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 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
- Programming logic
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Electrical and electronic engineering technicians, such as instrumentation technicians, earned a median annual salary of $61,130 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment in this field is expected to decline at a rate of -2% between 2014-2024.
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.