ics as well as com­puter engi­neer­ing. In­stru­men­ta­tion and con­trol en­gi­neers de­sign man­u­fac­ture and fix snags in de­vices or sys­tems that are used to mea­sure or con­trol phys­i­cal quan­ti­ties such as tem­per­a­ture, pres­sure and flow. They step in wher­ever ‘sens­ing’ of phys­i­cal quan­ti­ties is re­quired and work in power plants, chem­i­cal plants, man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties, oil re­finer­ies, the steel in­dus­try as well as with drug mak­ers and soft­ware and hard­ware com­pa­nies, to name a few av­enues. In­stru­men­ta­tion en­gi­neers typ­i­cally work for in­dus­tries with au­to­mated pro­cesses, such as chem­i­cal or man­u­fac­tur­ing plants, with the goal of im­prov­ing sys­tem pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity, safety, op­ti­mi­sa­tion and sta­bil­ity. The con­trol of pro­cesses is one of the main branches of ap­plied in­stru­men­ta­tion or re­pair them 12.30pm: Lunch 1pm: Meet­ing with the boss to dis­cuss a project of in­stalling new sys­tem/in­stru­ments 2pm: Come back to plant. Fol­low up on the morn­ing’s job and look at new com­plaints. Work out plans for im­ple­menta- tion of the new au­to­ma­tion sys­tem 4pm: Pack up for the day Wo­ken up at mid­night to check a snag in the sys­tem at the plant

THE PAY­OFF Ini­tially, the me­dian pay of in­stru­menta-

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