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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

  • $79,577

    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.

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 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.

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 an Electrical Controls Engineer?

Electrical Controls Engineer Jobs

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Electrical Controls Engineer Career Paths

Electrical Controls Engineer
Electrical Designer Electrical Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Electrical Engineering Project Engineering Manager Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Project Engineer Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Manufacturing Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Lead Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Engineering/Maintenance Manager
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Designer Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Process Control Engineer Quality Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Process Control Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Instrumentation Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electrical Controls Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Controls Designer 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Top Employers After

Do you work as an Electrical Controls Engineer?

Electrical Controls Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.5%

Female

7.3%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.6%

Asian

13.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.8%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

6.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.0%

French

24.1%

Japanese

6.9%

Arabic

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Hungarian

3.4%

German

3.4%

Romanian

3.4%

Carrier

3.4%

Hindi

3.4%

Russian

3.4%

Polish

3.4%

Italian

3.4%
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Electrical Controls Engineer Education

Schools

Michigan Technological University

7.8%

Purdue University

7.8%

Cleveland State University

7.8%

State University of New York Buffalo

6.8%

Wayne State University

5.8%

University of Louisville

5.8%

Oregon State University

4.9%

University of Toledo

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.9%

Milwaukee School of Engineering

4.9%

Louisiana Tech University

3.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.9%

New York University

3.9%

ITT Technical Institute-Fort Wayne

3.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

University of Dayton

3.9%

University of Alabama

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

56.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

11.6%

Business

4.1%

Computer Engineering

4.1%

Mechatronics And Robotics

3.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.6%

Engineering

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.0%

Computer Science

1.6%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.4%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.4%

Systems Engineering

1.2%

Management

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.2%

Engineering Technology

1.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.0%

Accounting

0.8%

Drafting And Design

0.6%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

0.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

Masters

20.4%

Other

16.3%

Associate

11.0%

Certificate

1.4%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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
Electrical Protection-Control Engineer Falconbridge Services, LLC Jacksonville, FL Sep 17, 2016 $105,000
Electric Motor Control Calibration Engineer General Motors Company Pontiac, MI Dec 04, 2016 $105,000
Electrical & Control Engineer Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. Houston, TX Jan 04, 2013 $103,958 -
$149,968
Electrical Control and Instrumentation Engineer Neuman & Esser USA, Inc. Katy, TX Oct 06, 2016 $103,000
Electrical Control & Instrumentation Engineer Neuman & Esser USA, Inc. Katy, TX Aug 28, 2014 $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 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 Engineer Parijat Controlware, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 08, 2016 $85,000
Senior Electrical Control Engineer Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. Lynchburg, VA Sep 02, 2013 $85,000
Electrical Controls and Industrialization Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Sparks, NV Aug 24, 2015 $85,000 -
$95,000
Electric Motor Control Calibration Engineer General Motors Company Pontiac, MI Jul 24, 2015 $84,000
Engineer Senior Electric Machine Controls IAV Automotive Engineering Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Jul 13, 2015 $82,000
International Electrical Controls Engineer Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. Hamilton, OH Aug 26, 2013 $70,650 -
$85,000
Engineer II-Electrical Controls Engineer IAC Fremont, LLC Fremont, OH Mar 02, 2016 $70,248
Electrical Controls Engineer Technosoft Corporation Farmington Hills, MI Jul 01, 2013 $70,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Magna Electronics, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Aug 25, 2015 $70,000
Electrical Controls Engineer Systems Technology International, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Jan 28, 2015 $70,000
Protection & Control Electrical Engineer Northern Star Industries, Inc. Waukesha, WI Aug 26, 2014 $69,361
Electrical Controls & Automation Engineer Northern Digital, Inc. Bakersfield, CA Sep 09, 2014 $68,078

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Top Skills for An Electrical Controls Engineer

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  1. PLC
  2. Control System Design
  3. HMI
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed system design, installation, troubleshooting and technical support of PC and PLC controlled automated and robotic manufacturing equipment.
  • Control system design including electrical schematic creation and revision and parts specification.
  • Developed PLC and HMI tag import tool using Excel VBA to speed project development and reduce error-prone data entry.
  • Designed electrical and control systems using AutoCad Electrical software.
  • Support Case Machining Area: Flow Pro and Ladder logic controlled with Taylor based editing system.

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Top 10 Best States for Electrical Controls Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Washington
  3. New Mexico
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Alaska
  6. Texas
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Delaware
  9. Virginia
  10. Rhode Island
  • (1,098 jobs)
  • (958 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (307 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (2,006 jobs)
  • (269 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (1,469 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)

Top Electrical Controls Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Electrical Controls Engineer Employers

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