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What is a Control Engineer?

What is a Control Engineer?

almost 3 years ago

Control Engineer

A  control engineer designs equipment that will monitor and control the efficiency of engineering systems and machinery. They are experts in the principles behind automatic control. Although there may be some overlap with the role of automation engineer - and indeed the job titles may be interchangeable in some job adverts - a control engineer will focus primarily on making sure automated control systems operate effectively, efficiently and safely.

Day-to-day activities

Control engineers specialise in specific control disciplines, such as advanced process control (APC), distributed control systems (DCS) and programmable logic controllers (PLC).

The day to day job will involve varied activities and responsibilities, dependent on the complementary skills within the team, but is likely to entail designing and developing new control systems, testing andmodifying existing systems and analysing operating data.


Electrical and electronic engineering degrees are usually desirable. Many of these now include specific C&I (Control and Instrumentation)elements or modules which will support a career in the field of control engineering.

Skills and attributes

As well as CAD or other design software skills, control engineers will be expected to be natural problem solvers and critical thinkers with excellent numeracy skills

Earning potential

Control engineering is a growth area and job prospects are excellent. From here candidates may progress to building automation systems engineering and project management roles.

Job satisfaction 

Control engineers play a practical role in the development of new products and the close analysis of their performance in the field. This is a rewarding and varied job that can lead to a number of exciting career paths.

Find out more

If there’s something you’d like to know about the role of a control engineer that we haven’t covered here, we’d be happy to help further. Or we could point you in the direction of building automation systems engineer roles available right now. Call us on 0115 8714 777 or visit our jobs page.