Master's Degree in Instrumentation Technology
If you've always been interested in electronics, imaging and how computers are used to control the latest technology, you might want to consider a master's degree program that covers instrumentation. Learn more about the field, what degree programs are available, enrollment requirements, curriculum and potential careers.
What is Instrumentation?
Instrumentation is an engineering discipline that deals with observing, controlling and measuring physical occurrences. For example, programs that cover biomedical instrumentation will teach you how to measure, observe and control physiological occurrences, such as heart rate, blood flow, body temperature and neural signals. In a technology, computing or electronics program, you'll learn how to measure and control electrical signals. Instrumentation programs that deal with robotics will also teach you about the pneumatic, hydraulic and physical means of measuring an input, controlling an output or observing a physical occurrence.
|Field Focus||Biomedicine, computers and electronics, robotics|
|Degrees Available||Specialization under Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering Physics|
|Requirements||Bachelor's degree in a related field|
|Common Courses||Computer design, microprocessors, lasers, optics|
|Career Opportunities||Research, product design and development|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||5% ( for Biomedical Engineers)*|
|Median Salary (2021)||$84,790 (for Instrumentation Engineer)**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and **PayScale.com
What Kinds of Master's Degrees in Instrumentation Can I Earn?
Master's degree programs specifically in instrumentation technology are only offered through colleges outside the United States. However, you can earn your Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in instrumentation, Master of Science in Instrumentation or Master of Science in Engineering Physics with a concentration in instrumentation and automation.
You can also enroll in a Professional Science Master's (PSM) Master of Science program, which provides interdisciplinary training in business as well as a scientific field. None of these programs are available online.
What Will I Need to Enroll?
You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree before enrolling in any type of master's degree program. However, engineering physics programs that offer a specialization in instrumentation only admit students with a bachelor's degree in a scientific, computer, electronics or engineering field.
What Can I Learn?
Master of Science in Engineering Physics programs provide you with training in electronics, mechatronics and computer-oriented interfaces. In these types of programs, you can learn about robotics, microprocessors and computer design.
Master of Science in Instrumentation (MSI) programs provide this type of training from the standpoint of physicists. If you choose to earn your MSI, you'll focus your study on the use of optics, lasers and electronics in devices that measure physical conditions.
If you choose to earn your Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in instrumentation, you'll learn how imaging and signals science is applied in medical equipment and biomedical devices. Coursework and lab experiences will explore how sensors and electrical devices measure physiological conditions.
You can enroll in a PSM program to earn your Master of Science if you're looking for business training. PSM students can also pursue a dual program where they earn their Master of Business Administration while working toward their Master of Science.
How Can I Use My Degree?
If you're a graduate of a PSM program, you can work as a manager, executive or venture capitalist. You can also work in a research or development role for an instrumentation manufacturer.
An engineering physics degree with a concentration in instrumentation qualifies you for research positions. The same is true if you complete an instrumentation specialization in a biomedical engineering program or earn your Master of Science in Instrumentation.
Regardless of what type of degree you pursue, you can also continue your study in a Ph.D. program. In the workforce, you can qualify for research, design and product development positions that address the following:
- Sensory equipment
- Image science
- Control systems