How do I Become a Controls Engineer?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 12 May 2020
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a controls engineer in the United States, you will more than likely need to have a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline. Many of these jobs require a specialization in controls, mechanical, or electrical systems engineering, though some employers may have other educational preferences. It is important to note that some higher level positions may require applicants to have an advanced degree, such as a master's or a Ph.D. This requirement is not necessary for the majority of controls engineering jobs, however.

Applicants who have some background in program management may have an advantage in the job market. In order to become a controls engineer, you will also probably need to have extensive architectural experience in design and analysis practices. It may be necessary for you to have some advanced knowledge of software programs that are related not only to engineering, but to some other areas of specialization that could be encountered in controls engineering positions. It is possible that you could be responsible for troubleshooting a variety of different technical problems, so having solid knowledge of computer systems may help you tremendously on the job.

For the most part, you should expect to have to successfully complete a thorough background check in order to become a controls engineer. This generally means that you will need to pass a criminal background check, as well as a drug screening. Conditions of continued employment may include random drug testing one or more times per year.

You will probably need to be familiar with safety practices and procedures for plant and other manufacturing employees on the job. If you want to become a controls engineer, you may have to instruct some workers regarding certain safety practices, so having the ability to teach others will be a strong asset. As part of this requirement, you might need to obtain one or more certifications in order to solidify your ability to provide instruction to other people.

These types of jobs are not usually solitary in nature, as the majority of the job requirements involve working directly with others. This means that you will need to have excellent communication skills in order to become a controls engineer, and be successful in this job. In some positions, you might be responsible for creating and making presentations to clients or other employees. If you have experience making speeches, you may be more at ease handling these responsibilities.


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