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Become An Instrumentation & Control Engineer

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Working As An Instrumentation & Control Engineer

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

  • $95,607

    Average Salary

What Does An Instrumentation & Control 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 Instrumentation & Control 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 Instrumentation & Control Engineer?

Instrumentation & Control Engineer Jobs

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Instrumentation & Control Engineer Career Paths

Instrumentation & Control Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Project Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Engineering Manager Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Electrical Controls Engineer Controls Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Controls Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Controls Engineer Operations Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Control Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Program/Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Control Systems Engineer Controls Engineer Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager President Group Leader
Section Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Engineer Project Manager Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Instrumentation & Control Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 6.2%
Top Employers After
Engineer 6.5%

Do you work as an Instrumentation & Control Engineer?

Instrumentation & Control Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.1%

Female

12.5%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

50.2%

Asian

16.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.4%

Unknown

8.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.1%

Chinese

7.1%

German

7.1%

Urdu

7.1%

Arabic

7.1%

Italian

7.1%

Portuguese

3.6%

Dutch

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

French

3.6%

Carrier

3.6%

Gothic

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Polish

3.6%

Korean

3.6%
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Instrumentation & Control Engineer Education

Schools

University of Houston

10.3%

Pennsylvania State University

9.2%

Texas A&M University

6.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.7%

Northeastern University

5.7%

Cleveland State University

5.7%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

4.6%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.6%

Oregon State University

4.6%

Lamar University

4.6%

University of Phoenix

4.6%

Auburn University

4.6%

McNeese State University

4.6%

Michigan Technological University

3.4%

Louisiana Tech University

3.4%

Prairie View A & M University

3.4%

Drexel University

3.4%

University of Louisville

3.4%

University of New Orleans

3.4%

Fordham University

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

48.4%

Business

6.6%

Mechanical Engineering

5.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.4%

Chemical Engineering

5.4%

Music

4.9%

Engineering

3.4%

Computer Engineering

3.2%

Computer Science

2.9%

Finance

1.7%

Mechatronics And Robotics

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%

Physics

1.2%

Elementary Education

1.0%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Operations Management

1.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.1%

Masters

27.6%

Other

10.5%

Associate

4.9%

Doctorate

2.5%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Instrumentation & Control Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instrument and Controls Engineer Chevron Corporation Houston, TX May 01, 2015 $166,483
Instrument & Control Engineer Chevron Corporation Houston, TX Feb 28, 2012 $160,830
Instrument and Controls Engineer 6 Ch2M Hill Engineers, Inc. Houston, TX May 20, 2015 $156,060
Instrument and Controls Engineer 6 Ch2M Hill Engineers, Inc. Houston, TX May 21, 2012 $150,000
Instrument and Controls Engineer 6 Ch2M Hill Engineers Inc. Houston, TX Jan 14, 2015 $150,000
Instrumentation & Controls Engineer Chevron Corporation Houston, TX Feb 28, 2014 $148,148
Project Instrumentation & Controls Engineer URS Corporation Belle Chasse, LA Aug 10, 2013 $143,920
Principal Instrument and Control Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 11, 2016 $140,878
Lead Instrumentation & Controls Engineer Duke Marine Technical Services USA Inc. Houston, TX Apr 01, 2015 $139,829
Lead Instrumentation & Control Engineer Duke Marine Technical Services USA Inc. Houston, TX Jun 22, 2016 $139,360
Instrument and Controls Engineer Chevron Corporation Houston, TX Apr 22, 2013 $138,942
Supervising Engineer, Instrument & Control Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 13, 2011 $135,200
Instrument Control Engineer CDI Corporation Hessmer, LA Oct 01, 2011 $99,320
Instrumentation and Control Engineer BP America Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $97,000
Instrument & Controls Engineer 3 Jacobs Minerals Inc. Tucson, AZ Dec 22, 2012 $95,222 -
$119,758
Lead Instrumentation and Controls Engineer Alstom Power Turbomachines LLC Chattanooga, TN Oct 01, 2012 $95,000
Instrumentation & Control Engineer Kansas City Power & Light Company La Cygne, KS Jul 07, 2011 $94,800
Instrumentation and Controls Engineer American Process, Inc. Thomaston, GA Nov 16, 2016 $94,723
Instrument/Control Engineer 4 Black & Veatch Corporation Overland Park, KS Feb 13, 2012 $81,058 -
$105,240
Instrumentation & Control Engineer Proplant, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 25, 2012 $80,000
Controls and Instrumentation Engineer Integrated Flow Solutions, LLC Tyler, TX Aug 15, 2016 $80,000
Instrumentaion and Controls Engineer American Process, Inc. Thomaston, GA Oct 27, 2014 $80,000
Instrumentation & Controls/Quality Engineer Areva Federal Services LLC Charlotte, NC Nov 12, 2015 $79,750
Staff Instrumentation & Controls Engineer Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Kansas City, MO Sep 16, 2014 $78,571
Staff Instrumentation & Controls Engineer Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Kansas City, MO Sep 29, 2015 $78,362
Engineer, Instrumentation and Controls Department Ambitech Engineering Corporation Downers Grove, IL Sep 15, 2012 $78,000

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Top Skills for An Instrumentation & Control Engineer

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  1. Plc-5
  2. Drawings
  3. Control Valves
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed instrumentation installation to establish instrumentation installation drawings.
  • Aided in level control projects for vessels utilizing guided wave radar, magnetic level indicators, and level control valves.
  • Developed PLC, Commercial Control System (CCS), and Distributed Control System (DCS) bid and evaluation package.
  • Developed Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams, instrument lists, I/O lists, instrument installation, and logic diagrams.
  • Verified that vital safety related alarms and indicators were functional, and verified competence of operators.

How Would You Rate Working As an Instrumentation & Control Engineer?

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Top 10 Best States for Instrumentation & Control Engineers

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Texas
  3. Washington
  4. Alaska
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New Mexico
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Virginia
  9. Delaware
  10. Rhode Island
  • (864 jobs)
  • (1,649 jobs)
  • (778 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (264 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (252 jobs)
  • (1,229 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)

Top Instrumentation & Control Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Instrumentation & Control Engineer Employers

Instrumentation & Control Engineer Videos

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