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Instrumentation Technology Major

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Instrumentation Technology

1,184 Associates's Degrees Annually
29 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#40 in Popularity (Associate's)
$58,060 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Instrumentation Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many instrumentation technology/technician graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate Degree 1,171
Undergraduate Certificate 1,075
Basic Certificate 574
Bachelor’s Degree 25

What Instrumentation Technology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to instrumentation tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Instrumentation Tech Majors

Instrumentation Tech majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills for Instrumentation Tech Majors

A major in instrumentation tech prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Instrumentation Tech Majors

As a instrumentation tech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a Instrumentation Technology Major?

People with a instrumentation tech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Electro-Mechanical Technicians 3.6% $57,790
Precision Instrument and Equipment Repairers 1.6% $57,610

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Instrumentation Technology?

1,171 Associate's Degrees Annually
10% Percent Women
41% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 90% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of instrumentation tech majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 13
Black or African American 104
Hispanic or Latino 307
White 662
International Students 6
Other Races/Ethnicities 79

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Instrumentation Tech, too. About 0.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Instrumentation Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $58,060 to $60,240 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to instrumentation tech. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Instrumentation Technology Major  ( 58060 to 60240 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with instrumentation tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for instrumentation tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 12.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 29.7%
Some College Courses 13.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 41.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 3.2%

Online Instrumentation Technology Programs

In 2019-2020, 87 schools offered a instrumentation tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 38 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 0
Associate’s Degree 62 3
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Instrumentation Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a instrumentation tech grad is $58,060 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 46% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $363,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to instrumentation tech.

Major Number of Grads
Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology 2,689
Other Electromechanical & Instrumentation & Maintenance Technologies/Technicians 2,032
Biomedical Technology 1,146
Automation Engineer Technology 933
Robotics Technology 550
Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology 231

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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