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Become A Controls Design Engineer

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Working As A Controls Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $79,656

    Average Salary

What Does A Controls Design 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 Controls Design 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 Controls Design Engineer?

Controls Design Engineer Jobs

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Controls Design Engineer Career Paths

Controls Design Engineer
Controls Designer Electrical Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controls Designer Controls Engineer Commissioning Engineer
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Principal Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Project Engineering Manager Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Control Systems Engineer Controls Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Application Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Control Systems Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Project Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Operations Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Mechanical Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Controls Design 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
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Controls Designer 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Foreman 4.0%
Engineer 3.6%
Internship 2.7%
Top Employers After
Engineer 4.1%

Do you work as a Controls Design Engineer?

Controls Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.6%

Female

10.7%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Asian

14.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

Japanese

9.5%

Italian

9.5%

Chinese

4.8%

Greek

4.8%

Albanian

4.8%

Cantonese

4.8%

Malay

4.8%

Gujarati

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Hindi

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Korean

4.8%
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Controls Design Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

10.7%

Wichita State University

7.1%

University of Phoenix

7.1%

University of Florida

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.4%

California State University - Fullerton

5.4%

University of Cincinnati

5.4%

Clemson University

5.4%

Auburn University

5.4%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Wright State University

3.6%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.6%

Texas Tech University

3.6%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.6%

Wayne State University

3.6%

University of Akron

3.6%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

34.2%

Mechanical Engineering

16.9%

Business

8.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.4%

Engineering

5.5%

Drafting And Design

4.6%

Computer Science

2.7%

Mechatronics And Robotics

2.7%

Industrial Technology

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Systems Engineering

1.4%

Finance

1.4%

Computer Technical Support

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Civil Engineering

1.4%

Engineering Technology

0.9%

Manufacturing Engineering

0.9%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Masters

26.1%

Other

16.5%

Associate

6.9%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Controls Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Rfic Controller Design Engineer GCT Semiconductor, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 18, 2011 $109,866 -
$117,000
Principal Controls Design Engineer Solar Turbines Incorporated San Diego, CA Sep 08, 2011 $104,322
Instrument & Control Design Engineer G.A.S. Unlimited, Inc. Pasadena, TX Sep 13, 2014 $104,000
Control & Automation Design Engineer GE Energy Power Conversion USA Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Sep 15, 2015 $99,923 -
$100,000
Controls Design Engineer Cornellcookson, Inc. Goodyear, AZ Jun 06, 2016 $93,766
Controls Design Engineer Cornellcookson, Inc. Goodyear, AZ Nov 23, 2016 $93,766
Multivariable Controls Algorithm Design Engineer General Motors Company Milford, MI Aug 24, 2016 $93,000
Quality Control/Design Engineer Forever 21, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 19, 2012 $91,800 -
$103,043
Controls Design Engineer MacHine Builders, LLC Erie, MI Feb 12, 2010 $91,146
Design Engineer, Control Interfaces RGB Systems DBA Extron Electronics Anaheim, CA Jun 24, 2016 $90,000
Embedded Digital System Control Design Engineer TDK-Lambda Americas Inc. Neptune, NJ Sep 21, 2013 $90,000 -
$110,000
Electrical Controls Design Engineer Kiewit Engineering & Design Co. Lenexa, KS Jun 10, 2016 $86,000
Electrical Controls Design Engineer Kiewit Engineering & Design Co. Lenexa, KS Sep 10, 2015 $84,500
Control Design Engineer Primus Green Energy, Inc. Hillsborough, NJ Mar 25, 2016 $83,600
Controls Design Engineer Outbound Technologies Incorporated Hudson, MI May 01, 2014 $83,480
Motor Control Design Engineer Populus Group Oxnard, CA Aug 17, 2015 $83,480
Engineer-Design and Quality Control Kiewit Construction Company Woodcliff Lake, NJ Jul 10, 2010 $82,659 -
$95,410
Electrical Controls Design Engineer Kiewit Engineering and Design Co. Lenexa, KS Sep 09, 2015 $80,000
Engineer II-Protection & Control Design Duke Energy Florida Lake Mary, FL Nov 05, 2016 $79,199 -
$90,900
Electrical/Controls Design Engineer Kiewit Engineering & Design Co. The Woodlands, TX Oct 16, 2015 $75,000
Senior Controls Design Engineer Comau, Inc. Southfield, MI Sep 14, 2009 $75,000
Lead Controls Design Engineer Peak Technical Services, Inc. Erie, PA Feb 11, 2013 $74,109
Controls and Instrumentation Design Engineer Atlas Copco MAFI-Trench Company LLC Santa Maria, CA Oct 01, 2012 $71,635
Controls Design Engineer Outbound Technologies Ohio, Inc. Olde West Chester, OH Aug 04, 2016 $70,013
Hydraulic Controls Engineer/Designer Steel MacHinery Manufacturing Company Irving, TX Dec 01, 2013 $70,000
Design Engineer, Software and Controls Design AGCO Corporation Hesston, KS Jan 09, 2016 $70,000
Hydraulic Controls Engineer/Designer Steel MacHinery Manufacturing Company Irving, TX Nov 01, 2013 $70,000

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Top Skills for A Controls Design Engineer

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  1. PLC
  2. Autocad
  3. HMI
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed PLC programs and Graphical User Interfaces to integrate into existing production systems for various industrial applications.
  • Design electrical schematics, PLC architecture, panel design, and bills of material for automated machinery using AutoCAD Electrical 2014.
  • Designed assembly station hardware, wrote and debugged assembly station PLC and HMI software using Mitsubishi GX Developer and GT Works.
  • Designed PLC control panels that used ControlLogix, CompactLogix, Panelview Plus, etc.
  • Verified and released MCAD/ECAD library components into master library.

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Top 10 Best States for Controls Design Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Washington
  3. Alaska
  4. New Hampshire
  5. New Mexico
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Arizona
  9. Virginia
  10. Delaware
  • (941 jobs)
  • (826 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (210 jobs)
  • (101 jobs)
  • (4,983 jobs)
  • (1,799 jobs)
  • (385 jobs)
  • (898 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)

Top Controls Design Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Controls Design Engineer Employers

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