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Become An Electrical Controls Engineer

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Working As An Electrical Controls Engineer

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

  • $79,310

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical Controls 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.


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 An Electrical Controls 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.


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.


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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Electrical Controls Engineer jobs

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Electrical Controls Engineer Career Paths

Electrical Controls Engineer
Lead Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Senior Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Operations Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales, Americas
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Electrical Project Engineer Controls Engineer Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Senior Consultant
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Process Control Engineer Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Automation Engineer Senior Test Engineer Program Manager
President/Chief Executive Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Production Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrical Project Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer Project Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Process Control Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Chief Engineer Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Electrical Controls Engineer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • French

  • Spanish

  • Arabic

  • Comanche

  • Hungarian

  • German

  • Romanian

  • Japanese

  • Hindi

  • Russian

  • Polish

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Electrical Controls Engineer

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Electrical Controls Engineer Education

Electrical Controls Engineer

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Real Electrical Controls Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Electrical Control Engineer Park Plus Inc. Fairview, NJ Aug 31, 2016 $130,333
Electrical Controls Engineer Waldrich Coburg Na, Inc. Lafayette, IN Sep 13, 2013 $116,052
Electrical Controls Engineer Waldrich Coburg Na, Inc. Lafayette, IN Oct 09, 2015 $116,052
Electrical and Control Engineers 3 Ovivo USA, LLC Malta, NY Sep 01, 2015 $110,090
Electric Motor Control Calibration Engineer General Motors Company Pontiac, MI Dec 04, 2016 $105,000
Electrical Protection-Control Engineer Falconbridge Services, LLC Jacksonville, FL Sep 17, 2016 $105,000
Electrical & Control Engineer Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. Houston, TX Jan 04, 2013 $103,958 -
Electrical Control & Instrumentation Engineer Neuman & Esser USA, Inc. Katy, TX Aug 28, 2014 $103,000
Electrical Control and Instrumentation Engineer Neuman & Esser USA, Inc. Katy, TX Oct 06, 2016 $103,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Epitec, Inc. Warren, MI Sep 24, 2016 $99,840
Senior Electrical Controls Engineer Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. Houston, TX Feb 08, 2016 $99,750
Electrical Protection and Control Specialist/Engineer Mott MacDonald, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Jul 26, 2016 $97,490
Senior Electrical Controls Engineer Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. Lynchburg, VA Feb 09, 2016 $95,079
Electrical Controls Engineer Dematic Corporation Grand Rapids, MI Sep 15, 2015 $86,275
Site Electrical Controls Engineer II Res Americas Construction, Inc. Ulysses, KS Mar 21, 2013 $86,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc. MN Oct 01, 2013 $85,899
Electrical Controls Engineer III Munters Corporation Amesbury Town, MA Sep 05, 2014 $85,704
Electrical Controls and Industrialization Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Sparks, NV Aug 24, 2015 $85,000 -
Senior Electrical Control Engineer Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. Lynchburg, VA Sep 02, 2013 $85,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Parijat Controlware, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 08, 2016 $85,000
Electric Motor Control Calibration Engineer General Motors Company Pontiac, MI Jul 24, 2015 $84,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Sanyo MacHine America Corporation Rochester Hills, MI Nov 22, 2016 $73,882
Electrical and Controls Engineer St. Equipment & Technology LLC Needham, MA Sep 01, 2015 $72,987 -
Electrical Controls Engineer Greenlight Professional Services, Inc. Erie, PA Sep 12, 2013 $72,634
Electrical Controls Engineer 1 GEA Mechanical Equipment Us Inc. Elgin, IL Sep 02, 2015 $72,514
Electrical Power Control Engineer Alencon Acquisition Co., LLC Hatboro, PA Aug 31, 2016 $72,500
International Electrical Controls Engineer Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. Hamilton, OH Aug 31, 2014 $71,500 -
International Electrical Controls Engineer Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. Hamilton, OH Aug 26, 2013 $70,650 -
Engineer II-Electrical Controls Engineer IAC Fremont, LLC Fremont, OH Mar 02, 2016 $70,248

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Top Skills for An Electrical Controls Engineer


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Top Electrical Controls Engineer Skills

  1. PLC
  2. Control System Design
  3. HMI
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Develop and edit AB 1799 Embedded I/O card PLC programming code using RS Networx software.
  • Specialize in control system design for the industrial division.
  • Designed and installed Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs).
  • Create electrical schematics and panel designs using AutoCad Electrical.
  • Support Case Machining Area: Flow Pro and Ladder logic controlled with Taylor based editing system.

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