welcome to joiner CAREERS

Controls Engineering Careers

Contract Controls Engineering Careers

We are helping self-employed contract controls engineers display their skills on our platform. The rise of automation has caused a high demand for controls engineering careers, which have become a vital component for programming control systems in most industries. As an automation controls engineer using our engineering service platform, one can expect to gain vast experience in the industrial automation industry by using many different automated control systems.

FIND YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Controls Engineer Educational Requirements:

Meet new clients with the JOINER Services platform and expand your career as a controls engineer

4-YEAR BACHELOR’S DEGREE
  • Systems Engineering
  • Automation Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Software Engineering
2-YEAR ASSOCIATE DEGREE
  • Systems Engineering
  • Automation Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Software Engineering
CONTROLS ENGINEER PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION
  • International Society of Automation
OR +2 YEARS OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
  • Controls Technician

Do you have what it takes?

TRY IT NOW!

Controls engineers prepare systems to customer specification requirements.

Controls engineers should have some knowledge of the recommended controller brands listed below:

  • Rockwell Automation (Allen Bradley)
  • Siemens (TIA Portal)
  • Omron Automation
  • Mitsubishi
  • Beckhoff
  • Inductive Automation (Ignition)
  • Bosch

Experience in types of network connections:

  • Ethernet
  • DeviceNet
  • Profibus
  • Protocol
  • Interbus

Types of controllers used in industrial automation:

• Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
• Distributed Control System (DCS)
• Programmable Automation Controller (PAC)
• Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs)
• Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

A controls engineer’s job description will state they perform various automated tasks and serve as the eyes and ears of these complex industrial automation systems. Contract controls engineers are responsible for any project requirements related to the process control of a client’s automated system.

FIND YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Controls Engineering Career Path:

CONTROLS DOCUMENTATION

Logic backups and record keeping play critical roles in the automation controls engineer plays with any automation system. This will require the control engineer to have experience in Microsoft Office and use other programs like process control documentation software. All of the controls systems in a client’s facility will be required to have and maintain proper documentation, and it is up to the contractor to keep them at or above the required standards.

CONTROLS DIAGNOSIS

Recommend repair procedures and fix equipment that has failed. These control systems are often difficult to debug or troubleshoot. Therefore, the controls engineer must understand the background logic of the system they are programming. They must work in the electrical control panel to debug an automated system with or without an electrical engineer.

CONTROL SYSTEM PROGRAMMING

The essential function in any job description of a control engineer is that they can use ladder logic and program a system. They must know what procedures should start and stop the control system and when functions need to be triggered. A controls engineer must think about continuous improvement when programming an advanced control system.

AUTOMATION ACCURACY

Controls engineering jobs are at the intersection of automation and technology, and these systems need to be highly proficient. When using automation, the timing of each process is controlled down to the millisecond, so the engineer needs to control each automated system with extreme precision.

A senior controls engineer with lots of work experience will be able to identify where the PLC can make minor changes to improve the cycle time of the automated system. For those younger engineers, a great way to gain experience fast and learn these PLC tricks is to start contracting. 

TESTING OF CONTROL SYSTEMS

Controls engineers must validate the system and ensure all emergency stops and strategies function correctly. Safety is the most critical task a controls engineer is responsible for on any project. Validating code to make sure it meets safety protocol is an essential part of the control engineer’s job description.

CONTROLS ENGINEERING TRAINING

Many engineers with a lot of work experience in the automation industry often train clients with PLC programming. They can train maintenance, technicians, or engineering staff, especially after installing a new system. The controls engineer must have excellent communication skills when training clients because industrial controls are challenging to learn. A senior engineer can also help develop a controls engineering training plan with a client and highlight the relevant information to that organization.

FIND YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Learn about controls engineering careers.

View this video!

CONTROLS ENGINEER SALARY

The career path for controls engineering is booming as automation is rising globally.

Many control engineers with robot programming experience and knowledge can easily reach annual earnings of well over $100,000.

As a contractor, hourly rates vary per project and depend on experience, technical skills required, and the project location.

The average controls engineer will earn around $85,000 per year.

Find out about controls engineering careers!

FIND YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Expectations As A Controls Engineer:

CONTROLLER CYCLE TIME IMPROVEMENTS

The goal of any control engineer is to improve a client’s throughput by working with a robot programmer or automation engineer to decrease product cycle time. These control systems may take thousands of parts to reach their peak efficiency. This is a remarkable technical skill learned over years of experience or while on multiple projects as a contract engineer. 

CONTROL DESIGN

The control engineer can design or create software and HMI panels from electrical designs. They must understand different control systems to create flow charts and build mechanical layouts. Contractors must have some electrical knowledge, understand the basics of controller design, and know how the methods of their clients operate.

POWER-ON

They will debug software to the control system and ensure it applies to the client’s standard. Control engineers will review manual controls preceding full automatic, installing HMI files, and checking layouts with manual and automated functionality.

Often controls engineers will have the opportunity to work with a software engineer who can assist with any software issues. During this power-on phase, the controls engineer will walk through the automated system with other vital stakeholders, ensuring the system’s functions are all performing accurately.

TROUBLESHOOTING CONTROLS

They will debug software to the control system and ensure it applies to the client’s standard. Control engineers will review manual controls preceding full automatic, installing HMI files and checking layouts with manual and automated functionality.

Often controls engineers will have the opportunity to work with a software engineer who can assist with any software issues that may arise. They will also work closely with robot programmers or other automation engineers to ensure a safe working environment during troubleshooting.

CONTROLS ENGINEERING SUPPORT

The controls engineer’s job is to support a client’s automated assembly lines with little to no changes. The main objective during a support phase is to ensure the system has minimal downtime and the manufacturing products run efficiently. They can also provide support by training the client’s employees.

FIND YOUR NEXT PROJECT