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.
- 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
- 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
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.
Years of Experience Distribution
Controls Technician Insights
“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.”
“Don't expect people be nice to you because they won't and because they're really not.”
“Pay is pretty good but not the best”
“Great work and life balance”
“If you add all this up to your salary is above what others in the area are paying.”
“Good work and life balance.”
“It was decent pay and union.”
“Life work balance is great”
Controls Technician Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role 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.
- Electronics Technician
- Service Technician
- Electrical Instrumentation Technician
The most common qualifications to become a Controls Technician is a minimum of a GED / High School Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.