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Why become a control systems engineer?

Published on: 6 Mar 2024

As the modern world continues on its path towards full digitisation, everything becomes more reliant on systems. This makes control systems engineering a fascinating field to become a specialist in and a lucrative one if you have security clearance.

While many industries require control systems engineers, those in defence, national security or the government can find themselves with increased responsibilities. If this is an environment where you think you could thrive, becoming a controls systems engineer in a security cleared sector could be your next rung on the career ladder.

What does a control systems engineer do?

Every aspect of a control system - from its design and development right through to implementation and troubleshooting - comes under the responsibility of a control systems engineer. Some complex systems may even have automated functioning when built properly.

As a control systems engineer, you’ll be working to ensure everything remains consistent to carry out its functionality while new information and commands put pressure on a system. Such smooth management will have wide-ranging consequences for the operation of many aspects of a business.

Among the day-to-day responsibilities of a control systems engineer are:

  • Creating new control systems
  • Writing code to manage control systems and equipment
  • Maintaining, modifying and rectifying problems with existing control systems
  • Developing tests to ensure control systems are running as designed
  • Compiling reports based on control system data

Why would you want to be a control systems engineer?

Among the incentives to become a control systems engineer is that you’ll be involved in a fairly new discipline that is constantly changing. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of developing technology and be able to influence how it moves forward.

You’ll require a number of skills to thrive in this role, including being able to work in a fast-paced environment. Control systems engineers must have a comprehensive understanding of automatic control, programmable logic controller (PLC) and distributed control system (DCS) concepts.

Combine these with a talent for maths, team working and critical thinking, and you’ve got all the key attributes of a control systems engineer. There’s not much more satisfying when searching for a job than finding one where you can combine your natural talents with the training you’ve undertaken.

Control systems engineers can work their way up the ranks to obtain salaries as high as £75,000 a year. Add in a security clearance for a role in a sector such as nuclear and the potential to earn will be increased further.

Browse our selection of available control systems engineer roles and see where your career could take you next.