Industrial Control

Automation and control technicians may work on almost anything, from home appliances to the three hundred horsepower motors that run conveyor belts in factories. They need to have knowledge of the basic electrical theory related to motors and wire calculations, an understanding of commercial and industrial wiring methods, and be aware of the rules and regulations of the Electrical Safety Code in everything they do. They are faced with challenges that involve the use of programmable logic controllers, computers and IP technology. 

Traits & Talents

An aptitude for mathematics and an eye for detail will serve you well in this field. You should be able to work well with others since you will often be part of a team, but also be able to work independently and take initiative when necessary. Excellent communication and analytical skills, adaptability, flexibility and knowledge of computers are important. You need to be able to read, interpret and understand complex diagrams, so good reading and writing abilities are required. If you are interested in electricity and how it works, you might enjoy working in electric motor control.

Education and Training

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required. 

  • College courses in automation and control are usually required. 

  • Several years of on-the-job training are usually provided. 

  • Set-up persons, inspectors and lead hands in this unit group may require experience as an assembler, fitter or wirer in the same company. 

The Workplace

Industrial controllers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Manufacturing controlling 
  • Product cost calculations and analysis
  • Budget forecasting 
  • Reporting 
  • Electrical wiring assessments 
  • Interpreting diagrams
  • Electrical wiring 

Skills for Success

The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

  • Document Use 
  • Thinking: Critical Thinking 
  • Oral Communication 

Sample Job Titles

  • Design and testing engineer 
  • Industrial motor control 
  • Electronic service technician 
  • Industrial instrument technician 
  • Electrical instrument inspector 
  • Switchgear fitter-wirer 
  • Transformer inspector 
  • Transformer winder 
  • Instrumentation control
  • Automation engineer

    Companies and Sectors

    • Automation and control companies 
    • Manufacturing companies 
    • Technology companies 
    • Government