Read about how 3rd Year CalX Apprentice Calibration Technician David got started in his career at CalX and what the job is like.
What led to you pursuing a career in instrumentation?
I always liked working with hand tools and how stuff was made but in my leaving cert year in secondary school I decided to not to an apprenticeship and go to college. I studied in Mary Immaculate College in Limerick for a year and a half and being in college did not suit me at all. I then realised that an apprenticeship may suit me better.
I was looking at doing an E and I apprenticeship until I came across CalX advertising for Instrumentation apprentices and decided to send in my CV. I was delighted to receive the job offer and start my career in instrumentation.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy the variety of work that CalX has to offer. When I first started with CalX I was calibrating the petrol pumps. This gave me great experience working by myself. I then went on the field service team for a while and it was great to see all different varieties of sites. I moved to Zoetis Rathdrum on a commissioning project. This involved loop checking, fault finding, bench calibrations and onsite calibrations. After finishing in Zoetis, I went to Phase 2 in Cork for 6 months. After arriving back from college I started in Great Island power station in Campile, Co. Wexford. Here I worked with high pressure gas, steam and calibrations during a shutdown. After finishing the shutdown in Great Island, I was offered the chance by CalX to join the commissioning team in WuXi Vaccines in Dundalk. Here we are calibrating the HVAC instruments which include Humidity /Temperature Transmitters, Pressure Transmitters, Flow transmitters, Pressure Switches and Control Valves.
I am only in my 3rd year of the apprenticeship and the opportunities I have had are great for my career so it has to be the variety of work that I enjoy most at Calx.
What’s your average day like?
My average day starts with talking to the team and planning out the work for the day ahead. This would include what calibrations have to be done or if there is any issues we have had with instruments from the previous day to resolve.
What’s it like working at CalX?
CalX is a really enjoyable place to work. It is really easy to get on with everybody in the company and if you ever have a problem there is always someone there to help you no matter the problem. It always feels like you are an important part of the team in CalX.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in instrumentation/engineering/calibrations?
If you have any interest in testing equipment or seeing how stuff is made, instrumentation is definitely a career to consider. There are a lot of opportunities within this area in Ireland and abroad. Starting at CalX gives great experience with the variety of equipment and sites. The apprenticeship is a great way to start, it is 4 years in total with 12 months of this being college providing great experience.