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Instrument Maker Duties

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This is highly skilled work in the construction of scientific apparatus for use in laboratory research.

An employee allocated to this class of work is responsible for the application of journeyman skills of two or more mechanical trades in the fabrication, modification, and maintenance of a variety of laboratory equipment. Employees in this class collaborate with faculty members and research assistants in the design and construction of mechanical laboratory equipment orally and in the form of rough sketches or blue prints. Work is carried out under the direction of a shop manager, but requires the exercise of considerable independent judgement and creativity. Work is reviewed through conferences, inspection, and observation of results.


Builds and assists in the design of a wide variety of research and laboratory equipment such as interferometers, mass spectrometers, and microwave cavities.

Modifies, repairs, and rebuilds instructional laboratory equipment.

Confers with faculty members and graduate assistants to clarify research requirements; advises on feasibility of projected construction.

Prepares estimates for projected jobs; prepares cost records on work completed.

Prepares rough and finished sketches from oral instruction; adapts and modifies sketches and blue prints.

Fabricates a wide variety of special laboratory equipment, working in metal, plastic, wood, and other materials.

Performs related work as required.


Graduation from a standard high school, supplemented by vocational training in one or more of the mechanical trades and journeyman level experience in two or more mechanical trades and crafts, including some experience in the construction and repair of scientific equipment; or any equivalent combination of training and experience.

Considerable knowledge of the tools, equipment, materials, methods, and practices of two or more of the mechanical trades.

Ability to work from oral conversations, pencil sketches, and blue prints.

Ability to execute precision work and to make mathematical computations.

Ability to diagnose problems and make constructive recommendations.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with students, faculty members, research personnel, and others contacted in the course of work.

Skill in the fabrication, modification, and repair of scientific equipment constructed from metal, plastic, wood, or related materials.



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