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.

What responsibilities are common for Controls Technician jobs?
  • 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
What are the typical qualifications for Controls Technician jobs?
  • 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
EducationGED / High School Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Controls Technician make?

Controls Technician Career Path

Learn how to become a Controls Technician, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Controls Technician
$75,384/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
14%
2 - 4
48%
5 - 7
14%
8+
24%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Controls Technician Insights

Read what Controls Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
BryCommBryComm
Audiovisual Technician III
Mar 8, 2022

“My experience with them was great and they allowed me to pursue whatever learning possibilities we agreed could advance my career and the department's goals.”

Nationwide IT ServicesNationwide IT Services
Access Control Specialist
Apr 10, 2022

“Don't expect people be nice to you because they won't and because they're really not.”

US Air ForceUS Air Force
HVAC Controls Technician
Jun 7, 2022

“Pay is pretty good but not the best”

Manitoba Hydro-ElectricManitoba Hydro-Electric
Instrumentation and Controls Technician
May 18, 2021

“Great work and life balance”

EMCS (Oklahoma)
Controls Technician
May 7, 2021

“If you add all this up to your salary is above what others in the area are paying.”

Florida Power & LightFlorida Power & Light
FIELD INSTRUMENT and CONTROL TECHNICIAN
Feb 11, 2021

“It was decent pay and union.”

Building Control IntegratorsBuilding Control Integrators
Experienced Lead Controls Technician
Nov 13, 2021

“Good work and life balance.”

CorningCorning
Process and Controls Technician
Oct 27, 2021

“Life work balance is great”

See More

Controls Technician Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Controls Technician

When working as a Controls Technician, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are PLC Programming, Controls Systems, Excellent Communication, Microsoft Office Software, and HMI.

The most similar professions to Controls Technician are:
  • Electronics Technician
  • Service Technician
  • Instrument Technician
  • Technician

The most common qualifications to become a Controls Technician include a minimum of a GED / High School Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Electronics Technician
$74,921
13% skills overlap
Service Technician
$71,692
25% skills overlap
Instrument Technician
$79,298
No skills overlap
Technician
$69,427
13% skills overlap

Controls Technician Jobs