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Instrument Mechanic Training Program

If you like to see how complicated machinery works and troubleshoot problems, then this program may be for you. This two-and-a-half-year paid training program leads to the position of instrument mechanic.

TVA has instrument mechanics in both fossil fuel plants and nuclear plants. They maintain power station instrumentation and control equipment and perform corrective maintenance on equipment like sensors for temperature, pressure, flow, level, and chemical properties. They monitor annunciators, alarms, and electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulic process-control and positioning equipment. They also conduct preventive maintenance routines and process-control failure analyses.

The training program consists of a combination of on-the-job and classroom instruction. Some training may be conducted at locations other than the selected worksite. The position of IM trainee requires students to be prepared for class, including homework assignments, out-of-class readings, pop quizzes, written exams, and oral exams. In addition, you will be required to exhibit skills to perform certain tasks through the use of qualification cards.

Upon the successful completion of training, the employee becomes an instrument mechanic. This position involves shift work, overtime, call-outs, outage work and schedules, and weekend and holiday work.

Physical requirements include lifting 50 to 75 pounds, sitting, walking, bending, squatting, climbing, kneeling, twisting, standing, raking, shoveling, etc. The environment includes working at heights and in confined spaces with exposure to heat, cold, dampness, dirt, temperature changes, rotating equipment, energized systems, and coal dust (fossil only). Safety requires proper footwear, hearing and eye protection, hard hats, and the use of respirators.

In addition, to be employed in a nuclear plant as an instrument mechanic, employees must meet and maintain the requirements for unescorted nuclear plant access. These include successful completion of the psychological and physical exams given by TVA medical personnel; successful completion of General Employee Training and retraining, including the exams; completion of Health Physics training and passing the required exam; passing background investigations for nuclear plant access and employment suitability; and willingness to submit to a hands-on search at least 10 percent of the time.


Current pay for the training program is as follows:


  • Period 1: $66,685
  • Period 2: $73,830
  • Period 3: $80,975
  • Period 4: $85,740

Starting salary is $66,685 and progressively increases up to $85,740 as the trainee advances through the program. Upon successful completion of the training program, the employee becomes an Instrument Mechanic. Current pay for the position is $95,265 in both fossil and nuclear plants.

Eligibility Factors

In order to be considered for this training program, a candidate must have two years of algebra or higher at the high school or college level and must meet one of the criteria below:

  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology from a regionally accredited educational institution (i.e., SACS accreditation); or
  • Other equivalencies such as certain military training (electrical or electronics) or completion of a certain number of college hours (including electrical or electronics classes); or
  • Other equivalencies that are evaluated on a one-on-one basis by recruiters

Candidates who meet the qualifications for this position and who follow the process of applying may be asked to take a prequalifying test that predicts performance in training and on the job. Candidates must pass this test to be considered for an interview.  Read information about the testing process.

EEO Statement

TVA is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable laws and regulations regarding equal employment opportunities. Any applicant or employee who believes s/he has a discrimination claim (including harassment or retaliation) must contact TVA’s equal opportunity compliance office within 45 calendar days of the event or action s/he believes to constitute discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Non-U.S. residents should read TVA's citizenship policy.

Individuals interested in claiming veterans’ preference should read the information for claiming veterans’ preference.