A SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Technician is responsible for operations and maintenance of the communication channels connecting computers with remotely controlled equipment, as well as the equipment in the network. These systems are used to automate process and also can be used to monitor and collect data on the remote devices. Generally SCADA is used to refer to large-scale processes, with multiple devices and dispersed locations. SCADA is a subset of the broader category of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and those which include the remote devices which utilize PLC (programmable logic controller) technology.
SCADA process control systems are widespread, used in much of the critical infrastructure of national and local production facilities, such as nuclear plants, water treatment and chemical manufacturing. They are also found in many industries, particularly manufacturing. In large buildings, these internal control processes may be deployed to regulate air conditioning systems and monitor energy consumption. The failure or outage of such systems can have catastrophic impacts, so their reliability, security and operational status are of the highest priority.
Job Description: What Does a SCADA Technician Do?
SCADA Technicians are in demand for a wide range of types and sizes of installations. Depending on the nature, size and criticality of the system, their duties may vary. The Technician ensures the components of the control system are functioning properly, manages their settings and deploys the correct security protocols across the networks. This employee performs a variety of technical tasks in support of the SCADA system to include setting up the systems, installing, maintaining and calibrating equipment. In cases of a failure anywhere in the system, they must respond rapidly to diagnose and execute repairs and shorten the downtime. Constant monitoring for performance and malware or other attacks against the infrastructure is necessary. They may also be asked to control access to the network.
The technician must be flexible in their work hours as they may be required to react on very short notice to a problem in the system. Although much of the work can be performed remotely, some jobs will require traveling to one of the sites for installation or repair.
SCADA Technician Job Responsibilities and Duties
A SCADA Technician is responsible to perform, or delegate, some or all of the following:
- Receive, install, configure and calibrate equipment, servers, networks and other components.
- Conduct maintenance and upgrades.
- Monitor data communications.
- Respond quickly to system emergencies.
- Troubleshoot PLC circuit and system faults.
- Set up firewalls and ensure security of the SCADA system components from outside attacks.
- Use-test and troubleshoot equipment and software to diagnose and repair malfunctions.
- Set and monitor alarm functions.
- Calibrate test equipment.
- Manage access to the system.
- Manage inventory of equipment and software.
- Maintain all license and support contract documentation.
- Comply with all accepted change control procedures.
- Understand and comply with applicable federal and state regulatory agency reporting and documentation requirements.