What Does a Relay & Instrumentation Technician Do?

A Relay & Instrumentation Technician (288R) repairs, overhauls and calibrates Vital Signal Control Relays (VSCR) within the transit environment.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Diagnosis and repair of data acquisition and code system; as well as power systems
  • Test vital signal control relays
  • Execute different types and styles of CNC programming
  • Understand numerically controlled machines including, horizontal, vertical, turning and machining centres, cutters, computer communicators and EDMs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Numerical Control Technology and capabilities including G-Code programming, PLCs, adaptive controllers, manual programming, interfacing, CAD/ CAM, 2D and 3D programming
  • Strong communication skills
  • Handle problems and emergencies with confidence
  • Sense of safety for oneself and others

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

You should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.  anyone interested in pursuing a career as a Relay & Instrumentation Technician must have completed their high school diploma, or equivalent, with emphasis on grade 12 mathematics (college technology or foundations for college math streams). Grade 12 English and sciences, including Physics are also recommended as well as co-op/ OYAP focusing on instrumentation and CNC programming.

The apprenticeship for Relay & Instrumentation Technician is a total of 8000 hours with 320 hours of in-school training.

What’s Your Future as a Relay & Instrumentation Technician?

Relay & Instrumentation Technicians work both indoors and outdoors as well as above and below ground. Depending on the transit system they are employed with, they may be responsible for subways, railways, commuter trains or sky-service trains. Work conditions vary with employment but might be cramped, dark, cool or exposed to the elements. They may be required to stand for prolonged periods of time and exposed to high noise, fumes or heat levels. Since this is a pivotal job in the transit system, they must pay close attention to safety and may be called out in emergencies. Constant learning may be required to keep up with new technology.

Employment for this trade is expected to be average through to the year 2009. Primarily work in this trade is full time and often in shifts. Employers who hire Relay & Instrumentation Technicians include:

  • Locomotive and public transit companies

Wage Rate

Fully qualified Relay & Instrumentation Technicians earn an average of $15-$32 per hour, not including overtime and benefits.

Ask Yourself: Is Working as an Relay & Instrumentation Technician For You?


Do you enjoy working both indoors and outdoors in an industrial setting?

Yes      No

Do you mind being exposed to high levels of noise, fumes or temperature extremes?

Yes      No

Are you good at problem solving and persisting at a task until it is done just right?

Yes      No

Are you able to concentrate in busy or stressful situations?

Yes      No

Are you physically fit, and interested in working with machinery and high tech equipment, sometimes in cramped conditions?

Yes      No

Are you good at reading and interpreting blueprints?

Yes      No

Are you safety conscious?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Relay & Instrumentation Technician may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Instrumentation & Control Technician
  • Electrical Instrument Mechanic
  • Electronics Technician
  • Construction Millwright and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic

For more information, click the following link for related careers: Ontario Association of Certified Technicians and Technologists





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