There are myriad professions that involve using an oscilloscope, which graphically displays a wide range of electrical signals, from very small to extremely large. An oscilloscope can capture and retain a signal for instant evaluation or it can store the signal’s display for later review.

Physicists and various other types of research scientists commonly use oscilloscopes in a number of different applications. Especially sensitive oscilloscopes enable you to track tiny particles which are particularly useful for nuclear physicists, for example. A research scientist uses an oscilloscope for, among other things, scrutinizing the impact of various environmental changes with regard to cellular telephone and television signals. Oscilloscopes are incredibly important pieces of testing equipment for scientists in a wide variety of fields.

Engineers also use oscilloscopes extensively — all design engineers use certain kinds of oscilloscopes on a daily basis. Electronic and electrical engineers rely on digital storage oscilloscopes for designing electrical/electronic equipment, even including the design of high-powered, feature-laden oscilloscopes. Sound engineers use oscilloscopes for evaluating sound equipment’s frequency response; automotive engineers use oscilloscopes for observing vibrations in engines; and computer design engineers rely on oscilloscopes for determining processor speed as well as frequency.

Electronic technicians in all fields — including television repairmen, computer technicians, and those who install and repair telephone and radio systems — also require oscilloscopes to do their jobs. In addition electronic technicians frequently are responsible for design and development lab work led by a group of electronic engineers.

Because automobiles have advanced to the point where many functions are controlled by onboard computers, mechanics have turned into repair technicians who use automotive oscilloscopes to connect to a personal computer for observing and troubleshooting automotive issues. These types of oscilloscopes are incredibly useful for repairing complicated automobile sound equipment and other delicate electrical/electronic automotive equipment.

Health care workers use oscilloscopes as well. You’ve likely heard of a patient “flatlining.” This “flatline” is produced by an oscilloscope which monitors a patient’s heartbeat. Furthermore doctors use oscilloscopes for observing brain waves in diagnostic applications. Medical and laboratory technicians also frequently use oscilloscopes.

As you can see oscilloscopes are an important part of many modern professions.


George Leger has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, worked in private industry pioneering surface-mount technology and in government research labs for twenty years, published several papers on surface-mount technology, co-authored papers published in national symposiums on accelerator technology, was past president of SMTA and an adjunct professor at the community college level, holds a patent, and is a certified microchip design partner, serving as a consultant to many companies developing electronic circuits.

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