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Become A Controls Technician

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Working As A Controls Technician

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $64,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Controls Technician Do

Electro-mechanical technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuits. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment.

Duties

Electro-mechanical technicians typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints, schematics, and diagrams to determine the method and sequence of assembly of a part, machine, or piece of equipment
  • Verify dimensions of parts, using precision measuring instruments, to ensure that specifications are met
  • Operate metalworking machines to make housings, fittings, and fixtures
  • Inspect parts for surface defects
  • Repair and calibrate hydraulic and pneumatic assemblies 
  • Test the performance of electro-mechanical assemblies, using test instruments
  • Install electronic parts and hardware, using soldering equipment and hand tools
  • Operate, test, or maintain robotic equipment
  • Analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation

Electro-mechanical technicians test and operate machines in factories and other worksites. They also analyze and record test results, and prepare written documentation to describe the tests they did and what the test results were.

Electro-mechanical technicians install, maintain, and repair automated machinery and equipment in industrial settings. This kind of work requires knowledge and training in the application of photonics, the science of light. The technological aspects of the work have to do with the generating, controlling, and detecting of the light waves so that the automated processes can proceed as designed by the engineers.

Electro-mechanical technicians also test, operate, or maintain robotic equipment at worksites. This equipment may include unmanned submarines, aircraft, or similar types of equipment for uses including oil drilling, deep-ocean exploration, or hazardous-waste removal.

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How To Become A Controls Technician

Electro-mechanical technicians typically need either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Associate’s degree programs and postsecondary certificates for electro-mechanical technicians are offered at vocational–technical schools and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that serve local students and emphasize teaching the skills needed by local employers. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but they may include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework.

ABET accredits associate’s and higher degree programs. Most associate’s degree programs that are accredited by ABET include at least college algebra and trigonometry, as well as basic science courses.

ABET-accredited programs offer training in engineering technology specialties. In community college programs, prospective electro-mechanical technicians can concentrate in fields such as the following:

  • Electro-mechanics
  • Industrial maintenance
  • Computer-integrated manufacturing
  • Mechatronics

Earning an associate’s degree in electronic or mechanical technology facilitates entry into a bachelor’s degree programs in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. For more information, see the profiles on electrical and electronics engineers and mechanical engineers.

Training in mechatronics provides an understanding of four key systems on which this occupation works: mechanical systems, electronic systems, control systems, and computer systems.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Electro-mechanical technicians must make and keep the precise, accurate measurements that mechanical engineers need.

Dexterity. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Interpersonal skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to take instruction and offer advice when needed. In addition, they often need to coordinate their work with that of others.

Logical-thinking skills. To carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and assemble prototypes, electro-mechanical technicians must be able to read instructions and follow a logical sequence or a specific set of rules.

Math skills. Electro-mechanical technicians use mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must be able to apply the theory and instructions of engineers by creating or building new components for industrial machinery or equipment. They must be adept at operating machinery, including drill presses, grinders, and engine lathes.

Writing skills. Electro-mechanical technicians must write reports that cover onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well-organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Electro-mechanical technicians can gain certification as a way to demonstrate professional competence.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Certified Control Systems Technician. This requires, at a minimum, 5 years of experience on the job, or 3 years of work experience if the technician has completed 2 years of postsecondary education.

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing, industrial instrumentation, and other specialties.

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Controls Technician Career Paths

Controls Technician
Electrician Foreman Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Electrician Field Service Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrician Maintenance Supervisor Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Assistant Director
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Controls Engineer
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Operation Supervisor Customer Service Manager
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Supervisor Production Manager
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Electrician Maintenance Manager Chief Engineer
Assistant Director Of Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Electrician Maintenance Manager
Plant Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Coordinator
Lead Project Coordinator
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Senior Auditor
Controls Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Warehouse Supervisor Shipping Manager
Fulfillment Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Program/Project Manager
Custom Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Foreman Millwright Generator Mechanic
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Controls Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
IE Technician 3.7 years
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Robot Technician 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Controls Technician
Technician 10.7%
Electrician 10.3%
Cashier 3.6%
Internship 2.9%
Supervisor 2.8%
Top Careers After Controls Technician
Technician 10.2%
Supervisor 4.3%
Owner 3.6%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as a Controls Technician?

Controls Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

76.4%

Female

15.7%

Unknown

7.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.0%

Carrier

12.1%

French

6.1%

German

5.6%

Arabic

3.5%

Portuguese

3.0%

Russian

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Chinese

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Somali

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Navajo

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Persian

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Polish

1.0%
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Controls Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.3%

Community College of the Air Force

16.1%

Strayer University

6.7%

Ashford University

4.4%

Greenville Technical College

3.9%

Tidewater Community College

3.6%

Purdue University

3.6%

The Academy

3.4%

Excelsior College

3.4%

Central Texas College

3.4%

A-Technical College

3.4%

ECPI University

3.3%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%

American University

3.1%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

Old Dominion University

3.1%

Calhoun Community College

3.0%

Ferris State University

3.0%

Idaho State University

2.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

18.3%

Business

15.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

13.4%

Computer Science

5.1%

Computer Information Systems

4.4%

Information Technology

4.1%

Industrial Technology

4.0%

Accounting

3.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.3%

Management

3.1%

Computer Networking

3.0%

General Studies

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Communication

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.6%

Mechatronics And Robotics

2.5%

Biology

2.3%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Psychology

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

29.1%

Bachelors

28.6%

Associate

24.0%

Masters

7.6%

Certificate

7.2%

Diploma

2.6%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$64,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
BP America
Highest Paying City
Richmond, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Controls Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Controls Technician in the United States is $64,996 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000.

