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Become A PLC Programmer

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Working As A PLC Programmer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A PLC Programmer Do

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Duties

Computer programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java
  • Update and expand existing programs
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code responsible
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing

Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. When such overlap occurs, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. Program design entails planning the software initially, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface. Programmers often use an IDE, which allows them to create, edit, and test code.

A program’s purpose determines the complexity of its computer code. For example, a weather application for a mobile device will require less programming than a social-networking application. Simpler programs can be written in less time. Complex programs, such as computer operating systems, can take a year or more to complete.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which consists of applications provided through the Internet, is a growing field. Although programmers typically need to rewrite their programs to work on different system platforms, such as Windows or OS X, applications created with SaaS work on all platforms. Accordingly, programmers writing SaaS applications may not have to rewrite as much code as other programmers do and can instead spend more time writing new programs.

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How To Become A PLC Programmer

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.

Education

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.

Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.

To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Advancement

Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.

Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.

Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.

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Do you work as a PLC Programmer?

Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$51,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$136,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Cardinal Services
Highest Paying City
Appleton, WI
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does an PLC Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a PLC Programmer in the United States is $84,322 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $52,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $136,000.

Real PLC Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
PLC Programmer STR Group USA, Inc. Louisville, KY Mar 09, 2016 $169,000
PLC Programmer STR Group USA, Inc. Sterling Heights, MI Mar 09, 2016 $169,000
PLC Programmer STR Group USA, Inc. Everett, WA Sep 22, 2016 $169,000
PLC Programmer STR Group USA, Inc. Sterling Heights, MI Mar 09, 2016 $156,000 -
$202,800
PLC Programmer ATN Hoelzel LP Chattanooga, TN Aug 17, 2015 $92,456
PLC Programmer Lone Star Instrumentation & Electric Corporation TX Sep 01, 2014 $90,513
PLC-Automation Programmer Industrial Power Systems, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Feb 05, 2013 $78,000
Food Processing Equipment PLC Programmer Santini Foods, Inc. CO Sep 16, 2015 $77,043
PLC Programmer Complete Control Services, Inc. Egg Harbor, NJ Sep 17, 2015 $70,000
PLC Programmer/Engineer Complete Control Services, Inc. Egg Harbor City, NJ Sep 24, 2015 $70,000
Systems & PLC Programmer Lehigh Hanson, Inc. Leeds, AL Sep 07, 2010 $68,184
PLC Programmer ATN Hoelzel, LP Chattanooga, TN Sep 19, 2014 $65,000
Instrumentation/Plc Programmer Santini Foods, Inc. San Lorenzo, CA Apr 09, 2016 $60,000
PLC Programmer ATN Hoelzel, LP Chattanooga, TN Sep 19, 2014 $56,000
PLC (Programmable Logic Control) Programmer Advanced Mechatronics Solutions, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 31, 2016 $52,279
PLC Programmer 1 Retrotech, Inc. Victor, NY Oct 01, 2011 $49,920

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Top Skills for A PLC Programmer

  1. HMI
  2. Ladder Logic
  3. Logix
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Train installers on how to work on new PLC programming and HMI's used as well as dated product developments.
  • Programmed in structured text, ladder logic and function block programming languages for use on various PLC platforms.
  • Convert PLC-5 systems to ControLogix Platforms.
  • Perform a variety of complex electrical/electronic/mechanical duties to troubleshoot, repair, and replace components associated with facility and production equipment.
  • Develop PLC operating program based upon control specification and standards to assure safe, reliable, and optimal equipment operation.

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Top 10 Best States for PLC Programmers

  1. North Carolina
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Washington
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Virginia
  6. Connecticut
  7. Georgia
  8. California
  9. Colorado
  10. Alabama
  • (114 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (373 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)

PLC Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

81.6%

Unknown

12.6%

Female

5.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Asian

10.8%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.7%

Romanian

16.7%

Italian

16.7%

French

16.7%

Vietnamese

8.3%
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PLC Programmer Education

Schools

Cleveland Institute of Electronics

9.4%

University of Phoenix

7.5%

A-Technical College

5.7%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

5.7%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.7%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

5.7%

North Dakota State College of Science

5.7%

Macomb Community College

5.7%

University of Houston

5.7%

New England Institute of Technology

5.7%

University of Memphis

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.8%

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

3.8%

Remington College

3.8%

Wright State University

3.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

Community College of the Air Force

3.8%

Lakeland Community College

3.8%

Oregon State University

3.8%

Tri-County Technical College

3.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

29.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

16.3%

Computer Engineering

8.2%

Computer Science

7.3%

Industrial Technology

3.9%

Computer Information Systems

3.0%

Engineering Technology

3.0%

Mechatronics And Robotics

3.0%

Engineering

2.6%

Computer Engineering Technology

2.6%

Business

2.6%

Information Technology

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

2.1%

Computer Networking

2.1%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

2.1%

Project Management

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Drafting And Design

1.7%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.3%

Associate

23.7%

Other

21.9%

Masters

12.5%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.4%
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