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Associates Degree In Instrumentation

Last Updated on February 4, 2023 by Fola Shade

Introductory coursework in an associate’s program in instrumentation technology typically covers electronics basics. Students also take courses in algebra and trigonometry. Since a large part of instrumentation technology is concerned with measuring variables in temperature or pressure, students also learn calibration techniques to ensure that a machine’s instruments make accurate readings.

Upper-level coursework deals with the programming of machinery to automatically respond to these readings. For example, students may learn to synchronize instrument readings with equipment controls to regulate a boiler’s temperature, monitor the output from a generator, or time the manufacturing sequence of a robotic arm.

Program entrants will need a GED or high school diploma that includes coursework in math, English, and composition. Depending on the community, vocational or technical college, students may also have to pass a placement exam or complete a course in pre-algebra before beginning core coursework.

Instrumentation & Control Technology

The Instrumentation & Control program prepares students to be an instrument technician. The program combines theory and hands-on training with state-of-the-art instruments, working processes and computerized control systems. Students learn to install, test, calibrate and maintain instruments that measure, indicate and control variables such as pressure, flow, level, density, temperature, force, vibration and chemical composition.

Gain fundamental skills for troubleshooting, repairing, and controlling components used in automation

The Instrumentation & Control Technology program at the Bismarck State College (BSC) National Energy Center for Excellence (NECE) prepares students for careers in power plants, process facilities, water treatment facilities, or any other industrial location that utilizes automation.

Instrument & Controls technicians are needed throughout North Dakota, and are in high demand in the Bakken region.  These positions typically do not require shift work.  On a daily basis, I&C techs will Troubleshoot, repair, Calibrate, and Install instrumentation equipment in order to manipulate measured variables such as temperature, pressure, and flow.  I&C technicians may also be called I&E technicians, E&I technicians, or electronics technicians.

Keep up with a rapidly changing industry

The Instrumentation & Control program provides the knowledge needed for an entry level position as an instrument technician. This program combines theory and hands-on training with state-of-the-art instruments, working processes, and computerized control systems. Students learn to install, test, calibrate and maintain instruments that measure, indicate and control variables such as pressure, flow, level, density, temperature, force, vibration and chemical composition. Students apply math concepts, physics concepts and industry standards to realistic situations encountered on the job. Additional instruction includes updating system documentation and building or modifying specialized systems to solve problems in measurement and control.

Education to meet your needs

The I&C program is available both online and on campus. Hands-on lab requirements are required to complete the online degree. These requirements may be completed at the BSC campus or remotely at an individual’s place of employment. A consultation is required before enrolling in the online program. Students with a Journeyman Electrician License or at least 28 college credits from an accredited electrician program may move directly into the 2nd year of the program (I&C coursework).

OptionRequired CoursesGeneral Education CreditsDelivery
Electronics (ELEC) Certificate of CompletionELEC Theory & labsNoneOnline or on-campus
I&C CertificateELEC Theory & labs
I&C Theory
4Online* or On-campus
Associate in
Applied Science
ELEC Theory & labs
I&C Theory & labs
15On-campus or online
Labs required on-campus or remote
Associate in Applied Science 
with Electrician option
I&C Theory & labs15On-campus or online
Labs required on-campus or remote
*ideal for industry-employed students

A limited number of students will be accepted into both the online and on-campus program in August.

This program has minimum entrance requirements. Details can be found here.

Prospective students should be prepared to meet the physical requirements of the work in this field. Fear of heights or color blindness may limit the student’s employment opportunities in this field.  Most plants require entry level applicants to pass a physical and drug testing.

Instrumentation Technology Associate’s

Many schools have extensive training equipment and facilities where students learn to manage existing control systems or design their own. These student projects often incorporate the electronics and computer programming skills learned in the following courses:

  • Applied mathematics
  • Circuitry
  • Programming logic

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians, such as instrumentation technicians, earned a median annual salary of $65,260 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment in this field is expected to show little or no change between 2018-2028.

Continuing Education Information

Some community colleges’ instrumentation technology programs have transfer agreements with local four-year colleges and universities. Students who finish their associate’s degree can continue their studies towards a Bachelor of Applied Technology. The completion of a bachelor’s degree relating to electrical engineering technology will allow an individual to work as a technologist in the field, rather than a technician.

Instrumentation technology associate’s degree programs will teach students about electronics basics, programming, and circuitry, among other things. A bachelor’s degree is also possible.

Career Opportunities

The primary focus of San Jacinto College’s Instrumentation Technology program is to provide the industry with high-quality, trainable, entry-level technicians. Our graduates will find employment in the following industries:

  • Chemical plants,
  • Oil refineries,
  • Oil exploration and production companies,
  • Cross-country pipeline companies,
  • Electrical power plants,
  • Municipal water treatment facilities,
  • Manufacturer field technician positions,
  • Instrumentation maintenance positions in large buildings or on campus-type facilities,
  • Manufacturing plants, and
  • Instrumentation sales.

Universities Offering Programs in Instrumentation and Control Engineering

Many universities around the world offer courses related to Instrumentation and Control Engineering or its allied Engineering branches. An international degree from a reputed institution puts you in good standing for a career in this field. Further, the student can also gain quality experience at business-oriented cities that house these international universities. A few of the options that you must consider have been listed below.

  • University of Huddersfield, UK

Program: MSc Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation

Duration: 1-year full-time; 2-3 years part-time

  • Washington University in St Louis, USA

Program: Master of Control Engineering

  • Coventry University, UK

Program: MSc Control, Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Duration: 1-year full-time; 2 years part-time

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