Controls Engineer Salary & Job Descriptions

Controls Engineer Salary & Job Descriptions

Controls engineer, systems engineer, and instrument engineer are all names for the same person. You might also hear the term “control engineer” or “control systems engineer” when referring to this professional.

The function is identical regardless of the label used to describe it. Having a controls engineer on staff ensures that a company can produce high-quality goods in the most time and cost-effective way possible. This article takes a look at the job description, salary range, and duties of a controls engineer.

So, quickly, I will write on the duties of control engineers, the salary of control engineers, control engineer educational requirements, roles of control engineers, and all you need to know.

Controls Engineer Salary & Job Descriptions

Engineers specializing in controls are architects and engineers. Between 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs in architecture and engineering is expected to increase by 6 percent, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As a result of this number, roughly 146,000 additional jobs will be created.

In the United States, a Controls Engineer can expect to earn an average salary of $85,876 per year. In case you’re in need of a quick wage calculator, that comes out to about $41.29 per hour. It’s the same as spending $1,651 every week, or $7,156 every month.

Controls engineers make an average of $95,000 per year in the United States (25th percentile), with the highest paid (10th percentile) making $108,500.

There may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience for a Controls Engineer because the average salary range is so large (up to $20,500).

There aren’t many openings for Controls Engineers in Lagos, NG or the rest of the state at the moment. On average, a Controls Engineer in your region earns $85,890 per year. This is $14 more than the average annual salary for a Controls Engineer across the nation of $85,876. Pay for Controls Engineers in this state is higher than in any other of the 50 states.

In which cities are controls engineering jobs the highest paying?

We’ve pinpointed ten locations across the country where Controls Engineers can expect to earn a salary that’s above the national average. Atkinson, Nebraska comes in first, followed by San Jose, California, and Frankston, Texas. Frankston, TX is above average by $16,927 (19.7%), and Atkinson, NE is even higher, at $24,041 (28.0%), compared to the national average of $85,876.

As a Controls Engineer, you may find that relocating to one of these 10 cities with salaries above the national average opens up a wealth of new professional and financial opportunities for you.

Finally, it is important to note that there is not much room for advancement in salary, as the average salary for the top ten cities varies very little (12%) between Atkinson, NE, and Manhattan, NY. Location and salary for a Controls Engineer position should ideally be determined by the possibility of a lower cost of living.

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CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Atkinson, NE$109,917$9,159$2,113$52.85
San Jose, CA$105,068$8,755$2,020$50.51
Frankston, TX$102,803$8,566$1,976$49.42
Seattle, WA$101,588$8,465$1,953$48.84
Barnstable Town, MA$101,158$8,429$1,945$48.63
Inverness, CA$100,491$8,374$1,932$48.31
Concord, CA$100,084$8,340$1,924$48.12
Wasilla, AK$97,753$8,146$1,879$47.00
Dimondale, MI$97,680$8,140$1,878$46.96
Manhattan, NY$96,811$8,067$1,861$46.54

Controls Engineer Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in engineering, electrical, manufacturing, or mechanical engineering is preferred for the position of controls engineer.

  • A minimum of two years of experience is required, preferably four.
  • Competence with a variety of software programs
  • Superior problem-solving skills based on a deep understanding of cause and effect.
  • Superior ability to express oneself.

Top 5 Highest Paying Controls Engineer Jobs in the U.S.

There are at least five related occupations that pay more annually than the average Controls Engineer salary that we were able to identify. Some of the most prominent jobs in this field are “Director of Internal Controls,” “I&E Engineer,” and “Senior Project Controls Specialist.”

Significantly, the average salary for a Controls Engineer is $85,876; all of these other positions pay between $27,825 (32.4%) and $52,402 (61.0%) more. If you have the right skills, getting hired for one of these jobs related to a Controls Engineer could increase your salary compared to a typical Controls Engineer position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Director Internal Controls$138,278$11,523$2,659$66.48
I&E Engineer$120,022$10,001$2,308$57.70
Senior Project Controls Specialist$119,983$9,998$2,307$57.68
Flight Controls Engineer$119,910$9,992$2,305$57.65
Senior Instrumentation Engineer$113,701$9,475$2,186$54.66

So, what exactly is the field of control engineering?

Designing, analyzing, and optimizing a control system is the focus of control engineering (also known as control system engineering). Simply put, a control system is a collection of devices used to manage the operation of other systems.

It may include purely electronic components, like computers, or purely mechanical ones, like machinery. Although their designs may differ, all control systems aim to regulate outputs.

Among the many examples of control systems you may encounter frequently is an air conditioner. According to the temperature you set, it will either blow hot air or cold air.

A number of devices may need to be coordinated for this process to succeed. Most central air conditioners, for instance, consist of a trio of components: a handler, a condenser, and a thermostat.

A key skill for a controls engineer to have is the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once. Their objective is to keep the plant operating effectively and safely while maintaining the highest quality standards. As a result of their efforts, manufacturers’ output is increased through the processes that control engineers’ design, implementation, and maintenance.

