Controls Engineer Salary: How Much Can You Make?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This controls engineer salary guide includes a list of top-rated employers and tips for increasing your wages.

[Featured Image] A controls engineer works on machinery with tools in a manufacturing organization.

Control engineering refers to the management, design, and optimization of control systems. Control systems are sets of devices that regulate the behavior of other devices or systems. This role is important because it ensures the safety, efficiency, and quality of manufacturing processes. Below, you can explore controls engineer salary insights by expertise level, location, and company. 

What is a controls engineer?

A controls engineer or control systems engineer oversees and analyzes the systems involved with equipment production. Their primary responsibility is to enhance the design, layout, and placement of devices or machinery. These processes involve mechanical devices as well as organization members and stakeholders. For this reason, control engineers are technically proficient, highly skilled communicators.

Control engineer job outlook 2022

Control systems engineers belong to the occupational field of architecture and engineering. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 6 percent job growth for these careers, most of which can be attributed to engineering rather than architecture [1]. This growth statistic translates into around 146,000 new roles. Some of the most in-demand services include robotics, oil and gas, and energy. As of June 2022, 71,719 controls engineer jobs are listed on Glassdoor [2]. 

Average controls engineer salary in the US

The average controls engineer salary in the US is $85,082 per year. Glassdoor reports the median additional pay per year to be $17,229. Additional wages may represent profit-sharing, commissions, or bonuses. Combining the average controls engineer salary with the median additional income per year equals a total annual pay of $102,312 [3]. 

Controls engineer salaries by location: 5 highest-paying cities

One of the factors that can influence your salary as a control systems engineer is location. Still, remember that factors like the cost of living can also impact wages. 

*The following average US salaries were sourced from ZipRecruiter in June 2022 [4].

LocationAverage salary
San Jose, CA$104,254
Oakland, CA$103,158
Hayward, CA$101,191
Seattle, WA$100,721
Wasilla, AK$99,505

Top companies employing controls engineers in 2022

To determine the top companies, we looked at Glassdoor’s list of the top companies hiring for control engineer jobs. We further curated it to adequately represent several industries and eliminate companies with low employee ratings. Employee ratings are measured on a scale of one to five stars. They are calculated based on six categories: culture and values, diversity and inclusion, work/life balance, senior management, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. 

CompanyIndustryEmployee ratingControls engineer average US salary
CumminsTransportation Equipment Manufacturing4.2/5$87,554 per year [5]
Black & VeachArchitectural & Engineering Services4.2/5$91,543-$113,606 per year [6]
SiemensElectrical & Electronic Manufacturing4.1/5$78,882 per year [7]
Duke EnergyEnergy & Utilities4.0/5$94,894-$104,993 per year [8]
ChevronOil & Gas Exploration & Production4.1/5$101,138-$127,545 per year [9]
Lockheed MartinAerospace & Defense4.1/5$129,939 per year [10]

3 ways to increase your controls engineer salary

The average controls engineer salary is well above the US average wage of $45,760 per year for all occupations  [1]. You can take several actions to increase your salary further and build upon your expertise. For example, many job listings cite a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related discipline. However, some senior-level positions like a lead control systems engineer may require a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. These roles tend to pay higher than the average control engineer salary due to the levels of experience and expertise needed to perform them.

1. Earn Professional Certificates for essential skills.

Earning a Professional Certificate in a relevant area of expertise is an excellent way to demonstrate your value to employers. The list below matches a couple of essential skills for control engineers to certification programs you can use to gain them.

  • Risk management.Control engineers regularly confer with stakeholders to identify, assess, and manage risks. They are integral to the project planning process and must be confident in their decision-making ability. To increase your risk management capabilities, consider earning a certificate from the University of Leeds in Major Engineering Projects: Governance, Risk and Scope.

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course

Major Engineering Projects: Governance, Risk and Scope

Gain confidence when dealing with stakeholders of major projects by learning to identify and manage those that are involved in the project planning and ...

4.7

(235 ratings)

6,285 already enrolled

INTERMEDIATE level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Risk Management

  • Leadership. Many control systems engineers lead engineering and automation teams through concept planning, configuration, and development. This responsibility requires high-level leadership and people management skills. You can enhance your engineering leadership skills with Rice University’s Leadership Development for Engineers Specialization

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specialization

Leadership Development for Engineers

Become an Effective Engineering Leader . Advance your engineering career into leadership and management roles.

4.7

(474 ratings)

14,749 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 4 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Communication, Stress Management, Management, Meeting

2. Enhance your resume.

Enhancing your resume is a vital step for any job seeker to take. One way to ensure that recruiters notice your resume is to match the language you use to describe your skill set to the language employers use in job postings. Often, employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to process applicants quickly. These systems filter by keywords, meaning you have a better chance of being selected if your language matches the language they’ve input in the ATS. You can read nine more ways to enhance your resume with the article below.

Read more: 10 Ways to Enhance Your Resume

3. Stay current with industry trends and technologies.

Controls engineers work in several different industries. Once you have decided on a specialization to pursue, consider following industry leaders and fellow professionals in that field. They likely post blogs and share social media insights that you can use to identify in-demand skills and tools. For example, r/controlengineering is a Reddit community of current or aspiring engineers who share wisdom and ask questions forum-style. The insight you gain from staying up to date on industry trends can help you further optimize your resume. 

Start today with Coursera

Take another step toward increasing your controls engineer salary and enroll in a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management online course at the University of Colorado Boulder. Or, build upon your existing skills with a certificate in Engineering Project Management from Rice University. 

Placeholder

specialization

Engineering Project Management

Manage Successful Engineering Projects. Master strategies and tools to more effectively and successfully manage projects.

4.8

(2,759 ratings)

45,332 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 4 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Planning, Schedule, Earned Value Management (EVMT), Project Management, Procurement, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management Plan, Project Risk Management

Related articles

Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Architecture and Engineering Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/home.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

2. Glassdoor. “Controls engineer jobs, https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/controls-engineer-jobs-SRCH_KO0,17.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

3. Glassdoor. “How much does a Controls Engineer make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/controls-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,17.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022. 

4. ZipRecruiter. “Controls Engineer Salary, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Controls-Engineer-Salary.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

5. Glassdoor. “Cummins Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Cummins-Controls-Engineer-Salaries-E187_D_KO8,25.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

6. Glassdoor. “Black & Veach Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Black-and-Veatch-Control-Systems-Engineer-Salaries-E3605_D_KO17,41.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Siemens Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Siemens-Controls-Engineer-Salaries-E3510_D_KO8,25.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

8. Glassdoor. “Duke Energy Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Duke-Energy-Controls-Engineer-Salaries-E211_D_KO12,29.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

9. Glassdoor. “Chevron Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Chevron-Control-Systems-Engineer-Salaries-E13524_D_KO8,32.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022. 

10. Glassdoor. “Lockheed Martin Control Engineer Salary, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Lockheed-Martin-Controls-Engineer-Salaries-E404_D_KO16,33.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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