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An instrument supervisor works to ensure that electrical instruments are being properly managed, repaired and maintained. This job occurs in numerous industries such as healthcare, oil and gas, and the armed forces. An instrument supervisor manages others and delegates tasks as well as reports to upper-level management regarding such things as new equipment, budgets and problems with current instrumentation. Instrument supervisors must be well-trained in the instruments that they are working with regardless of their educational backgrounds, but most people in this job have some education. Continuing education is needed throughout the career to stay on top of current trends in technology.
After gaining employment as an instrument supervisor, an individual is required to go through extensive training to learn how to properly operate and repair the instrument equipment for the industry he is working in. An instrument supervisor mainly oversees other employees working with instruments, but needs to know a lot of information about the instruments in order to do so properly. Most instrument supervisors have worked in the field as an instrument technician before undertaking a supervisory role, which makes them more knowledgeable about the instruments they are working with. Instrument supervisors usually have at least an undergraduate degree in the area of industrial management, electrical engineering or business.
One of the main tasks of an instrument supervisor is to delegate work to others and oversee their work as it progresses. This requires that the supervisor have management and team-building skills in order to accomplish the things that need to be done. The instrument supervisor provides employee evaluations, creates schedules, and keeps track of his or her employees' payroll. An instrument supervisor spends a portion of his or her time in the office sending e-mails, scheduling meetings, and speaking with other departments. The rest of the time is spent on the floor monitoring the progress of employee work.
Instrument supervisors keep track of which instruments need to be repaired or replaced. They create budgets to give to upper-level management regarding new tools and equipment for the organization. Managing projects from beginning to completion and keeping them at their intended budget is another important part of an instrument supervisor's job. In addition, instrument supervisors communicate regularly with upper-level management about their progress on projects, problems they are having, and employee complaints. Critical thinking is necessary because the supervisor needs to attempt to make their department more efficient and solve problems quickly when they arise.