What does a Controls Technician do?

A controls technician monitors the control systems of automated equipment. To do their job, they often use software to verify that the controls are within certain parameters. When controls exceed or fall below specifications, they must quickly troubleshoot the problem to avoid or minimize interruptions to production. Controls technicians are important for a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, sanitation, and nuclear energy.

Controls technicians, also sometimes referred to as instrumentation technicians, must understand how pressure, flow, level and temperature affect their systems. They can be trained within two years at technical schools and community colleges. Once they have attained an associate degree in automation technology or electrical engineering, they gain on-the-job experience in a variety of settings. This job requires physical labor, such as lifting heavy equipment parts, and writing documentation, such as reports, sketches, or data analyses. A successful control technician has a keen eye for details and good mechanical aptitude.

  • Sketch new designs or redline existing drawings according to requests from clients
  • Use Client Machine Drafting Standards to supply equipment designs, schematics, and layouts
  • Oversee the sketching and drawing of draftsmen, offering suggestions for improvement when necessary
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with vendors to ensure prompt and accurate deliveries of materials
  • Identify potential or existing flaws, perform troubleshooting based on computer-aided (CAD) formats
  • Document Startup processes and designs of mechanical and electrical systems for production equipment
  • Analyze equipment installation practices and offer solutions to improve the efficacy of installation schedules
  • Perform duties assigned by and under the supervision of a project manager or engineer
  • Current and valid United States driver's license with a clean driving record
  • Proven track record of successful completion of projects involving DDC systems commissioning, software integration, calibration or troubleshooting
  • Familiarity of the construction industry, especially mechanical and electrical fields
  • Ability to produce and interpret mechanical and electrical drawings
  • Strong written communication skills with a keen eye for details in documents
  • Willingness to work long hours to complete jobs on schedule and meet standards of quality
  • Basic computer proficiency, such as data entry and Microsoft Office programs
  • Physical dexterity to climb ladders and lift up to 50 lbs on a regular basis
  • Knowledge of safe working practices around moving and electrical equipment

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
14%
2 - 4
48%
5 - 7
14%
8+
24%

Common Skill Sets

PLC Programming
Controls Systems
Excellent Communication
Microsoft Office Software
HMI
Excellent Customer Service
Programmable Logic
English Language

Controls Technician Seniority Levels

L2
Controls Technician
$60,851/yr
Automotive Technician
8% made the transition
Service Technician
14% made the transition
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Controls Technician Salaries

Average Base Pay

$60,851 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$43K
Median: $61K
$86K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Controls Technician Jobs