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Become A Programmable Logic Controller Programmer

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Working As A Programmable Logic Controller Programmer

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Programmable Logic Controller Programmer Do

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Duties

Electrical engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units

Electrical engineering technicians install and maintain electrical control systems and equipment, and modify electrical prototypes, parts, and assemblies to correct problems. When testing systems, they set up test equipment and evaluate the performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated conditions. They then analyze test information to resolve design-related problems.

Electronics engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Design basic circuitry and draft sketches to clarify details of design documentation, under engineers’ direction
  • Build prototypes from rough sketches or plans
  • Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics
  • Adjust and replace defective circuitry and electronic components
  • Make parts, such as coils and terminal boards, by using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools

Electronics engineering technicians identify and resolve equipment malfunctions and then work with manufacturers to get replacement parts. They also calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on equipment and systems.

These technicians often need to read blueprints, schematic drawings, and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units. They also write reports and record data on testing techniques, laboratory equipment, and specifications.

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How To Become A Programmable Logic Controller Programmer

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Education

Programs for electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some of these colleges allow students to concentrate in computer electronics, industrial electronics, or communications electronics.

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually take courses in ANSI C, C++ programming, Java programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Important Qualities

Logical-thinking skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to identify and fix problems. Technicians must also be able to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electronics engineering technicians in particular must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Observational skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit construction sites to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating projects onsite and reporting problems to engineers.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills. These technicians must write reports about 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

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing. This certification would benefit those technicians working in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry.

ETA International also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Control Systems Technician. To gain such certification, technicians must demonstrate skills in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. In addition, they must demonstrate an understanding of process control loops and process control systems.

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Programmable Logic Controller Programmer Typical Career Paths

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Top Skills for A Programmable Logic Controller Programmer

  1. PLC
  2. Hardware Design
  3. Control Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Draw electrical layout, line drawings for electrical panel that connects to PLC, control box, and printing arms.
  • Led lab support sessions for digital electronics and embedded systems design and control systems courses.
  • Build electrical panels such as programmable logic controller panel, motor power distribution panel, control box (HMI).
  • Experienced with AutoCAD Electrical 2008/2010.
  • Participated as part of the design / build team that installed the South West regional WWTP SCADA system.

Programmable Logic Controller Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.9%

Female

12.0%

Unknown

11.1%
Ethnicity

White

45.6%

Asian

21.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

7.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

French

33.3%

Programmable Logic Controller Programmer Education

Schools

More Tech Institute

10.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

10.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

7.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

7.1%

University of Texas at San Antonio

7.1%

University of Wyoming

7.1%

University of Cincinnati

3.6%

Hudson Valley Community College

3.6%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.6%

University of California - Santa Barbara

3.6%

Hennepin Technical College

3.6%

ITT Technical Institute - Indianapolis

3.6%

Texas State Technical College Marshall

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

Heartland Community College

3.6%

Oakland University

3.6%

University of Akron

3.6%

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

3.6%

Washington State University

3.6%

Purdue University - North Central

3.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

44.8%

Mechanical Engineering

8.3%

Computer Science

6.3%

Engineering

4.2%

Computer Engineering

4.2%

Music

3.1%

Communication

3.1%

Industrial Engineering

3.1%

Computer Engineering Technology

3.1%

Systems Engineering

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Engineering Technology

2.1%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.1%

Drafting And Design

1.0%

Writing

1.0%

Computer Information Systems

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.0%

Masters

29.3%

Other

19.8%

Associate

9.5%

Certificate

4.3%

Doctorate

3.4%

Diploma

2.6%
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