BTC's campus will be closed Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day, and there will be no daytime classes Tuesday, May 28, for a Faculty In-Service Day.

Instrumentation and Control Technology

Instrumentation and Control Technology - AAS-T

This program will prepare you for a career as an instrumentation and control technician for high-tech industries such as power generation plants, water treatment facilities, chemical manufacturing plants, canneries, aerospace plants, bio-pharmaceutical plants, semi conductor manufacturing plants, and pulp and paper mills.

You will learn how to maintain, repair, and troubleshoot instrumentation and control systems in industries that increasingly rely on automation. Instrumentation & Control is a great program choice if you’re looking for a high-wage career with employment potential across the nation and beyond.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

62% BTC graduate placement rate1

$61,367 starting annual wage2
$75,397 average annual wage2
$94,787 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program admits students in the Fall, one time per year.

Students are encouraged to have their high school diploma or GED by graduation, because many employers require this credential as a condition of employment.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

Early Program Course Requirements

Completion of Intermediate Algebra (MATH 099) or placement into Pre-Calculus (MATH&141) is a required prerequisite for enrollment in this Program.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 111

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • AM 100Advanced Manufacturing Pathways3 CR
  • AM 105Direct Current4 CR
  • PTEC 102Process Technology I (Equipment)5 CR
  • MATH& 141Precalculus I5 CR
  • OR higher
  • Quarter 2

  • INST 102Advanced Electrical Fundamentals10 CR
  • INST 103Practical Advanced Electrical Fundamentals6 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR higher
  • Quarter 3

  • INST 107Digital Automation Fundamentals8 CR
  • INST 108Practical Digital Automation Fundamentals8 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • INST 240Pressure and Level Measurement6 CR
  • INST 250Final Control Elements5 CR
  • INST 251PID Control5 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • INST 205Job Preparation I1 CR
  • INST 241Temperature & Flow Measurement6 CR
  • INST 260Data Acquisition Systems4 CR
  • INST 262Digital Control Systems5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • INST 206Job Preparation II1 CR
  • INST 242Analytical Measurement5 CR
  • INST 252Loop Tuning4 CR
  • INST 263Control Strategies5 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

  • Communication - Communicates and expresses thoughts across a variety of mediums (verbal, written, visually) to effectively persuade, inform, and clarify ideas with colleagues.
  • Time Management - Arrives on time and prepared to work; budgets time an meets deadlines when performing technical tasks and projects.
  • Safety - Complies with national, state, and local safety regulations when repairing, calibrating, and installing instruments.
  • Diagnose and Repair Existing Instruments - Assesses, diagnoses, and repairs faulty instruments in measurement and control systems using logical procedures and appropriate test equipment.
  • Install and Configure New Instruments - Builds, configures, and installs new instrument systems according to plans, applying industry construction standards, and ensuring correct system operation when complete.
  • Process Control Optimization - Improve system functions by evaluating control system performance; implements strategies to tune and stabilize control systems.
  • Instrument Calibration - Assesses instrument accuracy and correct inaccuracies using appropriate calibration procedures and test equipment.
  • Documents Instrument Systems - Interprets and creates technical documents (electronic schematics, loop diagrams, and P&IDs) according to industry (EIA, ISA) standards.
  • Self-Directing Learning - Selects and researches relevant information sources to learn new principles, technologies, and techniques.
  • Career Development - Researches and seeks opportunities for promotion and job advancements in work and career settings.

Employment Outlook

The average annual wage in this field is $65,510 with an earning potential of about $77,012 per year.* The need for industry to reduce operating expenses requires continual investment in automation, which means more jobs for instrumentation technicians.

Most program graduates work as instrumentation and process control technicians in bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, oil refineries, food processing, pulp/paper mills, power plants, metal smelters, systems integrators, research and development or water/sewage treatment facilities. Opportunities also exist in medical instrumentation, chemical plants, canneries, aerospace, sales and communications.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    AAS, Instrumentation & Control Technology, Bellingham Technical College

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email