Electronic Controls Engineer: Education Requirements and Career Info

Sep 27, 2019

Electronic controls engineers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the degree programs, career information, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

If you love to tinker with electronic devices, consider this career. Electronic controls engineers can work on various kinds of electronic systems and in many different industries. These engineers need to pass a licensure exam in order to work.

Essential Information

Electronic controls engineers need a bachelor's degree for entry-level jobs, although some employers prefer a graduate degree. These engineers work on a variety of electronic systems used in automobiles, spacecraft or home appliances, among others. Licensure is required for those engineers working directly with the public.

Required Education A bachelor's or master's degree in electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering or a similar discipline
Licensure Professional engineering license may be required
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -1% (for electronics engineers)
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $102,700 (for electronics engineers)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Electronic Controls Engineers

A September 2019 search for available jobs in electronic controls engineering showed that most employers require a degree in electrical engineering technology with a focus on automation controls, although bachelor's degrees in mechanical or systems engineering were also mentioned. Students in electrical engineering programs may study electronic circuits, materials science, electromagnetics, control systems, microprocessors, digital signal processing and circuit design.

Some employers prefer a master's degree in electrical engineering. Students may be able to select concentrations, such as system and control engineering, microelectronics, electronic devices and electronic circuits. The curriculum may cover such topics as feedback control systems, solid state electronics, microelectronic fabrication, power electronics, digital control systems, circuit design, micro-electromechanical systems and control systems engineering.

Electronic Controls Engineer Career Info

Electronic controls engineers develop controllers that regulate the functions of a system, such as cruise control in cars. These engineers work in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace and industrial automation. A security clearance may be required for those who work for the federal government or defense contractors. Many electronic controls engineering jobs require domestic and international travel.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a slight decline of one percent was expected in electronic engineering from 2018-2028 ( While the demand for electronics continues to grow, competition from other countries will hinder job growth in the U.S. The latest wage information released by the BLS in May 2018 indicated that electronics engineers made a median annual salary of $102,700.


Engineers who work with the public are required to obtain licensure in every state and the District of Columbia. To qualify for the state licensure exam, engineers must have a bachelor's degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and at least four years of work experience.

Electronic controls engineers design controls for electrical systems. They can work in the transportation and industrial realm, to name a few career paths. Electronic controls engineers need an accredited bachelor's degree and experience in order to find work and get licensure.

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