Control and Instrumentation engineers

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Control and instrumentation engineers research, design, develop and install the devices and systems used in manufacturing facilities and plants.

Control and instrumentation engineers ensure that industrial equipment and machinery work safely and efficiently. They may work in an office, a laboratory, on a factory floor or all three.

Responsibilities typically include:

  • preparing and agreeing project budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers

  • undertaking relevant research

  • producing and implementing designs

  • creating test procedures

  • testing, evaluating, modifying and calibrating products and instruments

  • writing reports and documentation

  • analysing and interpreting data

  • collaborating with a team of scientists and engineers

  • providing technical support.


Qualifications and training required


There are routes into this profession for both school leavers and graduates. For graduates, a degree in electrical, electronic or mechanical engineering, computing or applied physics is normally necessary. Some employers will ask for a 2.1 degree but others will accept candidates with a 2.2 degree.


Key skills for control and instrumentation engineers


Employers seek imaginative graduates with good technical knowledge and strong practical abilities. Control and instrumentation engineers must also be:

  • business-minded

  • capable of working well within a team

  • organised

  • able to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines.


Typical employers of control and instrumentation engineers


  • Power generation companies

  • Manufacturers and installers of instruments and control devices/systems

  • Process companies

Self-employment via consultancy/contract work is possible for individuals with several years' experience.


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