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What Does a Control Engineer Do?

Control engineers make systems work efficiently and predictably. Control engineering is a relatively new field that combines engineering and mathematics.

Career Overview

Control engineering was once a part of mechanical engineering and has become a somewhat new field that combines engineering and mathematics. Control engineers may focus on developing or improving machines or systems that have singular or multiple functions. The mechanism that an engineer may control could be a system, process, or machine. For example, the system may be used in a bank to improve an ATM and decrease the amount of time that a person spends at the machine.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2019) $75,324*
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% (for all mechanical engineers)**
Similar Occupations Design engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, control systems engineer

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties and Responsibilities

Control engineers design and oversee the production of many types of complex systems and equipment. The engineer researches, tests, and analyzes the design use in relation to the function of the elements in the system. A control engineer seeks consistent results and operation of a system within specified tolerances. Changing a part of a system to make it perform the tasks it was designed to do efficiently is a core aspect of this engineer's duties.

Additional Tasks

A working system may need adaptation depending on how it is used. Science, human behavior, and finances are also specialized areas of control engineering. Control engineers work with design engineers to alter systems based on consumer/customer feedback. However, working in isolation is not an option, since changing and improving upon a system requires contribution from a team.