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Become A Control Systems Engineer

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Working As A Control Systems Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $86,098

    Average Salary

What Does A Control Systems Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Control Systems Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Do you work as a Control Systems Engineer?

Control Systems Engineer Jobs

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Control Systems Engineer Career Paths

Control Systems Engineer
Lead Engineer Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Architect Assistant Project Manager
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Chief Engineer Engineering Director
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Consulting Engineer Hardware Engineer Manager, Hardware Engineering
Director, Hardware Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Process Control Engineer Quality Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Facility Engineer
Facilities/Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Staff Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Lead Engineer
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Control Systems Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 7.0%
Internship 3.7%
Consultant 3.0%
Top Employers After
Engineer 6.1%
Consultant 3.1%

Do you work as a Control Systems Engineer?

Control Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.3%

Female

10.3%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

52.6%

Asian

16.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

6.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.8%

French

8.8%

Carrier

7.0%

Russian

7.0%

Chinese

5.3%

German

5.3%

Arabic

5.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

Italian

5.3%

Bulgarian

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Kurdish

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Greek

1.8%

Gujarati

1.8%

Gothic

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Tamil

1.8%

Thai

1.8%
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Control Systems Engineer Education

Schools

University of Houston

9.4%

Texas A&M University

8.9%

Pennsylvania State University

6.8%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

6.8%

Clemson University

6.0%

University of Cincinnati

5.5%

Purdue University

5.1%

Drexel University

5.1%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.3%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.3%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

4.3%

Cleveland State University

4.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.4%

University of Phoenix

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

40.4%

Mechanical Engineering

12.2%

Business

6.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.3%

Chemical Engineering

4.7%

Computer Engineering

4.4%

Computer Science

3.8%

Engineering

3.3%

Aerospace Engineering

3.0%

Systems Engineering

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.8%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Music

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Mechatronics And Robotics

1.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%

Engineering Technology

1.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.8%

Masters

30.1%

Other

10.7%

Associate

4.6%

Doctorate

3.7%

Certificate

2.3%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Control Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Control Systems Engineer 6 Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 03, 2015 $216,050
Instrument and Control Systems Engineer Chevron Corporation Houston, TX Apr 22, 2015 $163,000
Control Systems Engineer Cheniere Energy, Inc. Cameron, LA Sep 06, 2015 $148,500
Systems Controls Engineer Verb Surgical Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 09, 2016 $140,000
Operations Controls Systems Engineer Network Infrastructure Technologies Inc. New York, NY Nov 25, 2015 $140,000
Control Systems-SR. Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX May 20, 2016 $136,116
Lead Controls System Engineer Keystone Engineering Inc. Baton Rouge, LA Sep 25, 2016 $128,960
Control Systems Engineer 4 Advantage Technical Resourcing, Inc. Webster, TX Aug 05, 2015 $121,046
Principal Controls Systems Engineer/Group Leader Uchicago Argonne, LLC Lemont, IL Feb 12, 2015 $120,910 -
$230,316
Control Systems Engineer Orion Engineered Carbons LLC TX Jul 24, 2015 $120,000
System Engineer-Driver-Aid/Autonomous Steering Controls General Motors Company Milford, MI Jan 09, 2016 $120,000
Process Control Systems Engineer Pas, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 12, 2015 $119,100
Electrical & Control Systems Engineer Reliable Controls Corporation Salt Lake City, UT Sep 29, 2016 $95,000
Control System Engineer Tata Consultancy Services Limited Jacksonville, FL Nov 12, 2015 $95,000
Electrical Control Systems Engineer Phononic Devices Inc. Durham, NC Dec 10, 2016 $94,744
Microflux Control System Global Field Engineer Weatherford International, LLC Houston, TX Sep 18, 2015 $94,557 -
$104,557
Instrumentation & Control Systems Engineer M+W U.S., Inc. Watervliet, NY Aug 31, 2015 $94,135
Control Systems Engineer Ecurv Inc. Cambridge, MA Sep 22, 2016 $94,000 -
$105,000
Control Systems Engineer Ecurv Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 09, 2016 $94,000 -
$105,000
Control Systems Engineer Contech Control Services La Porte, TX Jun 15, 2015 $93,600
Control System Engineer Hanlon Engineering & Architecture, Inc. Tucson, AZ Oct 01, 2016 $79,800
Control System Engineer Hanlon Engineering & Architecture, Inc. Tucson, AZ Jan 10, 2016 $79,800
Systems Engineer Controls MSX Americas Inc. Dearborn, MI Aug 25, 2016 $79,765 -
$91,661
Systems Control Engineer Adaptive Resources, Inc. Carnegie, PA Jul 10, 2016 $78,957
Control Systems Implementation Engineer Uber Technologies, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA May 31, 2016 $78,354 -
$100,000
Control Systems Engineer Agile Enterprise Solutions Inc. Irving, TX Nov 08, 2016 $78,000
Control System Engineer Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Nov 20, 2015 $78,000

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Top Skills for A Control Systems Engineer

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  1. PLC
  2. DCS
  3. Ladder Logic
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design and installation of Control Panel Layouts and PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) for automated and quality control operations.
  • Coordinate root cause analysis investigations utilizing the full capabilities of the DCS process historian database.
  • Ladder logic was used to implement a Finite State Machine application to provide a more robust and reliable system.
  • Developed electronic control systems and safety requirements for a nuclear power plant control room operation.
  • Provided control systems integration with control panel design, PLC/HMI programming, instrumentation calibration and GMP life cycle documentation development.

How Would You Rate Working As a Control Systems Engineer?

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Top Control Systems Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Control Systems Engineer Employers

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