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The Average Salary of Instrumentation

Updated on July 14, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Instrumentation refers to the production of devices used for navigation, measuring, medicinal electronics and controlling processes. This industry had 406,390 employees earning a mean $33.40 per hour or $69,460 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Legal occupations showed the highest paid occupations for instrumentation as of May 2011, according to the BLS. Average wages ran $66.69 per hour or $139,330 per year. The lawyers who protected patents, helped with labor contract negotiations and examined supplier agreements earned the highest means of $80.65 per hour or $167,760 per year. The paralegals and legal assistants who helped lawyers by handling clerical and research tasks made a mean $30.45 per hour or $63,330 per year. (REFERENCE 1, for job descriptions, click on job titles in the table)


Management professionals are ultimately responsible for the success of their departments and organizations. They develop goals, create strategies for reaching those goals and hire the staff to carry out the strategies. In 2011, they averaged the second highest pay category at $63.83 per hour or $132,760 per year. The highest pay belonged to chief executives who helm corporations and ware answerable only to boards of directors and shareholders. They averaged $98.03 per hour or $203,900 per year in 2011. The lowest wages belonged to construction managers who build, maintain and repair instrumentation facilities. They received $46.69 per hour or $97,120 in 2011.

Food Preparation

Food preparation occupations had the lowest pay followed by building and ground cleaning and maintenance. In 2011, the former showed averages of $13.89 per hour or $28,890 per year, while the latter’s wages ran $15.19 per hour or $31,590 per year. Because of the low number of workers, the food preparation categories were not detailed into separate job titles. However in building maintenance, the most pay belonged to the supervisors who made sure facilities were maintained and cleaned efficiently and within budget. They earned a mean $25.70 per hour or $53,450 per year. The lowest paying jobs in this category belonged to janitors, maids and other interior cleaners. They averaged $14.70 per hour or $30,570 per year.


Production held the most jobs with 109,000 positions averaging $17.42 per hour or $36,230 per year in 2011. The highest salaries belonged to the operators of stationery engines, boilers and mechanical equipment that provided utilities for instrumentation facilities. They averaged a mean $25.87 per hour or $53,800 per year. Supervisors who coordinated production activities earned a mean $30.23 per hour or $62,880 per year. The lowest salaries were for operators of machines that extruded metals and plastics into tubes, rods and other structural shapes. They received a mean $16.40 per hour or $34,120 per year.

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    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      I now know a new term. Another well researched hub, showing off some pretty high paying jobs!

      Sharing, up and interesting.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Alocsin, another great article full of useful information and stats. This is perfect for anyone thinking about a career in these fields. I was once a food service worker and the pay scale is spot on. Interesting numbers on the higher paying jobs. Nice work pal. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      I see that you have written about several types of jobs in this hub. I was not surprised by the low pay for hotel maids or food service workers. I found some of the other job salaries interesting. So much to consider now when thinking about starting a career. Apparently many of the students in this day and age will have several jobs in their lifetime. A good well rounded education is more important than ever! Voted up and useful. Thanks!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm afraid I don't know, rajan jolly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports the salaries but not necessarily the reason for it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I can see where this industry may draw interest with the increase of electronics. Not a bad salary overall. Very well researched and written. Too bad I didn't know this when I first started my career search.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very detailed and useful resource, well written and informative. Anyone needing to find the average salary of instrumentation workers will be more than satisfied by this well researched hub.

      Great work as always Aurelio.

      Voted up interesting useful and awesome. Tweeting.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Great information as always alocsin, and very useful, cheers nell

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      You know, I left teaching because I am thinking I can do better for myself. Interesting, I was making about the same - for all the stress and hard work - that the food preparation workers make. It's really sad. In any case, interesting statistics and if I were more of an engineering mind, I'd have to give that all a try. :D Cheers!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Interesting statistics Alocsin. It is surprising that though the production averaged 17.42 $, the instrumentation category averaged 33.60 $, almost double that. Am I to believe the accuracy of the job work comes into play more in the case of instrumentation and thus this difference ?

      Great analysis. Voted up, interesting.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I haven't put much thought into this industry but I bet it is really growing. I would bet the big money goes to the inventors. Very interesting introduction to this field. Awesome!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Interesting information Alocsin!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't even know there was a name for that....very interesting and as always, great research!