Instrumentation Technology School and College Program Overviews
Learn about associate's programs in instrumentation technology and bachelor's programs in closely related fields. Get an overview of these programs and take a look at education prerequisites, program coursework and employment options.
Students who want to become instrumentation technicians can enroll in 2-year associate's programs in instrumentation technology. Completing a 4-year engineering bachelor's program in an appropriate discipline could lead to work as an instrumentation engineer. Students need a high school diploma to be admitted to either of these programs, and ACT, SAT or other assessment test scores are usually required for admission as well. The curricula for associate's and bachelor's programs in these fields emphasize electronics theory, applied mathematics, automation and instrumentation design. These programs may culminate in a capstone project or cooperative education experience.
Associate's Degree in Instrumentation Technology
An associate's degree in instrumentation technology qualifies students to serve as assistants to engineers operating, repairing, maintaining and troubleshooting equipment and instruments. Types of industries that have a need for instrumentation technology associate's degree holders include food processing, electricity and petroleum.
The coursework in an associate's instrumentation technology degree program includes intensive studies in mathematics, applied sciences and technology. The degree plan covers topics such as calibration, automated equipment and report writing. Some examples of course topics are:
- Applied mathematics
- Applied science
- Electronics theory
- Data collection and analysis
Bachelor of Science in Engineering
The Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree focuses on the applications of math and science to real-world problems. Students who earn this degree may be known as instrumentation engineers, depending on the courses completed. Students learn to apply engineering principles and technical skills toward developing vital control and measurement systems.
A bachelor's degree in engineering includes advanced courses in the design of electronic instruments that measure vital processes in the operations of a such facilities as factories, hospitals and power plants. Some examples of course topics are:
- Instrumentation design
- Testing and scheduling
- Automated equipment
- Applied industrial tasks
- Report preparation
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Instrumentation engineers, depending on which field they work in, can also be known as electrical and electronic engineering technicians and industrial engineering technicians. These positions are typically found in industries that require automated processes. These may include chemical or manufacturing plants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for these technicians was $57,850 in May 2012. Job opportunities are expected to grow by two percent between 2010 and 2020.
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