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Analyzer Technician Opportunities Project Announces Completion Of Analyzer Technician Competency Model


The Analyzer Technician Opportunities Project (ATOP) has announced the completion of the Analyzer Technician Competency Model, a formal document defining the skills and competencies needed for analyzer technicians working in the field.

ATOP worked with industry experts and representatives from the Analysis Division of the International Society for Automation (ISA) to build on the industry-based Automation Competency Model developed by the Automation Federation and the U.S. Department of Labor to develop the Analyzer Technician Competency Model. Several data collection and review meetings, including face-to-face working sessions and a national validation, where conducted to complete this occupation-specific model.

An occupational competency model is a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do-the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform well in the prescribed occupation. Competency models are developed with national collaboration and industry validation. The Analyzer Technician Competency Model defines the five industry-based tiers, including personal effectiveness competencies, academic competencies, workplace competencies, industry-wide competencies, and process analyzer technical competencies. The final Analyzer Technician Competency Model can be viewed at:

Designed to help individuals prepare for job opportunities as an analyzer technician, the model will also help academic institutions updating curricula to better prepare the technology workforce of the future. Most importantly, it will provide a common language for the dialogue between educators and executives who are working together to rebuild the workforce pipeline.

“The completion of the Analyzer Technician Competency Model is a major step in developing a curriculum for Analytical Instrumentation Technology,” said ATOP Principal Investigator Richard Tunstall. “In addition, ATOP will be working closely with industry experts and the Analysis Division of ISA to create a professional certificate exam based on this model in the coming year.”

John Purdin, ATOP co-principal investigator said, “Analytical Instrumentation Technology is the stimulating field of installing, troubleshooting and repairing online analyzers used to automate and control industrial processes and monitor emissions from combustion and water treatment processes. The field of analytical instrumentation places a high value on expertise, critical thinking, troubleshooting, self-sufficiency, self-direction, problem solving, good interpersonal skills and teamwork. The competency model further defines the analytical technologies required by industry for sampling systems, oxygen in gases, gas chromatography, pH, spectroscopy, FTIR/NIR, moisture in gas and liquids, toxins, combustibles, hydrocarbons and troubleshooting techniques.”

About ATOP

The petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing industries nationwide have a quantifiable need for Analyzer Technicians to monitor, maintain, repair, and install sampling and process analysis equipment. To meet this challenge, Lee College and San Jacinto College have joined forces to create the Analyzer Technician Opportunities Project (ATOP) curriculum funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The first analyzer education program offered by a college in the United States, the ATOP program will engage students in the study of analytical instruments, emphasizing their use in safety, product analysis, product quality, and environmental monitoring and control. Hands-on analytical instrumentation applications in the curriculum will include gas chromatography, continuous emission monitoring, pH, conductivity, air and water quality, oxygen in gases, spectrophotometric technologies and sampling systems.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0801907. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


 analyzer technicians
 industrial automation
 petroleum refining
 chemical manufacturing

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