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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 1,196
Undergraduate Certificate 1,001
Basic Certificate 636
Bachelor’s Degree 29

What Instrumentation Technology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to instrumentation tech were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Instrumentation Tech Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

instrumentation tech majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities for Instrumentation Tech Majors

A major in instrumentation tech will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with instrumentation tech:

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?

1,196 Associate's Degrees Annually
9% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 91% of the graduates in this field are male.

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 22
Black or African American 108
Hispanic or Latino 289
White 674
International Students 17
Other Races/Ethnicities 86

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Instrumentation Tech. About 1.4% 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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250K
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. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 86 schools offered some type of instrumentation technology/technician program. 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) 34 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 34 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 0
Associate’s Degree 60 2
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 34 2
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 2,576
Other Electromechanical & Instrumentation & Maintenance Technologies/Technicians 2,487
Biomedical Technology 1,314
Automation Engineer Technology/Technician 959
Robotics Technology/Technician 471

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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