Calibration Engineer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a calibration engineer. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a calibration engineer.
Who is a Calibration Engineer?
A calibration engineer checks, repairs and adjusts mechanical or electronic systems within a given range. Many industries rely on the talents of this type of engineer, including the automotive, electronics, and consumer goods industries. Improperly calibrated products lead to poor functionality of devices and customer dissatisfaction.
Automotive calibration engineers work primarily on components related to emissions and fuel economy. Many U.S. states are very strict about the impact of vehicle emissions on surrounding areas. Therefore, the calibration engineer must ensure that each vehicle produced is within state-mandated emissions limits. Any deviation from these values must be noted by the engineer when the vehicle is removed from the test site for repair.
Fuel economy is an important selling factor for automobile manufacturers. The calibration engineer should check the vehicle to ensure that the actual fuel consumption matches the value indicated. Any vehicle that is not calibrated must be adjusted or repaired before being released for sale.
Electronic devices such as gauges should also be calibrated. Many consumers use laser measuring instruments to measure distances, such as for home repairs. The displayed value must be within a certain range specified by the manufacturer. The calibration engineer must check and adjust the instrument to the specified accuracy range.
In addition to calibrating the electronics, calibration engineers may also perform drop tests on products to ensure that the device withstands a reasonable shock while maintaining its accuracy. Actual use of an electronic device may involve an accidental drop onto concrete or grass. The engineer can determine if the device should be returned to the developers if it does not withstand minor drops.
Appliances, such as refrigerators, must operate within calibrated parameters to save energy and cool food to a given temperature. For example, a calibration engineer will test the temperature switch on each refrigerator to ensure it is working properly and cooling to the correct setting. Improperly set switches can freeze the temperature in some parts of your refrigerator, resulting in high energy costs as the unit runs continuously. Conversely, a switch that does not activate the cooling mechanism at all or only rarely activates it will cause food to spoil due to a warm interior.
Some engineers in this field have two years of higher education as well as practical experience. In many areas where calibration systems are complex, a four-year degree may be required. The degree earned usually reflects the intended career field, such as engineering or even math.
Calibration Engineer Job Description
Below are the calibration engineer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a Calibration Engineer include the following:
- Ensuring proper calibration of sensors for field use through preventive maintenance and troubleshooting.
- Performing experiments to determine the accuracy of equipment such as thermometers and gauges.
- Training users in the proper use of equipment and software.
- Maintaining records of calibration work undertaken
- Testing and evaluating new equipment designs to ensure they function properly before they are released to the market
- Analyzing data obtained during testing to identify equipment problems or design flaws.
- Designing and building specialized equipment used to calibrate instruments.
- Working with manufacturers to develop new calibration procedures and methods
- Providing training on new equipment, techniques, or procedures.
- Performing and verifying all calibrations of diesel engine control systems for performance and emissions.
- Participating and evaluating various engine calibration improvements in the laboratory and all cold, hot, and high altitude terrains.
- Managing and implementing all pre-calibration processes and their effective application to all levels of the vehicle.
- Identifying and maintaining all hardware and software and coordinating with various engine control systems.
- Assisting other departments and defining specifications related to hardware and subsystems and ensuring that future calibration goals are met.
- Developing a platform for processes related to ECM calibration, such as speedometer/odometer, fuel gauge, and other types of diagnostics.
- Developing and maintaining all general calibration procedures within the organization.
- Conducting tests and walkthroughs and overseeing the development of best generic calibrations.
- Maintaining and updating all calibration processes related to the vehicle development platform functions.
- Evaluating function calibrations at 65%, 80%, 99%, and 100% levels to ensure accuracy and consistency of process.
- Evaluating, simulating, and calibrating resources to reduce calibration time.
- Interacting with all major powertrain calibrators.
- Providing technical solutions for all new and existing programs.
- Managing all assignments requiring the application of advanced principles.
- Overseeing the technical and commercial documentation of the hybrid control methodology.
A calibration engineer must have the following qualifications:
Most employers require calibration engineers to have at least a two-year associate’s degree in a technical field such as electronics, mechanical engineering, or physics. Some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physics.
Training and Experience
Most calibration engineers receive on-the-job training once they are hired. This training allows them to learn the company’s specific processes and procedures. It also allows them to become familiar with the equipment they will be calibrating.
Calibration engineers may also receive training through an internship. During an internship, students can learn more about the field of calibration and specific company procedures and practices. They can also gain hands-on experience in the field.
Certification and Licenses
Certification is not typically a requirement to become a calibration engineer, but it can be useful in helping you compete with other job candidates. Certified calibration engineers will be more attractive candidates to employers, especially those who have extensive experience or knowledge in a particular type of calibration.
- Recovery and repair of sensors
Calibration engineers use their skills in reading and recording gauge readings to ensure the accuracy of their instruments. They also need to understand how to read and record data from different types of equipment, including pressure gauges, thermometers, speedometers, and other devices that measure physical properties. This skill set is essential for calibrating machines and ensuring their proper operation.