Control engineers need to be flexible and willing to think on their feet to solve problems and aid in the execution of preventative maintenance plans. The ability to analyze plant processes and suggest improvements based on their extensive knowledge of electronics, engineering, and mechanics is essential.

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Control engineers need to be able to effectively communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders across multiple internal and external organizations.

Control engineers sometimes need to be able to use other programs, like Microsoft Office or AutoCAD.

Professions in the field of control engineering

The three sectors and associated businesses that regularly hire control engineers are shown below.

The aerospace:

The aerospace industry is responsible for the creation of cutting-edge aircraft and other aerospace hardware. When looking for a controls engineer, one of the best places to look is Boeing.


With the automotive industry is comprised of companies that focus on making, selling, and servicing automobiles. General Motors is widely regarded as a leading employer of control engineers in the automotive sector.


Production on a large scale is often referred to as “manufacturing,” which is a very general term.

Manufacturing has numerous offshoots in the world, including the production of industrial machinery and transportation equipment. When it comes to manufacturing companies that hire control engineers, GE is at the top of the list.

The petroleum industry is divided into several subsectors, one of which is the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production industry, which is responsible for the discovery, development, refining, transportation, and distribution of oil and gas. Chevron is a frontrunner amongst competitors when it comes to hiring control engineers.

What Does Control Engineer Do?

A controls engineer’s job is to oversee and assess the processes that go into making machinery. Optimizing the design, layout, and placement of devices is your top priority. Respect for quality and security norms is essential. The following are typical duties for a controls engineer:

Management of engineering and automation groups in the stages of idea generation, configuration, and development

Performing diagnostics on a wide range of mechanical and electrical systems

Educating and assisting group members technically

Project and maintenance documentation development

The Practice of Keeping Tabs on How Things Work in a System

Controls engineers: a checklist of necessary skills

Engineers who specialize in control systems typically have backgrounds in project management, mechanics, and engineering. Key technical competencies for controls engineers include:

  • A solid understanding of algorithm design and computer programming
  • Having experience with RCA and CA techniques
  • Expertise with systems and software for automation, control, and monitoring
  • Technical competence in mechanical and electrical system installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance
  • competency in standard operating procedures, engineering documents, and electrical diagrams
  • The following list of abilities is recommended for this position in the workplace:
  • Communicative abilities
  • Ability to think critically and solve problems
  • Leadership
  • Expertise in both oral and written expression
  • Capacity to organize various tasks effectively
  • Expertise in Managing Complex Projects (PMP)
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Stepping into an engineering role that also requires people management can be intimidating. Those who aren’t yet adept at leading engineers might benefit from enrolling in a distance learning Leadership Development for Engineers course.

A Guide to a Career as a Controls Engineer

With a bachelor’s degree, you can enter the field of controls engineering as an entry-level professional. Control engineers are typically expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a closely related field.

Master’s degrees and extensive work experience are usually prerequisites for more senior positions. Following this introduction, aspiring control systems engineers will find sections covering the necessary education, credentials, and strategies for entering the workforce.

The best way to get ahead is to get a degree and then pick a field to focus on.

As was previously mentioned, a degree in engineering is frequently listed as a requirement for employment in many different industries. However, the field you hope to work in may have some bearing on the area of expertise you choose to develop.

A Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, for instance, may be a good choice for those interested in working in the IT sector. A Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, on the other hand, might be the best choice for someone interested in working in electrical and electronic production.

Control engineering education

Courses in control engineering are typically taught in electrical and mechanical engineering departments, but can also be found in mechatronics and aerospace engineering departments at many universities around the world.

Most modern control techniques are implemented by computers, usually as embedded systems, so control engineering is related to computer science in some contexts (as in the automotive field). The term “process control” is commonly used to refer to the area of expertise within chemical engineering that focuses on managing processes.

The primary focus is on the management of plant chemical processes and their associated variables. Many of the same principles used in control engineering are also covered in the foundational coursework required of all aspiring chemical engineers.

Given that control engineering can be applied to any system for which a suitable model can be derived, it shares some ground with other branches of engineering. While some universities offer introductory courses in control engineering, others, like the University of Sheffield’s Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and the United States Naval Academy’s Department of Robotics and Control Engineering, offer more advanced coursework in the field.

Science, money management, and even people science are just some of the many fields that can benefit from the techniques of control engineering.

Linear control systems in the time and complex-s domain are often the first courses taken by control engineering undergraduates. This area of study, known as classical control theory, requires a strong foundation in both elementary mathematics and the Laplace transform.

The learner performs frequency and time domain analysis as part of linear control. An introduction to control theory could be considered complete with the completion of either the Z transformation or algebra-based digital control or nonlinear control courses.


If you are looking for information on controls engineer salary, duties of control engineers, control engineer educational requirements, the role of control engineers, skills of control engineers and all you need to know, I have covered them all in this content.

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