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What is a Controls Engineer

Control engineers are employed in various industries to oversee plant operations in creating the best products. They ensure that all equipment is properly maintained. They collaborate with other departments and external partners to develop, implement, and maintain processes to increase the efficiency and productivity of the plant. Furthermore, they help in implementing predictive maintenance plans and review plant processes, and recommend improvements. Additionally, they ensure quality and safety standards are adhered to.

Most controls engineers hold a bachelor's degree in electrical, manufacturing, or mechanical engineering. You must have two to five years of experience in a related field. You may be required to have a professional engineer license. Also, you must possess analytical, attention to detail, teamwork, and communication skills. Similarly, you must be familiar with industry-specific software and must be able to use related tools. Control engineers earn about $77,819 annually. Their salary falls between $60,000 and $106,000.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Controls Engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.62 an hour? That's $82,412 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 8,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Controls Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many Controls Engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Concentration, Initiative and Math skills.

Learn more about what a Controls Engineer does

How To Become a Controls Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a Controls Engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.8% of Controls Engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.6% of Controls Engineers have master's degrees. Even though most Controls Engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Controls Engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a Controls Engineer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Controls Engineer resumes include Master's Degree degrees or Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Controls Engineer. In fact, many Controls Engineer jobs require experience in a role such as Electrical Engineer. Meanwhile, many Controls Engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as Project Engineer or Field Service Technician.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Caterpillar Jobs (48)
  2. Ford Motor Jobs (93)
  3. General Motors Jobs (127)
  4. Tesla Jobs (105)
  5. Populus Group Jobs (45)
Average Salary
$82,412
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
49,611
Job Openings
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Controls Engineer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Controls Engineer

Controls Engineers in America make an average salary of $82,412 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $107,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $63,000 per year.
Average Salary
$82,412
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How much should you be earning as an Controls Engineer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Controls Engineer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Controls Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Controls Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Controls Engineer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Caterpillar Jobs (48)
  2. Ford Motor Jobs (93)
  3. General Motors Jobs (127)
  4. Tesla Jobs (105)
  5. Populus Group Jobs (45)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Controls Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Controls Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Controls Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
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Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
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Controls Engineer Resume
Controls Engineer Resume
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Controls Engineer Resume

Controls Engineer Demographics

Controls Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
91%
Female
Female
9%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Controls Engineers, 9.2% of them are women, while 90.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Controls Engineers is White, which makes up 68.9% of all Controls Engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among Controls Engineers is Spanish at 37.3%.

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Controls Engineer Education

Controls Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

66.8 %

Associate

15.6 %

Masters

12.6 %

Top Colleges for Controls Engineers

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

8. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

10. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736
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Online Courses For Controls Engineer That You May Like

Introduction to PLC's [Programmable Logic Controllers]-07-21
udemy
4
(496)

This course is a great introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers Theory, Principles, and Programming Applications...

PLC At Home - For Electrical and Control Engineers
udemy
4.7
(331)

Design from A-Z control projects using Arduino, Soft PLC, HMI, VFD, ModBus TCP and Electrical panel with full simulation...

Control Systems: From Mathematical Modelling to PID Control
udemy
4.3
(636)

Learn the mathematics that will allow you to model and control any engineering system. Make machines do what you want!...

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Top Skills For a Controls Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.9% of Controls Engineers listed Hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as Concentration and Initiative are important as well.

Best States For a Controls Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Controls Engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Massachusetts, Washington, and New Hampshire. Controls Engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $108,107. Whereas in Massachusetts and Washington, they would average $97,883 and $95,174, respectively. While Controls Engineers would only make an average of $95,093 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Controls Engineer Jobs:
4,848
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Controls Engineer Jobs:
883
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Controls Engineer Jobs:
815
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Controls Engineers

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Top Controls Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Controls Engineers and discovered their number of Controls Engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Cummins was the best, especially with an average salary of $73,854. General Motors follows up with an average salary of $91,065, and then comes Tesla with an average of $89,252. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Controls Engineer. The employers include Goldman Sachs, Emerson Electric, and Wayfair

Most Common Employers For Controls Engineer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Controls Engineer SalaryAverage Salary
1$101,397
2$91,123
3$91,065
4$89,252
5$88,004
6$86,677

Controls Engineer Videos

Becoming a Controls Engineer FAQs

Are control engineers in demand?

Yes, control engineers are in demand. Between 2018 and 2028, the expected career growth is 2%, with 8,000 job opportunities across the United States.

Factors like location, company, and experience can determine job growth and salary. Some top-paying industries have to do with automotive, technology, and manufacturing, offering average wages above $77,000. Some of the top-paying companies are Valero Energy and Chevron, offering an average salary of $126,000.

Can everyone become an engineer?

No, not everyone can become an engineer. It takes time, dedication and a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program at a college or university. After graduating, you can get licensed to work as a Professional Engineer.

How much do control engineers make?

Control engineers make about $76,000 yearly or $36.60 hourly. As most jobs go, factors like location, industry, and experience can determine your exact salary.

On the lower end of the salary range, you may make around $59,000, typically for entry-level positions and working in low-paying states like Nebraska and Wisconsin. You can earn around close to six figures on the higher end, making more than $97,000, typically for senior-level positions. Some of the top-paying states are California, with an average salary of $105,431, and Texas, $92,310. Some top-paying industries have to do with automotive, technology, and manufacturing, offering average wages above $77,000.

Is control engineering hard?

Yes, control engineering is hard. This challenge is due to the necessary information and knowledge to perform your tasks. To start, most control engineers major in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering technology. You will take a range of typically difficult classes to do with mathematics and physics.

What degree do I need to be a controls engineer?

The degree you need to be a controls engineer is typically a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering technology.

Although an associate's degree may suffice, you may need more years of relevant work experience to compensate for the lack of a bachelor's degree. Additionally, you may also be required to have certifications and licensure, which can ask for a four-year degree.

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