Organization is the ability to keep track of the files, tools, and other resources you use in your work. A calibration engineer needs to be organized so that he can quickly find everything you need and complete your projects. You may also be required to create reports or presentations about your work, which requires organizational skills to ensure that all necessary information is included.
Communication is the ability to convey information in a way that others can understand. As a calibration engineer, you may need to communicate with other engineers and technicians about how to perform certain tasks or what results to expect from certain tests. Communication skills are also important in communicating your results to management so they can make informed decisions about production processes.
- Radio Frequency Calibration
Radiofrequency calibration is the process of ensuring the accuracy of a device’s radio frequency output. This can be important for devices such as cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, and other electronic equipment that use radio frequencies to communicate with each other. Calibration engineers may need to calibrate these devices to ensure they are operating at their maximum potential.
- ISO 17025
Calibration engineers should be familiar with ISO 17025, which is an international quality management system for calibration laboratories. This allows them to properly manage their laboratory and ensure the accuracy of all calibrations. It is also important to understand how to apply this standard in your workplace so you can train others on how to meet its requirements.
- Dimensions and Tolerances
Calibration engineers use dimensioning and tolerances to create engineering drawings that include measurements of the parts they design. This skill allows them to present their designs, which can help them create more accurate machines. It also helps them ensure that the equipment they produce meets industry standards for accuracy.
- Electrical test equipment
Electrical test equipment is used to measure the electrical properties of materials. Calibration engineers use these skills to verify the accuracy of instruments and ensure that they are functioning properly. This includes using electrical test equipment to ensure that an instrument’s output matches its input to ensure accurate measurements. Electrical test equipment can also be used to calibrate new instruments before they are put into service.
Metrology is the science of measurement, and calibration engineers use their metrology skills to ensure instrument accuracy. They also use these skills when calibrating equipment, as they must measure accurately to make correct adjustments. Calibration engineers often work with other professionals whose work relies on accurate measurements. Therefore, they must have strong metrology skills.
How to Become a Calibration Engineer
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for most calibration engineer positions. Common degrees that employers seek include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering. Some schools offer a concentration or certificate in metrology or calibration engineering.
During your undergraduate studies, you will take courses in math, physics, and engineering. These classes provide an introduction to the concepts and tools used by engineers. You may also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with calibration equipment through an internship or coursework.
- Gain experience with calibration and metrology equipment.
While in school, you can gain hands-on experience with calibration and metrology equipment by volunteering or working part-time at a laboratory. You may also complete an internship at a manufacturing facility to learn about the process of ensuring quality control during production.
After graduation, entry-level positions for calibration engineers often require some work experience. This experience can be gained through internships or volunteer opportunities as well.
- Develop strong problem-solving skills.
Calibration engineers must be able to identify and solve problems that arise in the calibration process. This often involves identifying issues with equipment, determining how they affect the results of a calibration test, and finding solutions to improve the quality of the calibration.
For example, if a piece of equipment is malfunctioning during a calibration test, you may need to find another way to perform the same test or determine why the equipment isn’t working properly so you can get it repaired.
- Understand statistical analysis methods.
Calibration engineers use statistical analysis methods to determine the best way to solve problems and improve processes. For example, you may need to decide whether a process can be improved by changing its parameters or if it is acceptable as it is. You will also use these methods when determining how accurate a measurement needs to be for a specific application.
- Have skills in the use of computer programs.
Computer programs are widely used in the engineering field and calibration engineers must be proficient in these programs to perform their duties. Computer programs used by calibration engineers include Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, and LabVIEW. Familiarize yourself with these programs before starting your career as a calibration engineer so that you can use them in your work.
- Keep up with changing technologies.
Technology is constantly changing, so calibration engineers need to keep up. For example, new software and equipment can make tasks easier or more efficient. It’s also important to stay abreast of any changes in industry standards and regulations that may affect your work.
For example, if you work with medical devices, you need to keep up with any changes in FDA regulations.
- Join professional organizations such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is an organization that offers training and certification in quality management, including calibration techniques. ASQ membership will help you stay current with industry standards and network with other professionals in the field.
To become an ASQ-certified calibration engineer, you must first pass an exam covering the technical knowledge and skills related to calibration engineering. You may also be required to provide evidence of work experience or submit a case study.
Where to Work as a Calibration Engineer
Calibration engineers work in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, R&D labs, quality control departments, and field services. They may work in companies that manufacture and sell products, or in companies that use products in their production processes. Calibration engineers typically work a regular schedule, although they may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines or solve problems that arise in the process. They may also travel to customer sites to provide calibration services. Calibration engineers must be able to work independently and be motivated to keep up with the latest developments in their field.
Calibration Engineer Salary Scale
The median annual salaries of administrative clerks in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are stated below:
- United States: $76,500
- Canada: $82,801
- United Kingdom: £35,047