A specialised branch of electrical and electronic engineering and it deals with the measurement, control, and automation of processes
Instruments developed by instrumentation engineers include analog, digital, and mixed signal electronic devices. Major users of these instruments include industries that rely on automated processes, such as chemical and manufacturing plants. They depend on these devices for safety, and for improving productivity and reliability. A very large field of work is also offered in biomedical engineering, and in metrology (the discipline that provides devices for technical measurements).
The scope of instrumentation engineering is vast, and appears to be growing, in part due to the increased use of automatic control in manufacturing and process plants. Growth is also tied to the development of more accurate and more robust sesnors, which allow us to detect phenomena of interest (such as the presence of minute levels of toxins in food) with much higher precision than what we could do a generation ago.
The Applied Electronics and Instrumentation curriculum in most universities includes courses on the design of analog and digital electronic devices used for measurement and control of parameters such as flow, pressure, temperature, and level, and the calibration of such instruments. Students learn to program microcontrollers, and to design and implement communication networks composed of sensors, actuators, and programmable logic controllers (PLC). Since instrumentation engineering is closely related to control engineering, some universities include courses on signals, systems, and control theory.
The degree title mentioned in the question, Applied Electronics and Instrumentation, is most popular in India. Therefore, we decided to look at what Indian universities that offer Applied Electronics and Instrumentation degrees say about the career paths that graduates are likely to have.
Instrumentation engineers work for industries with automated processes, such as chemical or manufacturing plants, with the goal of improving system productivity, reliability, safety, optimization and stability. They find jobs in various sectors including R&D units of public and private sector companies, heavy industries such as Thermal Power Stations, Steel Plants, Refineries, Cement and Fertilizer Plants etc. Also, they find jobs in companies manufacturing specialized instruments as well as in the user industries themselves, both in public as well as private sectors. They have a multidisciplinary role to play.