There are four specific skills required to become a calibration technician: mechanical, computer, analytical and problem-solving. In addition to these skills, all candidates must complete a formal post-secondary program in scales and calibration. Employment opportunities for a calibration technician include government compliance agencies, weigh stations and shipping companies.
The primary responsibility of a calibration technician is to ensure that all scales are working correctly and accurately. This is a very important function, because many industries base their product price on the weight of the item. For example, a calibration technician working for a government agency inspects the scales at the grocery store to make sure they are accurate. This saves customers money and keeps business owners honest.
People who want to become a calibration technician are mechanically inclined, are detail-oriented and have excellent mathematical skills. These are well-compensated positions, but they might require travel, overtime and working on weekends. Excellent eyesight is very important, because of the level of detail involved in this role.
In order to become a calibration technician, a certificate or diploma in scale, measures and weights is required. This program is available at the community college or technical college level and normally is one or two years in length. In some locations, the technician must be licensed by the local government. Research the process to become a calibration technician in your area, and make sure that the program is in compliance with these requirements before paying tuition.
Mechanical aptitude and mechanical skills are central to the role of a calibration technician. He or she is responsible for adjusting scales and weigh stations for accuracy. The size of the scale involved varies significantly by industry. For example, a scale at a steel plant will be very large and heavy, but the scale in a gas pump is much smaller.
Technology has had a huge impact in this industry. People who want to become calibration technicians must have at least intermediate computer skills in order to use software programs, read system analysis reports and complete the calibration process on complex scales.
As a calibration technician, small items or clues can point to a larger problem or potential tampering with equipment. The abilities to analyze a situation, identify logical options and make sound decisions are all very important skills. Analytical skills normally are developed through work experience and exposure to different problems.
The main driving force behind the decision to become a calibration technician often is the desire to utilize problem-solving skills. Most people learn these skills through participation in team initiatives and working in groups. There are several disciplines of problem-solving theory that can be used by a calibration technician. Invest the time to learn about the options and how these skills are obtained.