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
EducationGED / High School Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Controls Technician Salaries

Average Base Pay

$64,037 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$49K
Median: $64K
$84K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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.

L2
Controls Technician
$64,037/yr
L3
See Career Path

Controls Technician Insights

Read what Controls Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Manitoba Hydro-ElectricManitoba Hydro-Electric
Instrumentation and Controls Technician
May 18, 2021

“Great work and life balance”

EMCS (Oklahoma)
Controls Technician
May 7, 2021

“If you add all this up to your salary is above what others in the area are paying.”

Building Control IntegratorsBuilding Control Integrators
Experienced Lead Controls Technician
Nov. 13, 2021

“Good work and life balance.”

Florida Power & LightFlorida Power & Light
FIELD INSTRUMENT and CONTROL TECHNICIAN
Feb. 11, 2021

“It was decent pay and union.”

CorningCorning
Process and Controls Technician
Oct. 27, 2021

“Life work balance is great”

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY LABORATORIESADVANCED TECHNOLOGY LABORATORIES
Sample Control Technician
Mar. 8, 2021

“Very little training was provided”

State Center Community College DistrictState Center Community College District
Controls Technician
Apr. 7, 2021

“great job work here for pay”

EmersonEmerson
Control Valve Technician
Mar. 31, 2021

“Great people to work with”

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Controls Technician Interviews

Related Careers

Automotive Technician
$59,811
13% skills overlap
Service Technician
$51,584
25% skills overlap
Instrument Technician
$81,812
No skills overlap
Technician
$50,830
13% skills overlap

Controls Technician jobs

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.

The most similar professions to controls technician are:
  • Automotive Technician
  • Service Technician
  • Instrument Technician
  • 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.