Controls Engineer Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Controls Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Controls Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Controls Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How to Become a controls engineer

If you're considering starting your Controls Engineer career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Controls Engineer and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Controls Engineer career.
Contents

1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Controls Engineer career path, a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Controls Engineer internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Controls Engineer?

78% of people working as a Controls Engineer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Controls Engineer?

  • PLC Programming
  • HMI Programming
  • Controls Systems
  • SCADA
  • Devicenet
  • Ladder LOGIC
  • Factorytalk
  • Controlnet
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Controls Engineer in the United States.

2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Controls Engineer, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Controls Engineer field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Controls Engineer specialty.

3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Controls Engineer

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Controls Engineer. In general, you can become a Controls Engineer after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Controls Engineer role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified safety professional.

4

Advance in Your Controls Engineer Career

Following entry-level, there are several Controls Engineer career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Controls Engineer to progress to the senior controls engineer position. Each advanced Controls Engineer position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Controls Engineer career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Controls Engineer career path.

5

Continued Education for Your Controls Engineer Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Controls Engineer career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $123,071 compared to $56,764 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels

L2

Controls Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$104,065 /yrTotal Pay
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38% advanced to

L3

Senior Controls Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$113,455 /yrTotal Pay
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L4

Lead Controls Engineer

5 - 7Years of Experience
$110,522 /yrTotal Pay
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Controls Engineer Career Path

$170K
$150K
$130K
$110K
$90K
L2
L4
L7
Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Controls Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common Controls Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.