Real Controls Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Controller GE Capital Corporation Norwalk, CT Jul 01, 2014 $215,000
Global Technical Regulatory Controller GE Capital Corporation Norwalk, CT Oct 15, 2012 $200,000 -
$300,000
Global Technical Regulatory Controller GE Capital Corporation Norwalk, CT Apr 10, 2013 $200,000 -
$300,000
Technical Controller GE Capital Corporation Norwalk, CT Jul 01, 2011 $180,000 -
$220,000
Controller, SEC Reporting and Technical Accounting Verifone Holdings, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 24, 2010 $150,000 -
$165,000
Technology Life Strategic Controller The Northern Trust Company Chicago, IL May 01, 2016 $140,000 -
$150,000
Technology Life Strategic Controller The Northern Trust Company Chicago, IL Jun 01, 2014 $130,000 -
$145,000
Technology Life Strategic Controller The Northern Trust Company Chicago, IL Jan 28, 2013 $130,000 -
$145,000
Technology Life Strategic Controller The Northern Trust Company Chicago, IL Feb 11, 2013 $130,000 -
$145,000
Senior Odor Control Technologist Ch2M Hill, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 19, 2010 $127,067
Senior Odor Control Technologist Ch2M Hill, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 19, 2009 $127,067
Info. SEC. Continuity of BUS. & Controls Tech. SPE Citigroup Technology, Inc. Irvine, CA Jan 07, 2014 $123,000
Information Security COB & Controls Technology SPE Citicorp North America, Inc. Cincinnati, OH May 24, 2013 $121,417
Infrastructure Security COB and Controls Technical Citigroup Technology, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Aug 14, 2014 $121,000
Info. SEC. Continuity of BUS. & Controls Tech. SPE Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. (USA) Warren, NJ Sep 01, 2011 $105,000
Info. SYS. Continuity of BUS. & Controls Techical Citigroup Technology, Inc. Miami, FL Oct 24, 2011 $100,000
Network Control Technician (SR Technician-Networ Verizon Business Network Services Inc. San Francisco, CA May 11, 2010 $98,687
Controller-Information Technology Chryso, Inc. Rockwall, TX Aug 15, 2016 $97,000
Info. SEC. Continuity of BUS. & Controls Tech. SPE Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. (USA) Warren, NJ Aug 31, 2011 $95,000
Computer Aided Design Automation Technologist Praxair, Inc. Tonawanda, NY Sep 08, 2014 $89,712
Infrastructure Automation Tech Lead Halvik Corp Alexandria, VA Dec 16, 2015 $71,885 -
$115,000
Worldwide Information Technology Controller Jafra Cosmetics International, Inc. Westlake Village, CA Nov 01, 2010 $69,000 -
$84,000
Network Control Technician SBLI Corporation Duluth, GA Oct 06, 2016 $68,682
Electronic Control Technician S-L Snacks Nc, LLC Charlotte, NC Nov 02, 2016 $67,454
Controls Technician Bosch Packaging Services, Inc. Raleigh, NC Oct 13, 2015 $65,250 -
$70,250
Principal Automation Technician Mobis Alabama, LLC Montgomery, AL Jan 12, 2015 $64,626
Network Control Technician III Integra Telecom Holdings, Inc. Vancouver, WA Jan 11, 2013 $62,005
Network Control Technician III Integra Telecom Holdings, Inc. Vancouver, WA Nov 01, 2013 $62,005

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Top Skills for A Controls Technician

  1. PLC
  2. Trouble Shooting
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented system instrumentation parameters using a HART communicator and PLC controller.
  • Diagnosed and trouble shooting of highly sophisticated automation equipment for the medical industry.
  • Prepared, reviewed and edited safety procedures for specific biological safety cabinets to streamline and eliminate and/or control hazards and exposures.
  • Performed electrical maintenance and troubleshooting of industrial automated control systems, process instrumentation, and manufacturing equipment used in PDC manufacturing.
  • Performed maintenance and operational duties at a satellite transmission facility used to deliver in-room entertainment to the hotel industry.

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Top 10 Best States for Controls Technicians

  1. New Mexico
  2. Alaska
  3. Georgia
  4. Maine
  5. Washington
  6. Colorado
  7. Alabama
  8. North Dakota
  9. Louisiana
  10. Wyoming
  • (290 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (1,005 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)
  • (651 jobs)
  • (702 jobs)
  • (387 jobs)
  • (200 jobs)
  • (336 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)

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