Engineering Career Resources

Automation Engineer Job Description

Automation Engineer Job Description

Automation engineers usually have a lot of different functions, but their main responsibility is to ensure that all the systems under their care operate at peak efficiency. They typically work in the controls and automation industry and are in charge of automating manufacturing processes. For example, part of what they may do could be to help design and develop a system, or to help make sure systems run smoothly. They may also test and troubleshoot the systems under their area.

Automation engineers are the backbone of an organization. They make sure that all the systems are operational at all times, that they run safely, and at the same time provide the maximum amount of production needed from that area. If an automation engineer chooses to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry, the work can be very lucrative.


Automation engineers must have an excellent knowledge of electronics and electrical systems, as well as technology in general. A strong sense of responsibility is highly valued in the profession.

They must be able to work as part of a team and have strong communication skills, as part of the responsibilities of an automation engineer may be to interact and interface with employees from other departments, and also with teams in the field, contractors, and sometimes vendors and consultants.

Excellent problem solving skills are essential to the profession, as automation engineers continually deal with issues that arise in the production process. They must be adaptable to new production trends and have an aptitude for technology.

As their work can get pretty stressful at times, automation engineers must be able to work under pressure and deliver results within deadlines.


In order to become an automation engineer, a person must graduate from a university or an accredited college with a degree in one of the following fields: computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering or engineering physics. After earning an academic degree, an automation engineer will also have to get a license to practice as an engineer. 

For entry-level jobs, candidates may be asked to pass aptitude tests, and then complete an apprenticeship training program.


A typical day for an automation engineer can entail testing some of the machines and processes he or she is in charge of, helping out other departments with their machinery, and troubleshooting systems if something goes wrong. Automation engineers are also respnsible for finding solutions to any problems that arise, and testing the solutions to make sure that they are efficient and safe. Automation engineers can troubleshoot problems over the phone or visit sites, production plants, or oil rigs, depending on the nature of the problem.

When they are not dealing with problems, automation engineers are working on ways to make production processes more efficient in order to save the company some money, all the while making sure that safety is not compromised by any modifications they recommend. Automation engineers are vital to the organization, but at the same time, part of the excitement of the job is that typical days may be few and far in between.