PLC Technicians install and repair industrial electronic equipment including I/O networks, data highways, variable speed drives, process control equipment, and write PLC programs for a wide variety of automated control systems ranging from simple on-off control to robotics. In addition to installing and maintaining programmable controllers, PLC Technicians also find employment in the industrial engineering field where they are actively involved in the design and implementation of PLC control systems.
Job Outlook and Growth Potential:
Opportunities will be best for individuals with an associate degree or extensive job training in engineering technology. As technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will continue to look for technicians who are skilled in new technology and require a minimum of additional job training. An increase in the number of jobs related to public health and safety should create job opportunities for engineering technicians with the appropriate certification.
Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012. Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs, resulting in more jobs for engineering technicians. However, the growing use of advanced technologies, such as computer simulation and computer-aided design and drafting will continue to increase productivity and limit job growth. In addition to growth, many job openings will stem from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the labor force.
Wages and Earnings Potential:
Median hourly earnings of PLC Technicians was $19.77 in 2002